Mindfulness and connecting with the “everyday”

Housework Meditation?

This is just a short post, a jotting of thoughts if you will, as I am moving through my home on this particular day, cleaning a bit here, straightening a little there and being very mindful of my actions and watchful of my thoughts as I do so.

I have a confession to make:  I have never been a big fan of housework.  In the past, I allowed myself (well, actually my ego) to run away with those negative feelings, getting more and more frustrated with having to do the same things over and over, to the point of even getting angry — but at whom? at what? Anger with no place to focus it is the most frustrating sort, because it invariably points within.

I won’t say that I’m a housework saint now, but I have found a technique, a trick if you will, that keeps those negative feelings at bay.  I treat my housework as a moving meditation, a gratitude meditation.  As I move from room to room, I give thanks for having such a comfortable home, for such a comfortable room, and I often focus on one special object in each room, or on the energy of the room–a room where my beautiful child sleeps, or the room where the family gathers, or the room that nourishes our bodies.

By focusing on these ideas, I find much more purpose in cleaning the rooms; it makes it a much more pleasant, mindful and focusing experience.  Did the routine change? No. Did I find a new housework trick that makes it go faster, easier?  No.  The only thing that changed is my attitude and what I focus on.

In the book ‘Be An Island’ by Ayya Khema there is a story about Achaan Cha, a famous Thai meditation master.  When accused of having a lot of hatred within him, he replied, “That may be so, but I don’t make any use of it.”

May housework be just one more place where I don’t make use of my capacity for frustration and negative emotions!

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