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Chores Can Be a Meditation
Yes, daily chores can seem like a waste of time, because they need to be repeated again and again.
What makes dish washing, laundry and vacuuming tolerable is holding an attitude of acceptance that it needs to be done and there is no way around it. It is part of the dues we pay for living.
Example of a meditation during chores
After a meal scrape and stack dishes in sink that is filled with soapy water. Let dishes soak. Later, lift dishes out to side board leaving cutlery in soapy water.
Begin by taking a deep breath in and slowly releasing it. Immerse hands in soapy water on the next in-breath and while breathing out begin washing each utensil with complete attention. Keep your breath easy and even and keep thinking about cleaning the utensils. After each handful of utensils rinse and stand them up in drain board.
Now lower the glasses and cups into the soapy water, and again while breathing evenly concentrate on swishing around inside and on the rims, then rinse and stand open end down in drain board. Take time to dry and put the cutlery away.
Put the dishes and bowls in the sink and rejoice that you’re probably over the hump. Swish the surfaces, rinse and stand on edge in the drain board to let gravity pull away the stream of water running off each.
Now dry the outsides of the glasses and put away. Dry the dishes and stack for the next use.
Immerse the pots in the water and scrub as needed before rinsing and setting in drain board. While washing, swishing and scrubbing keep up your even breathing.
You’ll find that the regular even breathing actually brings a state and feeling of calm, so that dish washing, rather than being a nasty chore, becomes an opportunity for quiet meditation, reestablishing harmony in the daily routine.
While this at first may seem like a tongue in cheek meditation, it points out that even the most distasteful chores can be transformed into giving a peaceful and harmonious feeling by accepting they need to be done, and breathing evenly, rhythmically, throughout.
This kind of meditation is also known as karma yoga, meditation in action, just because it needs to be done, without a specific reward.
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Meditation article by Susan Helene Kramer
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