Meditation In The Mundane
Who loves to eat some freshly picked pomegranate? I know I do!! Growing up, mum always did all the dirty work:
go to the market -> buy fruits & veggies -> wash them -> cut them/peel them ->hand us the bowl/plate and at times even fed us… aren’t Mothers the best!
During the winter season, fruit vendors would be lined up, each one with his/her own unique style of displaying the variety of fruit they’d gotten from the farms and orchards. The best part of accompanying my mum to the market was not to see her win the bargaining competition with the fruit vendor (aka fruit wala) but at the end of her grocery run, be all cute and smiley and convince her to buy me a bar of cadbury’s Dairy Milk… aah! those were the days, well before I digress any further I wanted to share with you how I naturally discovered (or one could say accidentally discovered) a great way to ease into meditation while doing mundane things, I didn’t really get it when I was a child, how my mother did it all, cooking, cleaning, feeding us, keeping up with our school schedule, homework etc.. and of course making sure dinner was ready by the time dad got home. She must have practiced some form of meditation too.
Fast forward 30 odd years, I am an adult and so I buy my own groceries, cut and peel and eat my own fruit and of course at times I wish someone did it for me! I still love me some pomegranate. A few weeks ago, I went to the farmer’s market and bought a couple of pomegranates. In all the excitement of seeing poms in the winter season I forgot how much time and effort it takes to get actually get to the point where you can savor them. After I get home, I realize, I will have to do the rest myself too, so there I am washing the fruit and laying it on my cutting board. I remember I was wearing a light colored top and afraid I may stain it if I wasn’t careful while cutting and peeling the pomegranate (I was too lazy to go change my top) and so I started peeling the pomegranate extremely carefully and by the time I finished I felt strange in a way that somehow time had frozen, my mind was so engrossed in that moment and in just that one action I had no other distracting thoughts, I felt refreshed at the end of what I think may have been 5 minutes. That is when I had my “Aha!” moment and it was that as much as I’d prefer to sit down and meditate daily for 10 minutes there are times when I don’t. But the truth is, that any mundane activity can become a tool for meditation. For example brushing one’s teeth. I use a Philips Sonicare toothbrush that has four 30-second indications to let one finish brushing one quadrant and move on to the next. I use those 2 minutes to focus on my brushing. I do not try to think about what I need to do during the day, what I am going to eat etc.. because at the end of those 2 minutes, I have more clarity and I get things done faster. I am not saying you need to do exactly those things, but I definitely recommend trying and observing what happens after.