As I started to get into meditation, I became aware of the relentless stream of thoughts that cluttered my mind. Like a puppy dog on speed! Impossible to silence!  

As it is outside, so it is inside

I started to notice how my external environment was also cluttered. So many things needing to be done, from washing dishes, cleaning windows, sorting paperwork, putting stuff away, folding clothes.

It’s as if my eternal environment is a reflection of my cluttered mind.

Can it be then that if I clean my external environment then maybe my thoughts will clear? 

Have you ever tried to clean indian toilets !!!!!?

When I first arrived to an ashram, manual work was required from everyone. “A Working meditation” they called it. You should have seen my face at the beginning when they asked me to work six hours a day as part of “a journey”. Cleaning the floors!? Sweeping the streets!!? And have you ever tried to clean Indian toilets !!!!!? 

I really did not like to do these manual tasks – so ordinary, so menial! “I am better than that!” .. my ego was complaining. 

After a couple weeks of daily cleaning and meditating, my mind finally gave up (also because my complaints did not bring me any comfort). 

And then it appeared by itself. 

The beauty of simple tasks

The beautiful simplicity of an ordinary task, the capacity of being connected fully to the present moment. Once my mind became still, I was able to appreciate the simplest things and to value the most ordinary work.

This all brought me a calmness. My life circumstances did not really change but my perception rapidly did. Things were somehow smoother, less bumpy.

I took this newly gained cleaning habit from India back to my normal life. 

From this space, ordinary cleaning and housekeeping became enjoyable, like a meditation in itself. Giving my full attention to each task, without thinking about anything else. Each movement becomes conscious and fully live. 

I had stumbled into a space of natural meditation. By simply cleaning the physical space I found a mental clarity and stillness.

Moreover, manual work is rewarding by seeing the results of work directly and immediately. And one more bonus: I noticed I feel much better when the environment surrounding me is tidy and clean. 

To entertain the hands

You’ve probably already heard that one of the ways on how to “clean your head” is to jump into manual work and/or housekeeping. To entertain your hands.

I’m sure you know how it feels afterwards, to clear out those corners that have been ignored,… those little chores that have been hanging around for months and don’t take long to resolve. 

Through physical cleansing and uncluttering your environment you may notice a clearing of the emotional body, a clearer awareness of your essential needs and taking action with determination and focus.  

And another thing, whatever happens in your life situation at least you have a nice clean space to hang out in.

So, are you getting ready Christmas house clean?

It can be a wonderful meditation to simply let go for a couple of hours and get the mop out… and it is even more fun with others and

some music to bounce to. 

With love,

Monks

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