Is My Life Different Than My Naani?—– Part 4
Do you remember this from one of my previous posts on the same topic? To help you recollect, I had written a post, ‘Is my life different than my naani? wherein I had mentioned and I am quoting, “While blogging about the last post, I came across something very interesting that opened my eyes to a whole new dimension of my domestic challenges.
The interesting thing discovered is a book titled, “A monk’s guide to a clean house and mind” written by Shoukei Matsumoto. “It is said one of Buddha’s disciples achieved enlightenment doing nothing but sweeping while chanting, ‘Clean off dust. Remove grime.’ The book says, “Your everyday domestic chores will become a way to clean your heart. This will improve the condition not just of your own mind, but of the minds of the people around you. I hope readers will discover that daily housework is an opportunity to contemplate the self.” (Introduction of Matsumoto’s book). In his book, Matsumoto emphasizes that the state of your home — whether it’s messy or tidy — reflects the state of your mind. Cleaning is the act of mindfulness because it roots you in the present moment.
To my shock and surprise, I could never fathom; first — that there would be a book written on this topic, and second — that someone could attain enlightenment while doing routine boring household chores. I was amused to another level. God has a secret plan to make me attain nirvana, I got to know then. And the next morning, I dreamed of being in a state of bliss; in a garden drenched in god’s fragrance, beautiful flowers lining up my pathway, white clouds, the shining stars, the azure sky, a small river with the sound of running water, delicacies to eat, and a white aura around my head. I experienced a spiritual orgasm. It was only when the hot tea I was making in the morning spilled on to my hands that my eyes opened to reality. I was still a mortal being making tea.
The only difference was, HOPE! Hope that this every day act of tea-making is a gateway to my soul. Hope that these mundane chores will lead me to great discovery of the self, for which, people spend lakhs of rupees to travel, stay in a retreat, meditate in the Himalayas and give up their homes in search of their soul. I was given the same opportunity within the confines of my home while searching that ubiquitous missing sock. I just had to indulge in my household chores with renewed enthusiasm. Suddenly, the useless act of hanging clothes to dry became my dream job, a job that would land me in a state of enlightenment. It turned out I was whining in vain, as I failed to recognize the opportunity the Almighty was giving me to attain the state of nirvana. All the domestic challenges I talked about were nothing but existence’s way of teaching me important life lessons. So, the next time I itch to whine, I will think of the prospects the household chores may lead me to.
On a very serious note, I am a firm believer that life gives you opportunity to grow at every step of our life, in rough edges and smooth tidings, both. If we don’t learn the lesson, the challenges will continue. So, from hereupon, I will make a conscious effort to see my seemingly mundane chores as a gateway to enlightenment. May be, the next time you may meet ‘Maa’ Mysoulitude instead of Mysoulitude.
Did I hear you say, “Amen!”