Finding Joy in Mundane Tasks

Leaves that have blown in from somewhere

The sun is out and there are hopes that it will climb into double digits today. Regardless, there are chores that need doing in our back yard and I am loathe to put on clothing if not 100% necessary. Cleaning off the deck is first on the list as we will be having company come in the late afternoon. Ordinary life means ordinary tasks. I once heard a description of what awareness means that bares repeating here.

A wise man, a Buddhist monk of some sort who had achieved full awareness was asked to explain what was in store for him by a novice monk.

“Before you start on the path to awareness, you carry water in pails from a well, work the garden, chop wood, and perform mundane tasks. The work is done unconsciously without any awareness of the mysteries of becoming fully conscious. When at last, usually at a ripe age, when all the mysteries of life are learned, you become a guru, a teacher.”

“But why are you still carrying water from the well? Shouldn’t others be doing it for you?”

“Ah, but that is the reward. Now I get to do these vital tasks fully aware of their importance. Now, I can be fully present when doing them. The water still needs to be hauled, weeds still need to be hoed, and wood still needs to be chopped. I may as well enjoy these tasks.”

I can’t claim to be fully aware nor fully enlightened. However, I can be fully present when doing mundane tasks. It makes life so much more enjoyable.

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1 Response to Finding Joy in Mundane Tasks

  1. Robert Payne says:

    I have come to a point in my life that, as I look around, no matter what I see, I see another manifestation of me. This allows me to understand the importance of being aware and living in the present.

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