Years ago, at the start of my mediation journey, I took a class in World Religion. We were assigned to pick one religion to study, attending their place of worship and interviewing the congregation. Being that I was in search for that inner peace, and wanting to stray far away from the western religion I was brought up in, I chose to study Buddhism.
The stars seemed to align when I found out that the head of the American Buddhist Association happened to be visiting from out of state, and that he would be more than happy to let me pick his brain. I was squirmish throughout the service, my mind racing with excitement. Are you telling me that I’m about to get the formulation to inner peace? That I’ll know the all keys to enlightenment! That after today I will never raise my voice at my kids again and I’ll manifest my dreams? Possibly induce a DMT state without the use of illegal substances?! SCORE!
So I asked him, eager and wide-eyed, what is the most powerful way to meditate?
‘Washing dishes. Cooking a meal. Having this conversation with you.’
My face didn’t hide the bafflement of confusion. He chuckled.
‘Simply by being present, my dear.’
I’m over here still dumbfounded, still yearning for some radical answer to all my problems. How? I ask
‘Start by noticing. Your breath, the way the water feels on your hands while washing dishes, the sound of chopping carrots.’
I laughed. I have little ones, it is always hectic!
'Observe the chaos with gratitude, it will be there as long as your kids are, children are a gift and have much to teach us.'
This didn’t sit well with me… for weeks. For so long I looked forward to the boy’s bedtime so that I could have peace and quiet in my mind, I had trained my mind to think it was the only time capable of peace. But alas, I gave it a try. I started with noticing my breath. Somewhere along the line I had found more joy in being in the moment, the more I stopped seeking peace outside of the present moment.
And now, I washing dishes is a daily mediation bringing me back to the present… although folding laundry needs some work ; ]
Raychel Clark, Reiki Practitioner