A deep lesson from laundry
I ran low on underwear a few days ago. And I ran clean out of the comfortable sweats and hoodies that I like to live in when at home.
So I did my laundry.
I don’t like doing laundry. Once upon a time I really hated it. Now I don’t, but it is not one of my favorite activities.
When I make my list of five activities that really energize me, doing laundry will not be one of them.
I did it because I had to and because I needed fresh clothes.
It felt good when I saw the empty hamper and realized that all my clothes were washed and folded and put away, ready for use.
But the hamper did not remain empty. There were dirty clothes in it this morning and I added the day’s quota to them.
Soon I will have to do my laundry again.
Our inner life is just like that.
Our mind is an incredibly fertile garden and our errant mental chatter contributes the weeds that choke it.
We are angry at others and ourselves. We covet wealth and fame and power. We are jealous and lustful. We are driven by ambition and riven with pain.
The human condition is messy.
We meditate and achieve clarity. We see clearly that we are pursuing ends that will complicate our lives and bring us sorrow in the end.
We root out those weeds.
But the weeds will come back.
The laundry hamper will fill up again.
Clothes don’t stay clean forever once you wash them. They will get dirty again. And again.
So you wash them again. And again.
The clarity that you achieve after a good meditation will leave you and you will revert to being an ego-driven automaton, jerked about by fick
Doing the laundry is not a one time action. Achieving clarity of purpose and serenity in life is not a once-and-you-are-done proposition.
So keep meditating, keep reflecting and, above all, seek out aids to keep your conscious mind on your spiritual quest.
These aids might include like-minded friends, books, audio and video material, retreats, smart phone apps and much else.
Make all this a permanent part of your life.