Kavyakankshini...bewitching words spun with spindles of thought and quicksilver yarn...: Maid and meditation


Maid and meditation

Being a metro woman, I have come to understand the importance of a maid over a period of time!
She is that goddess whom you better keep pleased in order to run your household hassle free!
After having a maid for over a year or so, you tend to take her and her work for granted, just ambling around while she slogs away… well it’s supposed to be like this, isn’t it?
Well then comes a day when she skips work! Once, twice it’s fine, human almost but then came this one day when she says she is on leave for 2 days! Two whole days of housework and cooking is a bit too much in an already crammed metro schedule!
I swiftly apply for a leave, cannot help but do that! A maid absent is crisis in a sense, worthy of one precious CL! All ya ladies you totally know what I mean, right?
Now on another track, am dabbling with metaphysics and meditation et al! All my calmness developed over a period of 2 years suddenly seems to evaporate in the face of this mini-crisis!
I was reading this wonderful book “the sun my heart” by Thich Nhat Hanh and in that book he has written a wonderful piece which talks about doing daily chores! In complete awareness, in complete peace and joy!
I totally loved the concept, reading further, he mentions that washing utensils is almost a meditative process, it’s not just the soiled bowl that you are washing, and it has to give you as much joy as bathing the Baby Buddha! I was just admiring the concept while I read it!
And the very next day my maid was gracious enough to take a two day leave and leave me with a tubful of soiled bowls n plates…ok baby buddhas!
I actually carefully pushed back my lovely satin night dress sleeves and began washing the utensils…suddenly I recalled the reading! And I said let me give it a try! Let me really imagine these soiled bowls as baby Buddhas…
Trust me my hands suddenly slowed down! All cynicism and ill will and grudge towards the maid or rather her absence just dissolved! Each bowl seemed to have its own personality, a finer nuance and different edge. Many a memory of the pleasant meal came to the fore, the bits of chicken n mushroom rice, bowl with golden threads from the mango juice we had last night, filaments of onion from the French onion soup all brought back such nice warm feelings! All the compliments got from Hubby dear and all those approving nods from my father-in-law! Those smiles and discussions at the dinner table! How much does a soiled plate contain! And then I realized, every day a new memory, every day a new taste, we create, we consume and we clean! Now if a bowl is used a thousand times, it’s like the human body caught in the web of karma, we are born, we have our karma, we die and again we are born! And it flashed upon my mind in a moment of peace, what exactly the venerable monk must have meant when he said washing bowls can be as joyous as bathing a Baby Buddha!
Buddha walked through this journey of life escaped the clutches of karma and rebirth. If we recall him during mundane chores, we can amply realize the beauty of this life, the impermanence of things and yet their riveting maze!
The lukewarm soap suds and the gurgling water seemed to approve of my newly learnt philosophy lesson! They merrily played around my fingers…I smiled a knowing smile and put back the last plate I cleaned. With a different and calm feeling I went on with other chores, thanking my maid in the mind for giving me a chance to look at a mundane activity such as washing utensils, in such different light!
And wait; there is yet an end to this metro story! Guess what, after drying my hands I just saw a couple of missed calls on my phone…thinking it must be related to work, but no, it was from my maid! She had called up to say that she was not going to take the leave and wanted to come a bit late! Just because I hadn’t answered her call, she took the day off!
Trust me such times, an amateur peace seeker like me, is so tempted to lose all calm and yell!!! Breathe right in and breathe out slowly!!!!
Such is the story of the maid and meditation!

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