Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sacred Chores

I often find repetitive physical work to be a kind of meditation. So I wanted to share with you a sacred moment I had recently.

The trees near me are finally done dropping their leaves, which means I couldn't continue to put off the raking of the yard. I told myself I would wait until all the leaves were down. Now the work needed to get done if I wanted any kind of lawn in the spring, and I had to do it before all the plants under those leaves died. Since this is a job that I do only once every year, I decided to make it into a simple little sacred moment.

My Ritual:
I smudged my rake saying, "May this tool become an extension of my hand and follow the directions of my desire." (This is my stock request when purifying a tool that isn't one of my usual ritual tools.)

I smudged myself saying, "May this work bring strength to my body, focus to my mind, and peace to my spirit."

That's all it took. I then spent half the day raking leaves. I spent time thinking about the benefits of my actions. Here's what came to me:
1. My body gets a workout, which is good for me.
2. I didn't have to use fossil fuels to get the work done.
3. I didn't have to fill the neighborhood with the screams of a blower and my hearing wasn't damaged by a machine.
4. I am able to scratch away the thatch in the lawn so it can grow healthier.
5. I am able to pay attention to the insects and herbs that live in my lawn -- things I wouldn't see if I wasn't putting so much attention on the ground.
6. I was able to stomp back into place all the feeding raceways left by the mole that visited by this summer for a feeding frenzy.
7. I was able to focus my thinking undisturbed for about 3 hours on spiritual feelings and strengthen my connection to nature.

Turning mundane work into sacred moments can rewarding and fun if you have the right perspective.