With only two residents still, and plenty of staff to attend to their needs, my days volunteering at the newly renovated Zen Hospice Guest House have been quite an adjustment from the earlier busyness on the Laguna Honda ward. Yesterday was no exception. No sitting at the bedside of the residents. I was asked to sweep the back porch instead. Of course, expecting mind had ideas of its own, about what I should be doing as a hospice volunteer. Bedrock of wisdom acknowledged the thought, and dismissed it quickly, before it had a chance to turn into irritation. Different conditions were calling for sweeping, and that's all.
Sweeping meditation . . . breathing in, breathing out with each back and forth of the broom. Eyes engaged with the tiny leaves and twigs to be brushed away. And the joy of oh! so soft breeze in this very special place.
Whatever we do, whether we write a book or chop carrots, it only matters how we do it. Most people believe writing a book is much more important than chopping vegetables. But whenever we act with total mindfulness and let go of our desire for results - which is easier when chopping carrots than when writing a book - we are observing the Buddha's guidelines. It's not 'I' who am doing it, it's just something that needs to be done. That's a useful criteria for any activity. The 'I' that enters the scene is the old troublemaker, creating all sorts of waves of emotions, which do not bring a happy and tranquil mind.
~ Ayya Khema, Be an Island ~What needs to get done in your life, at this moment?