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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

If you are mindful, you can see beauty in everything you do

Life's beauty is not in the big events alone. Life unfolds beautifully in the normal, mundane, humdrum of everyday living.

Indeed a wedding, the birth of your child, the success at a job, a windfall – all of these call for celebrations. But even an everyday chore like putting washed clothes away or doing the dishes is beautiful. For the last several days, we have had to cope without the support of a maid. My wife and I have divided the chores between us, with our daughter chipping in here and there. Though initially it seemed strange doing stuff that we normally get done, I soon realized that here was a beautiful opportunity to practice mindfulness. The key about practising mindfulness is to be aware of what you are doing. When you fold clothes to put them away, watch your fingers do such precise work. See the beauty of technology that has allowed you to have your clothes washed reasonably painlessly. Or count your blessings, if you have a maid, who has washed them for you and even folded them__and that all you need to do is to put them away. Every time I have had to step in and help with household chores, I have felt compassionate for the people who collaborate, with reasonable precision, to make our everyday lives painless and seamless – the newspaper delivery person, the milkman, the flower seller lady who drops off the flowers for my wife for the daily pooja, the mineral water supplier, the launderer, the maid, the neighborhood grocer and the person who delivers our cooking gas each month…the list could still go on. I often think how crazy our Life would be without the contributions of these nameless, often faceless, foot soldiers. Whenever I think of them, I pause to send them my positive energy.

There's beauty in every moment if we are aware. Thich Nhat Hanh (a.k.a Thay), the Vietnamese Buddhist Monk says, there is beauty even in the way we open or close a door. To whatever action, says Thay, if we apply the desire to be aware and mindful, it becomes a way of making peace. In the 2010 Hollywood movie 'Barney's Version' (Richard J Lewis, Paul Giannati, Rosamund Pike, Dustin Hoffman), the main protagonist Mariam, tells the lead character Barney, "Life's real. It's made of little things. Minutes, hours, naps, errands, routine__and it has to be enough!"

So, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, do it mindfully. Then, and only then, will you see the beauty in everything__whether you are doing some spring cleaning at home or dropping your kids off at their play dates. If you can make each day mindful and meaningful, you will be soaked in peace and you Life will be ever so beautiful!

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