A new monk went to the Master and said, “I have just entered the monastery: please give me some guidance.”
The master asked, “Have you eaten your rice gruel?”
“Yes I have eaten”, the novice answered.
“Then go wash your bowl,” the master advised.
– Zen saying
Simple living isn’t boring as some might think.
Consider that much of the world goes about everyday tasks mindlessly.
We are living in the middle of a sensationalistic world and seek the next best thing constantly.
Something as mundane as washing your bowl may seem boring to most.
For the student of Zen or for those that have found the lessons of mindful living this task is a gift.
Even the most simple tasks may prove much more fulfilling when we make each mindful.
At our house we have fallen into “tea time”. Tea time is at 3pm every day.
Even our young son looks forward to tea time.
It’s that time of day when we decide that everything in the world stops.
We sit down to just have a cup of tea.
Our son of course was originally admittedly coaxed into it by the promise of a snack.
The joy of it is that no matter what we find ourselves doing we stop for a moment and live in the moment.
This time in our lives has brought us so much happiness that we now strive to look at ways to be more mindful.
It has made us grateful for the simple moment.
Other ideas we have incorporated into our lives have added to that joy:
Get up early together to spend some time to connect before we go on with our day.
Make a point to speak positively whenever possible.
Make the few purchases that you make count by buying quality items each year.
Spend less on clothes, therefore less time on laundry.
Cook simple meals at home.
Make a point to do kind things for those that you love.
We choose not to beat ourselves up when we stray from the present moment. Life is training and a journey. Productivity is no longer our main goal. We pay attention to work when we should and then we leave it behind.
Then we just drink tea.