Dharma Glimpse by Sam Johnson
My sister has just bought a new house with her partner, and I am going to be moving in with them. They do not need to move out of their old place for another couple of weeks, but the house had been left in a poor state, and lots of cleaning and fixing needs to be done before the house is fit for moving into. This task has fallen primarily to me, since I do not work during the summer.
It is my turn to write a dharma glimpse, but I think to myself, ‘I do not feel very dharma-y’. This job is frustrating. There is so much to do in so little time, and the heat wave makes it much less pleasant. I find myself eager to have the work be done, and taking no pleasure in completing tasks. And it is difficult at times to feel motivated. Is there a way to change this?
I realise that part of what makes me feel this way is that I am thinking of the task as simply something that I ‘have to do’, and I do not have clearly in mind the benefits. The work may seem more meaningful if I can visualise living happily in the house afterwards. That’s a motivation to get me going. But that will still make me want to rush towards the end goal and take no pleasure in the work itself. To find more joy in the work itself, can I think of it as sacred activity, like cleaning the body of the Buddha? I can try.
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