Working meditation

Today I scolded myself for not spending enough time on my spiritual pursuits and drowning myself in work instead. Due to recent changes in my lifestyle, I am constantly busy, and the first thing to get struck off the list is my chanting. And meditation is a distant memory.

Yet, only a few minutes later, a voice in my head said, “Who made these rules? That you must chant or meditate in order to attain spiritual growth?”

“Well, the sages do,” I replied, “and it does always make me feel calmer and happier when I do so too. I feel more aware, conscious of my thoughts and the sensations in my body. In the moment.”

“So does that mean you aren’t feeling calmer and happier these days?” the voice persisted.

I paused to review my life condition. “I love working, so it is not a burden. There was some amount of stress initially, but I have worked on my responses, and converted it into a sort of ‘good stress’, which makes me feel alive, purposeful, useful. I find my peace in silent moments amidst a busy day, or a CD of Vedic mantras in the car, or my ‘mindfulness bell’ on my Android app. During these moments, I go within and become aware of my sensations and thoughts. When I sleep, I accept and then let go of obsessive thoughts, and consciously dream to release myself. Overall, I am still calm and happy.”

“So why scold yourself for not chanting or meditating? Perhaps there is a time and place for everything?”

A rush of knowingness swept through me. “Yes,” I said silently. “Perhaps even work can be a spiritual practice. There are a 100 paths to enlightenment, after all, and they are all correct.”

And lo, the voice in my head flew into the universe and sent me this poem on Paulo Coelho’s blog minutes later:

Wanderer, your footsteps are
the road, and nothing more;
Wanderer, there’s no road,
the road is made by walking.
By walking one makes the road,
and seeing behind the vista,
one sees the path that will
never be travelled again.
Wanderer, there’s no road,
only waves in the sea.
(Antonio Machado)


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