Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

I so enjoy hearing from you...so leave me a comment; it'll make my day!

Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Saturday, October 29, 2011

If You Have Eaten...You Should Wash Your Bowl

There is a Zen story that goes something like this...
A young monk had just entered the monastery and went to Joshu saying "Please teach me."

The old man asks, "Have you eaten your rice porridge?"


"Then you should wash your bowl."

It is said that at that moment the young monk received enlightenment.

I don't know if I can claim 'enlightenment' from these simple words, but I've been thinking about this story a lot. And it's changing my perspective.

I  must admit, I leave trails; just like those speckled slugs in the back yard that leave that glistening, gooey, slimy path as they crawl along. Now I'm not filthy, mind you... I just get interested in things...then disinterested. Or distracted. Or busy. So there are stacks of books and magazines on the coffee table, right next to the knitting project and the camera and the laptop and my Nook. (Truthfully, the books are EVERYWHERE.)  My dresser collects post-it notes from work, scarves and earrings, last month's bank statement, and photographs I need to put into albums.

But life happens and the photographs gather dust and the post-it notes become meaningless and the checkbook goes unbalanced. The books are half-read and when I pick up the knitting it takes a while to remember what pattern I am doing. And somehow the colors of the yarn aren't as pretty as I thought they were when I started the project last month.

Lately I'm making an effort to 'wash my bowl.' To stay in the moment instead of rushing from one thing to the next. To honor and appreciate what I have and where I am--right this very minute.

I've started to hang up my coat right when I get home; instead of tossing it on a chair. Started being grateful that I have a coat... thinking about the person who made it. I guess it was probably someone in China or maybe India. Who took the time to carefully piece and sew the seams and zipper? How much did they earn? I'd like to thank them for doing a good job; for the soft, plaid flannel lining and the snug hood. Since I can't say thank-you directly, I honor their work by hanging the coat up...carefully.


When I leave for work these days, I make it a point to fold the afghans on the sofa and chair, instead of leaving them in a heap. It only takes a minute. But it's satisfying.

There are lots of things like that...closing doors and turning out lights. Putting the blow-dryer back under the cabinet. Taking the pennies I found in the laundry and putting them into hubby's coin jar.
Happy I'm not scraping pennies together to pay for gas or groceries. (I once did, you know.)

I used to just clean my house.

Now I am learning that if I have eaten,

 I should wash my bowl.



ellen b. said...

Very good encouragement here Debora. It can really make a difference for some peace in the home...

Linda O'Connell said...

This was an inspirational and affirming Sunday post. Thank you! Now, I am off to move my stacks around and dust a bit.

jojo said...

lovely Sunday morning post. You are living with intention, not any easy task but so worthwhile!

Rebecca said...

You've really made "washing the bowl" LESS a mystery and MORE of a challenge for me, Brenda. You are SO right. I can identify with many of your personal examples and have added a few of my own!

Anonymous said...

My goodness! You have no idea how timely this post was and how much I needed this advise. My laziness has been bothering me so much. This post has helped inspire me to follow suit. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love your blog. God bless!

Ocean Soul said...

Thanks for that reminder to 'wash our bowl'. Attitudes of gratitude...they make such a difference, not just for us, but for those around us. I guess this means that now I have to fold the afghan on my couch too?!! LOL.

Anneliese said...

Great thoughts! It reminded me of a poem I learned when I was about 11 years old. I was just thinking that I have a hard time memorizing things now, but there are things I memorized as a young girl that have stuck.

"If a task is once begun, never leave it till it's done, be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all."

Amish Stories said...

Im glad that you were able to take these pictures of the leaves changing, well done and i loved looking at them. Richard

Elizabeth said...

This is such a beautiful, inspiring post, Debora - both words and photographs. Thank you. x


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