Category Archives: Housekeeping

Precious Posts Remembered – Your Help Requested

Something precious
Something precious

Out on a beach or walking a path we pick up something that catches our eye. I’ve a pine cone on my altar which I picked up beside the river Dee in Scotland last year when out for a walk there. One of these fine days I will take it off for a walk and leave it beside a path.

It has been eight years since I started writing regularly here. Much water has passed under the bridge since then and very many posts have passed down the page. Now in a few days I’ll be taking a couple of week to sit still and reflect on these past years and contemplate what might be ahead. It will be a time for looking within and a time of reflection. In the next few days I will be working on pre publishing posts which will appear each day at 4.00 p.m. GMT. I’d like to invite you to help suggest posts from the past that are worthy to be republished. I’ll be going through old posts as a lead into retreat reflections.

Do you recall a posts which had particular significant to you? Memorable ones which perhaps helped you to see and understand something at greater depth. Or a photograph you simply love to bits which says it all with no, or few, words? Like shells on the beach, stones on the path the posts can be picked up, appreciated anew and then set aside. If you have something to say about the post(s) you choose, then let me know that too. If you left a comment to the post I will republish that as well.

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Accumulation and Cleaning

Clean fridge - Ah! that's better.
Ah! that’s better.

Each time I enter the local corner shop I breath in a now familiar smell. In the back of my mind I wonder what it is and where does it come from. Now I know! This morning opening the fridge where I’m house sitting the same smell wafted out. Fridge mold can insinuate itself slowly until I guess it gets to critical mass. Neither afraid or ashamed I had at it and cleaned the fridge thoroughly. Too bad I didn’t consult the internet before doing so as using the right cleaning agents insure the mold never returns. Here’s one persons step by step guide to fridge cleaning and mold elimination.

Mold and dirt and dust accumulate over time, as does the accumulation of clothes, books, shoes, tools, fixings, paperwork – the list goes on and on. These past weeks I’ve been helping somebody to resolve things, that’s to recycle and move on the accumulation of a life time. My pleasure. Each time a substantial amount leaves the house somehow breathing becomes easier.

As I carefully and enthusiastically tackled the fridge I was mentally moving towards what else needed cleaning. What could I clean next? Indeed some people can spend a good part of their day cleaning and tidying, whether it’s needed or not! One persons OK for the moment is another persons life work. We are all built differently, have unique mental/emotional capacities and the standards we attempt to uphold can be self evidently RIGHT.

Anybody who has been on a retreat in our tradition will know the first scheduled activity after meditation and scripture singing is….cleaning! It’s not as if the place is dirty it’s just that grunge and cobwebs and the like accumulate imperceptibility over time and need to be kept up with. It took me awhile to realize the everyday life teaching embedded within these early morning, cold and hungry, work periods. And the appreciation deepens and is still deepening.

From the Heart Sutra: No accumulation, no annihilation. – And still we live our days attentively noticing and dealing with that which comes to us. Ultimately there isn’t a measuring stick one can apply to our efforts, or to the efforts of others. One thing is for sure though, condemnation of oneself, and of others, is an accumulation that’s best kept up with.

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