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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5 thoughts on “Accumulation and Cleaning”

  1. I had a chuckle when I saw the fridge pic. My carpooling buddy and I had this long morning chat about him cleaning his fridge this weekend and how long it took. Way too long I think. But he spoke of the “accumulation” and how it just seems to appear without one taking notice.

    1. Yes, I can see why you would smile gay. However, to do a proper job so no more mold will ever grow, from what I read, will take a long time. But with ‘accumulation’ and having to get it all out to clean, cleaning will take time.

  2. I finally found your site, and almost immediately stumble on this! Cleaning is like my anti-forté, a nemesis of sorts. My fridge is constantly filled. I set my intention to eat up what is there, clean out what has passed beyond healthy consumption, ready for a deep clean. But every time I open the door to look again it seems more full than ever. And the more I consume the more accumulates (both in the fridge and round my waist). And the smell grows. A self-fulfilling cycle. Until finally, the fridge shelf collapsed under the weight forcing a wholescale clean out and reevaluation.
    For now, the fridge smells fresh again, and is working so much better. Now the real work is to make regular checks, to leave space for the fridge to breathe, and only adding to the shopping trolley what is truly needed and not just desired.

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