I’m going to start a series I call “Dish This” because often while I am doing the mundane task of washing dishes, my mind wanders and plays with all sorts of ideas.
So, just a minute ago while I was washing my dishes, and my kids were entertaining themselves with their shows (it’s spring break here), I was thinking about hurrying up on the dishes so I can get to watching this video that my husband just shared with me about Tesla, considered by Albert Einstein and many others as the smartest man who ever lived, talking about spirituality and how he gets his ideas. You see, I’ve been reading and listening to various spiritual leaders, writers and scientists on the topic of spirituality and consciousness. My mind finds it absolutely fascinating and overwhelming. It’s hard to wrap my mind around all the information that is out there. I’m having a hard time organizing and comprehending it all in my brain, but I’m also giggling like a child because diving into all these ideas is exciting and opens new possibilities to life. Yes, of course, there’s more to life than this – washing dishes, cleaning toilets, folding laundry – whatever THIS may be for you – but it must be done, and it can be done with joy.
Now, it has been found and I have experienced, as I know many people have, that bringing your awareness to the present moment in any task that you do is the key. Be mindful of the washing of dishes, I say to myself. I hear the clinking of the plates as I lift one up against another, feeling its weight. As I begin scrubbing I hear the sound of the water and the sponge lapping and swirling against the plate. I see every caked on piece of cheese and scrub it off with my non-scratch sponge, gaining a small sense of accomplishment and pleasure each time I remove the leftover food. I delight in the fact that no matter how hard I scrub, I cannot scratch or harm my plates because 1) my sponge is “non-scratch” and 2) my plates are hard core restaurant quality ceramic plates that my dad gifted me after closing his restaurant. Those plates are unbreakable and will be passed onto my children’s children’s children. Anyways, not only do I scrub the food off each plate, but these plates still go through a dishwasher. Yes, I am one of those people. Have no doubts that you eat on clean dishes when you come to my house.
So, you get the point. I can find joy in washing dishes. I sure can. I have done it enough times already that I don’t even have to be mindful of the dishes to recall what I just recalled. And truthfully, my mindful moment doing the dishes just before I sat down to write this was just a moment. Because the act of doing dishes now is more like meditation to me, and meditation to me is not thinking of nothing. It is letting the thoughts come and go, and I have lots of them. Some of them are gems, but because I am washing dishes, I can’t write them down. So, I have to hope I can remember the thought that just passed through me and make some sort of sense of it in my writing.
So, dish this…
I picked my daughter’s name flipping through a baby name book. My heart immediately connected with it when I saw it. I loved the way it sounded when I said it, and I loved the fact that I could sing it very easily. I honestly cannot remember what the book said the name means, but I didn’t pick it for the meaning, although I remember liking the meaning. When my husband told a co-worker the name, she asked if we were Hindu because it was a Hindu concept. No, we didn’t know it was Hindu. The baby name book made no mention of Hindu origins. It was only later that I looked the name up and found that it was Sanskrit and loosely translated as “play.” Playful might have been the meaning in the baby name book, but it did not mention Sanskrit. Of course, I love that my daughter’s name means play and that it has Hindu/Sanskrit origins now that I know a little bit more about the idea of Leela. In a nutshell, leela or lila, answers the question why the universe was created. To put it not so eloquently, this universe is the natural and spontaneous result of God in play. It’s all a leela, a play. When God is playing or having fun, God manifests itself in multiple ways, and we are one of them. We are from God, we are a part of God, we live in God. Yea, God is all around us. When we leave our bodies, guess what? We get merged back with God, and God will probably spit us right back out in some form or another. I know I’m not explaining all this in the most eloquent way, but hey, I’m playing, just like you God. I love to play because it is fun and has no purpose other than fun and when I’m having fun, that’s when the creativity happens. So why not see you in the same way God? Why not? I play, I have fun, I create and repeat. You know, I have an actual Leela. She is fun, so fun. And I am learning so much about myself raising her. Thank you so much for giving her to me, and for everyone else that you have put in my path.
Won’t you come out and play? When you bring your awareness to the present, you enable God to see the world through your eyes and you allow God to work through you. God made the universe, but God is also discovering the universe through your eyes and wants to create through you. You are not separate from God, but you are in God, you sustain God and when you leave your body, you merge back to God. God is the universe. The universe is expanding and there is no end in sight. My mind has so many questions when I try to understand all of this, and all different versions of this, that it either goes crazy or shuts down. I want to make logical sense of God, but can that really be done? I can spend eternity reading and studying all the literature by divinely inspired beings, and argue this or question that, and try to explain this or clarify that, or try to figure out why this and not that. What I see often is that it is all rejected and described as “woo-woo.” I understand because it is a lot to wrap a mind around. But I delight in what I like to call “whoo-hoo” because what fun is life if you think you need to know and understand it all? Just live it. Do I really need to know or understand the purpose of anything, really? Maybe God doesn’t even know why or how God exists, and thus this life as we know it so far is God’s lila, where life manifests itself through the joyful act of “playing.”
Do you know how to play? I do, but I forget from time to time. And when I forget, life feels so heavy. I have to remind myself daily to be present and to not fear any of the thoughts that come. I can play with these thoughts, however, and see them for what they are, just thoughts. And those thoughts that make my heart flutter and my eyes widen with excitement, are the thoughts I should follow. All other thoughts, I should let go. It’s a daily practice. I will revisit this idea of play many times, but right now I have to play with my kids, the best practice of all. 🙂