I lead a very happy life but there’s some stuff that majorly gets me down. Namely: sorting laundry, washing dishes, and generally tidying up. I’m the free-floating absent-minded professor type. This means that I can get easily irked by the repetitive maintenance tasks of daily life which seem to distract me from thinking great thoughts. Sometimes when I’m feeling super-enlightened I take the time to practice silent mindfulness during these less-than-thrilling tasks. I persuade myself to be fully present while I scrub my pots; smell the hot soapy water, feel the rough brillo pad in my hand.
Other times I give in to the urge to entertain myself.
I know a lot of people like to listen to music while doing housework. For me, music is lovely and all, but not enough to take my mind off the tedium. I need something stronger. I need fresh ideas delivered by witty or profound speakers. I need lectures on youtube.
My tastes in lecture-listening are fairly eclectic. Sometimes I like to learn about cutting-edge nutrition while I spruce up my bathroom, and for this purpose I find Dr. Neal Barnard very compelling. Other times I like to hear far-out cultural visionaries like Robert Anton Wilson who are so good at pointing out the limits of the crazy paradigms we live within. My very favorite listening material, though, is the revolutionary inquirer, Byron Katie, whose deep gift for compassionately helping people find the truth never stops inspiring me.
By listening to luminaries while I sort out my black socks from my white, I give my mind fuel for rich reflection and keep the boredom of chores from getting me down.