Rest While You Work

by Rachel Miller

June 11, 2021

Notice when you’re rushing. Notice the sense of urgency behind your movements, the urgency to complete a task. 

Why are you rushing? You have in your mind that the next action will be better: “The sooner I complete x, the sooner I can sit down.” However, the same mind you have now is the same mind you will take to the next activity. The hurriedness, the stress—it’s in your mind, not the task itself.

Immerse yourself in the task at hand. It is in the immersion—the absolute focus on one thing at a time—that we find reprieve. Distraction leads to fatigue. Anything can be a source of meditation if we allow it: driving, cooking, dishwashing. Engage in even the smallest actions that make up each task. Notice when your thoughts drift to other things and gently bring your awareness back to the present. Notice your body, posture, and the sensations that arise when you engage fully in the present. Notice the satisfaction that arises when you lose yourself in action.

Perhaps, it is not the absence of work that we long for, but the absence of distraction—the serenity of an undisturbed mind. A mind that is focused on one thing at a time. A satisfying calm arises when our thoughts are consumed with nothing more than a single object of focus. This is not the result of the activity itself but our state of mind: the serenity of undisrupted thought. That serenity can be found in any task, no matter what it is. We need only choose to bring our full awareness to the undertaking.  

Immerse yourself in the task at hand: 

  • Use this as a signal: notice when you’re rushing. 
  • Remember, at any time and in any situation, you have the ability to bring the state of mind you desire. Even the most undesired chore can be a source of calm if you choose to engage yourself fully in the task before you. You want to relax? Do so now. It’s all in your state of mind.

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Comments (3)

  1. taren says:

    this blog is awesome

    1. admin_tcm says:

      Thank you so much!

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