In Hinduism, the holy trinity is Brahma the God of Creation, Shiva the God of Destruction and Vishnu the God of Preservation. In the West, we love the God of Creation, we’re intrigued by the God of Destruction, but most people don’t even know the God of Preservation exists! What’s interesting about this is that while it’s true that in every moment change is occurring and something is being created or destroyed, it is equally true that the majority of the time, what’s at play is simple preservation; the basic tending of life. And yet, rarely do we talk about it, let alone bring real worship to these moments.
These are the parts of life that are mundane. We wake up every day and brush our teeth, we make breakfast for ourselves and our children, pack their lunches, we pay bills and then dinner time rolls around, and we have to eat all over again. We spend hours vacuuming floors, doing the dishes, making beds, driving to work, and watering our gardens and most of us would agree that if we could afford to outsource at least some of these tasks (if not all of them), we probably would.
And all these tasks are in the realm of the God of Preservation.
The God of Preservation is lord of unsexy work and the work that’s never done. We’re never done doing the dishes, the laundry or vacuuming—we will do these things over and over again until we die. And that can be hard to deal with, hard to continuing soldiering on every day, because we don’t get whatever neurological hit we’re used to getting when we can check things off the list as done forever.
We are bored by the work of the God of Preservation, and boredom in the West really interests me.
When I lived in a Buddhist monastery, we would sit and meditate for long periods of time, and everyone got bored at some point. The teacher told us how the Buddha taught that boredom was the final threat to enlightenment, and saving ourselves from boredom can sometimes get in the way of our spiritual growth. I can see what he meant—it’s another way we refuse to worship the god of preservation.
We are all so afraid of feeling bored that we have a boredom avoidance epidemic. We avoid it like the plague and because of this, we miss the whole point. Being willing to just feel bored is actually only the first part.
Most people won’t go sit in a monastery for years at a time, but everyone has to shower, brush their teeth, vacuum the floor, and wash the dishes at some point, and it’s through bringing actual devotion to these tasks that we can experience the second part. By bringing deeper awareness to mundane moments, and training our minds to see all the beauty that is always there, we begin to access a life in which every moment has ecstatic potential.
If we devote ourselves to the God of Preservation, we learn to stay with boredom, and eventually, the whole world in every moment opens up to us. As George Washington Carver said, “Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough.” So why not find ways to relish doing laundry? Or when you brush your teeth, do it as an offering of devotion to the God of preservation. Are you willing to truly love these moments enough for them to give up their secrets?
Life itself is a living meditation and if we are willing to be devoted and give our full attention to the things that our life actually requires of us, we will see quickly that there’s really no such thing as a boring moment.
If you find this interesting, watch the video below where I go into more detail:
Normal, 'Boring' LifeorEveryday MagicYou choose!
Posted by Kendra Cunov on Monday, June 11, 2018