Cleaning out this fridge taught me a few lessons about waste.
1. Cleaning out a fridge is very much like cleaning out one’s mind. It keeps your food (or thoughts) fresh, but is often dirtier or more clogged than you expect.
2. Any cleaning process requires meticulousness but also patience, qualities we may think of as contradictory. One of my greatest spiritual teachers often said “Bring your mind where your hands are.”
3. I started out trying to clean the fridge without focusing on a specific part, and trying to get it generally clean. But soon I found it more efficient to focus on a specific part and do a good job on a smaller area before moving on. So too is it better in life to direct focused and genuine attention to a few things rather than scattering the mind constantly and overreaching.
4. A definition of meditation is to sit and let things happen to you (vipassana). No matter what happens to you or around you, you sit and let the vicissitudes of the mind pass. But meditation can happen even while doing a repetitive action, like scrubbing. As I worked my way around the fridge, I began to settle into a familiar rhythm and opened my ears to the sounds of nature around me (I was cleaning in my backyard), and all the details of the sensation of cleaning. The experience became present. authentic.
5. Next time, wait until the fridge is empty before buying new foods to avoid spoilage and neglect. That way, you will be aware of how much you waste and only consume based on necessity. Fill the mind with good thoughts intentionally, not just any thoughts for the sake of being occupied.
On a different note, cold and rainy days mean it’s time for seasonal foods and colorful foods!
Stay warm and cozy : )