Weeding: Mindfulness in the garden

While I was sitting on my butt the other day weeding the garden and walkway, I recalled a story about a Zen abbot of a monastery who would reserve the most tedious tasks for himself, and specifically weeding the garden. Weeding to him had to be performed rather meticulously in order to be performed perfectly and could not be left to novices. Of course, to me while I can understand weeding as a Zen kind of activity I still struggle with the urge to yank weeds (leaving roots for another round) or to just get the easy or obvious ones. I think the point of the story is to apply mindfulness to every moment of everyday life. If we go for easy superficial results or yank some surface defects while leaving the roots, we have not worked mindfully. We have accomplished nothing. But we will always have another chance.

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