beloved life practices 7: love the manual task


REFLECTION: ‘One aspect of our disconnection from the earth and from our own bodies is the loss, for many of us, of our connection to manual work. Of course few of us would welcome a life of tough manual labour. And it’s good that human ingenuity has meant that many of the most repetitive, tough and dangerous tasks are now done by machines. But perhaps we’ve lost something if we rarely have the opportunity to engage in a manual task, and to give the task our attention, our care, even our devotion…’


beloved life: love the manual task
beloved life: love the manual task


PRACTICE: Love the Manual Task is about reconnecting ourselves with physical work. Like many of the practices and stances in Running Over Rocks this has its beginnings in the way that we see things. Stacking wood, lighting the fire, or putting out the bins will each just be more tasks to be done and finished as fast as possible unless we learn to see and sense the worth, dignity and possibility in each task. So whatever the manual task that needs doing today, give it your attention. Sense the dignity of the task and the importance of doing it well. Allow the act to become a wordless prayer, entering into the earthy at-oneness of all things. Sense mind and body, task and thought coming together…’

©Ian Adams 2013 ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around this week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

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