Do you know the Rule of Twenty? After staring at the computer screen as I write the next sentence of the fourth Djinn Chronicles novel, my eyes feel like they’ve been sandpapered. So I try every twenty minutes to stand and stare twenty feet for twenty seconds.
Today as I was dutifully staring at the tree that’s twenty feet away in my yard, I heard the rhythmic beeping of my robovac. Stuck. Somewhere. Found it entangled in a forgotten electrical cord. Helped the little thing get free and sent it on its merry way.
I watched it churn away from me,
and watched it,
and watched it.
It went across the floor and under the bed, brushes whirring inside the round black exterior marked with white streaks from its firm resolve to overcome the low clearance of our kitchen cabinets. I studied the dust ruffle. When would it come out from under the bed? What did it encounter under there? Then it emerged, indefatigable, never hurrying, always sure of its path. A perfect example of mindfulness.
I watched as it angled towards me. I was mesmerized. It halted in front of me and swiveled around in a graceful arc. Then steady on across to the dresser, where it vanished underneath. I thought of the dust bunnies it bravely encountered, not gasping in disgust as I would. Completely non-judgemental. A paragon of dharma.
Out it wandered from the dresser, straight across the floor, then for no reason changing directions, angling to the closet. Going about its business in a calm and peaceful way, never complaining, forever focused on its job. Each rotation of its tiny brushes fulfilling its karma.
The continuous whir of its advance, the hum of its small motors. I blinked from my deep contemplation, feeling peculiarly relaxed. My eyes felt lubricated, the scratchiness gone. I had to force myself to turn away from the robovac and shut the door, leaving it to its continuing chores.
As I returned to my writing, I wondered at the penetrating calm I felt.
Who knew that a robovac meditation could yield such transcendence? I now have another reason (other than it eliminating my having to vacuum) to love my little dharma master.