Thursday 26 August 2010

And my toothbrush gently thinks . . .

Whenever I take my toothbrush in the morning or night, a train of thoughts encompasses my mind. It almost seems as if my mind is waiting for the comfort of the bathroom and the instrument called toothbrush. The whole process of brushing lasts for about a minute or at the most a minute and a half, but even in that, the mind never stands still.

In the morning, it is planning for the day and at night, it is planning for the next day. Sometimes I consciously try to stop myself and concentrate only on the brushing, as the Zen masters advise. I succeed for two days and then actually forget that I had planned to concentrate. 

Every act has to have its own intrinsic worth but it never happens that way. Guilty as I feel, sometimes even while praying, I catch my thoughts trying to sneak into my thesis or such. I don't much like it that way. I would like to give each act the concentration and self-worth it requires. But alas, the human mind has other plans!!

Now as I write this post, I think that I have to brush and complete the editing for the day. You know it is marvellous to see how the mind can think on two tracks or even more but it steals the joy that belongs to each act.

Well, today as I brush, I would like to be loyal to the brush, toothpaste and teeth. I shall try not to betray the act of brushing my teeth, and cheat that time with my thesis.

Stay focused. Do you have a problem like me. Maybe . . .
Ah, nothing is impossible, you know.

Image courtesy: Internet


  1. stilling the mind can be so hard at times...the thoughts keep cascading...for me it takes breat patience and often seclusion to reach even a dull roar...and i need to brush my teeth...

  2. Susan,
    Sometimes, no, very often, I drive to places and I wonder how I got there... what was happening on a spot, but can't remember... so it happens that when I am brushing my teeth, that's the only thing I am not thinking about. How can we stop these minds of ours?

    Should do more meditation...

    Meanwhile, next time I brush my teeth at least I'll think about you and will try to concentrate in what at doing or only the two things i.e you and the brushing... as I now do when I look at the moon.. (now FULL!)

    Smiles ;)

  3. and only you, dear susan, could possibly find something so profound in the act of brushing one's teeth! only you! ;) great post, lady!

    and please forgive my tardiness in coming by - my days of late have found the weird bug i had returning with a vengeance plus my having two little ones every day and several nights a week - i am more than remiss with my visiting you and so many others! please do forgive! ;)

  4. Susan I shall look at brushing my teeth in a whole new way! Your words would be ringing loud and clear in my brain that it filled with monkeys!

  5. Oh Man!!! The same here... and its actually kinda frustrating at times. I mean I don't mind if my mind wanders off while I brush, but when I pray I would like it to stay focussed... but its so tough. Ever so often I have to drag it back and make it think what I want it to think. Sometimes I think my mind had a mind of its own!

  6. Brian:

    Patience and perseverance :)


    Now, you've got me smiling from ear to ear. I am quite a restless being. Even sitting in a place for more than fifteen minutes is a task but I do manage when I am forced while teaching, sitting for a presentation, etc.

    I see the moon . . . and I see you! Lots of love dear Dulce :)

  7. Jenean:

    Nice to see you. Ah, you don't have to ask for forgiveness. Come by whenever you are free. Take good care of yourself and don't exert yourself. Big hugs :)


    You are a yoga teacher, I'm sure you would be scoring high in this area. I admire all practitioners of yoga and yes, I do sincerely :)

  8. Karen:

    While praying, it is real funny when I start observing myself. It is something like this:

    Me: Close your eyes, don't dare wander

    Mind: The chapters. Maybe this should . . .

    Me: Ah! Shut up. Be here. NOW. Don't think.

    Mind: %2&*@

    Me: Forced concentration

  9. Total fun. Hilarious post! What all you think man! Honestly a nice post and good observation. Beauty lies in doing small small things properly... and the pic is so funny! :)

  10. Ahhh susan, I knew it ! I knew it that you do such things. :D
    Welcome to the club ! Well you might be pleased to know that I’m the founder and president of this club. :)

    Well you see I do such things only when I’m doing something without interest. And when I’m doing something which I love to do then I don’t get anything in mind. :)

  11. Karan:

    When we start observing ourselves, everything is quite hilarious. Anything up-close is a bit funny. Try that and see. The picture definitely rocks. Google makes things so easier for us! I am glad you enjoyed this post :)


    You know ah. Nice to know that. Founder -- NO. President -- Maybe!
    You are right. I am actually quite interested in brushing my teeth, I wait for that time as I love being in the cool bathroom space. But what to do, the mind does not think so. It views brushing as a mundane activity.
    By the way, do you love brushing your teeth?

    As always it is a delight to read and reply to your comments.

    And I enjoyed the post on Mother Teresa in your place :)

  12. Hmm...I guess what you are saying is you want to be mindful about the act of brushing your teeth and that's not a bad idea. We rush through the so-called mundane things...even taking a shower...and don't pay attention to the actual act. Check out 'mindfulness' if you are interested. You have an interesting blog btw...

  13. PB:

    Welcome and glad to have you join the meanderings. We don't have cups of coffee but we do stimulate thoughts and words!

    I don't rush through my brushing session but don't give it the due respect :)

    Thanks for the kind words. It is much appreciated.

    Come by whenever there is time and inclination. Cheerio!

  14. its really difficult to concentrate on brushing as mind always keeps diverting :P loved that picture :D ROFL

  15. I don't think I get this while brushing my teeth as I'm urging my kids along to brush theirs, but I do tend to have a difficult time stilling my mind when I get in bed. Sometimes it takes a good half an hour to block every thought and fall asleep.

  16. Rajalakshmi:

    Welcome to the Meanderings and Reflections. Yes, indeed. Brushing is something where we can learn to tame our directionless mind. And, yes, the picture is quite funny. Thanks for your time.


    Long time. How have you been? Nice to see you here. Aama manadhu oru periya korangu :)

  17. Angie:

    Children are a delight but when it comes to tasks as these, they demand all our time and focus. In bed, I also face similar things. I have also written a post on it. With me it so happens that the thoughts lull me to sleep :)
    Glad to see you dear Angie!

  18. Hain !!! Why? Why not founder ??? ;)
    No I don’t love brushing my teeth but still I have to do it :(

  19. Asif:

    There are veterans like me so you don't stand a chance.
    I knew that you didn't like brushing your teeth, otherwise you would have said so.

    Better like it as you have to live with it!!!

  20. Our minds contain our egos, so no wonder they interfere with our struggles to just be in the moment. I think we all experience those interruptions from our thoughts when we are trying to meditate or pray.

    I love your take on this. I will be more aware while brushing my teeth from now on.

    Thanks for this post and for your lovely comments on my site.

  21. Dear Myrna, thanks for your kind words. I enjoy reading your blog's posts.
    You have rightly mentioned that the ego always interferes with the mind. One should be aware and not go through every action like a machine. Therein lies our challenge.

    Joy always :)

  22. Thoughts are like unruly kids, its so difficult to keep them still or pin them down. So, let them wander and enjoy the multi-tasking that your brain is doing :)

  23. I love the cartoon. lol :-)

  24. gr8 post, nt cos of the style of writing but cos of the way u hav brought such a petty yet significant activity in our days. Writing too is very interesting, though. Thanks.
    Happy writing.

  25. Shas:

    It is a challenge which I earnestly want to achieve. They need a leash. I should be controlling the, and not the other way around :)
    Thanks for coming by Shas.


    I like it as well :)

  26. Sunny:

    Thanks for the kind words. A million insignificant things make the larger picture so we better learn to observe and cherish them. And once in a while laugh because of them :)
    You have a good weekend and post frequently :)

  27. HI Susan!
    Aah! controlling the mind is a task in itself. I too have to constantly try to keep it from wandering and concentrate on the task in hand!
    The same goes for me, while I am praying and yes it irritates me.

    p.s. I had been home for about a week,have been down with flu. Am getting down to catching up on other posts now. :)
    Hope you have a cherful weekend Susan and loads of Best Wishes for your thesis.I am sure you will complete it with flying colours :)
    love and hugs

  28. Dear Ruchi: How nice to see you after long. I was wondering about you. Glad to see you again. Hope you are now feeling well and strong. Your presence was missed here, truly. Hope all at home are doing well and that you enjoyed your stay there. Joy and peace always :) Thanks for your wishes. I need them very much :)

  29. aaaah.....susan
    you thought about the poor thing !!!

    unique way of expressing things.

  30. I am yet to recover fully Susan...just wishing that it gets better soon :)
    I loved being home and everyone back there is doing fine with God's grace, thank you ! It is so very sweet of you to ask :)Your warmth is what makes you unique..
    My wishes will always be there for you...
    Take care and stay blessed.

  31. Nikita:

    Welcome to the meanderings. Nice to have you here. Poor thing, yes but an indispensable part of our routine.
    Thanks for your kind words :)


    You make me happy with you warm words and visits. Take good care or yourself. I wish you strength and robust health. Big hugs and much love :)

  32. i got a forwarded mail which had the same cartoon and a host of other graphics which talked about the worst jobs and the last line said something like this...every time you think your job sucks think about these and you shall feel blessed.Now get back to your job.
    Ok coming back to your post i guess only a Yogi can reach that stage of thoughless self where he gets an inner joy of his being.
    For the lesser mortals like you and me it's thus.Sneaking random thoughts meandering here and there.
    But i admire your thoughts here which speaks about enjoying each act for it's own worth.Beautiful!

  33. Thank you for your thoughts and a very funny cartoon.

  34. Shivani:

    A long time, indeed. Thanks for the visit and comment. Hope you have been well and happy. This cartoon was taken from the net of course giving due credits to the site from which it was taken.
    We can also do so in smaller pockets, I think. A yogi, of course is somewhere high up there but not an unattainable height!
    Your kind words make me glow with joy! Thanks, and it is from the depths.
    Have a glorious weekend filled with love and laughter.


    Welcome to the meanderings and thanks for your kind words. Have a good weekend smiling and dancing!

    Life is beautiful. Joy always.

  35. Susan, do I have a problem? Maybe. Surely. Yes. I'm trying to overcome it, but I think it's something that happens as one gets older. When I was younger, there was the single task focus that I needed to just do what I had to do, which most of the time involved having fun. Now, it seems I am always multi-tasking. I try to break that because it really disturbs my psyche, but unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of the time needed to just focus myself on one task. There is too much that needs my attention, and I have to give it, or else... but then, my attention is distracted, and broken, because I'm thinking about too many things all at once. Helpless, really!

    This summer, as I took time off of work and just tried to relax, I had more focus. Now that I am back at work, the mill begins to grind once more.

    But it's Friday afternoon, and I am smiling at the thought, right now. Thanks for a lovely little something to think about as I try to relax this weekend, Susan.


  36. Nevine:

    The helpless situation you are stating has become the norm of life these days. One is always rushing through everything. I somehow don't think that is quite good. Maybe little changes here and there should do the trick :)
    And how glad we are for the weekend! You have a lovely time focusing on one task at a time and not rushing through.

    Big hugs back to you dear Nevine :)

  37. Thank you Susan :)
    love you loads
    take care

  38. Very delightful thoughts on thoughts during tooth brushing.;)
    Let me see, I think I mostly think this; "Yay, what is that scary witch like face starring back at me?"
    Note: I have a mirror above my bathroom sink - a big one too.;)Every day I count new wrinkles while I brush my teeth. Hehe.;)

  39. I'm exactly like you, Susan. I'm not sure if I can be focus on things at all lately..I guess this is not such a good period for me in personal level.

    Love your witty post! Hilarious!
    Most definitely what I needed to hear today!

    B xx

  40. Zuzana:

    How delighted I am to see you again! Ah! growing old is growing wise dear Zuzana. Don't call yourself all that. You have a beautiful heart and mind and that is what matters! Hugs to you :)


    I am glad you liked this post. I wish that you always be mindful and joyous.

    Peace always :)



Related Posts with Thumbnails