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The Zen Toilet

Article by Amy Brandon

Please beware, if you’re no fan of toilet humour, avert your eyes now!

As I was preparing for a Reiki class I set about my usual preparations. I organised the table and chairs, selected the appropriate visual aids, arranged the teas and set about making the place look super clean and tidy. And as usual, I left my least favourite job to last. Cleaning the restroom.

This is my least favourite job anytime, but as I was consciously and subconsciously preparing to share in an energetic practice, I decided to actively look for learning in this less than glamorous task.

I began by chuckling at my association of the toilet being my Mr. Miyagi with valuable lessons of control and perseverance. What they could possibly be, I wasn’t quite sure but I decided to run with it and here’s how it went…..

The toilet is a consistent factor in the house, it never moves, never changes. The more we use it, the dirtier it becomes. It’s a waste disposal unit that helps us to clean out our bodies in a hygienic way, taking our waste away to keep us healthy.

To be a clean toilet means to be visually pleasing, to have no smell or infused with a nice one and to be fully stocked with toilet roll and the necessary cleaning tools in order to maintain all of the above.

So, should we clean the toilet and not use it, it would become an ornament, an unnecessary ornament because no one will simply enter the restroom to admire the clean toilet, would they?

Again, I found myself laughing at the visualization that had formed, one much like an art exhibition, where people queue up to take pee-k.

The Zen Toilet

Image by Skitterphoto

So back to my trail of thought, the toilet is designed to be used and when we use it, we leave residue. The residue that accumulates between cleans, can affect our experience. Some people simply refuse to use a public toilet for this reason. I’m sure we have all had to stop at a service station where we have a, very necessary, unpleasant experience. Made even more unpleasant by the knowledge that other people have contributed to this “state”. We try our hardest to not touch anything! Using pieces of tissue from our pockets to open and lock doors, lay them across the toilet seat or more often than not, we put our glutes to the test!
Then there is the freshly cleaned toilet, what a pleasure that visit is. Especially when visited by the cleaner, as the cleaner, we know exactly how clean it is. What a great trip to the loo that one is.

And then there’s the normal every day visit, where the toilet is not sparkling, nor is it dirty. There is no attention to the toilet; it is just serving its purpose.

I likened all of these experiences to the way in which we approach many of life’s situations; we give so much attention to the extremes. They become of great focus to us and it can become difficult to move past or to get over them. And when things are particularly dirty, greater effort is required to clean them up. Try to ignore them and push the thought to one side and they metaphorically grow arms and legs and chase you round, I would clean my toilets more often if they did!

With a great emphasis placed upon self-treatment in my Reiki 1 classes, the dirty toilet quickly came to represent the state of our being. With a regular “cleaning” practice, we can keep our basin super clean and flush out the residue. It is harder for the dirt to stick, no matter who visits us. We can’t always avoid the people or situations that dump on us and practicing regularly wipes the smears off easily.

The longer we leave it between self-Reiki treatments, the more the smelly stuff bothers us and we have to scrub a little harder. The effort may be in the forming of a Reiki habit or the discomfort felt as we clean up past experiences, memories, and habits that no longer serve us. Either way, eventually we will sparkle and feel good, and those who visit us will also notice how much we sparkle. They are likely to leave feeling good too.

The Zen Toilet

The super sparkling toilet in question

I can tell you that this trail of thought continued for much longer than the cleaning of the restroom did, and as you can see I even felt compelled to write about it, and inadvertently changed my future toilet cleaning experiences. Still not my favourite task, but it now has more meaning than before, reminds me to check in with my Reiki practice and certainly makes me laugh.

Happy cleaning!

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Amy Brandon

Amy Brandon

Originally from the UK,Amy Brandon learned Reiki when living in Perth, Western Australia, where she was initiated into Reiki 1, 2 and Master levels of the Usui Shiki Ryoho system. Currently based Houston, TX, Amy holds the position of Vice Chairperson and Membership Officer for the Reiki Association of Western Australia, teaches the Usui Shiki Ryoho system of Reiki and her own course for Animal Reiki. Amy is also qualified in Animal Communication, Animal Bowen Therapy and Remedial Bowen Therapy for people. She is responsible for the not-for-profit #Sharesomereiki initiative, designed to connect Reiki communities across the globe.

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