SOJI is a zen word originating from the Buddhist Monks.
The practice is simple. After morning meditation, all members are assigned a basic cleaning task on the Temple grounds (Sweep the hallway, clean the walls, polish the windowpanes). After about 20 minutes the work leader rings a bell signaling the end of all work. If the hallway is half swept, if the walls are not complete, if the only 5 of the 15 windowpanes are polished – it does not matter, as the “destination” or “completion” is not the intention. The goal was not to complete the task but to be present during the task.
Approaching everyday tasks the Soji way redirects our energies not towards the future goal, but into the present process. It reminds us that life is not about finishing, but more simply about doing. If we adopt the mindset to own the present journey rather than the elusive destination we may be more mindful and grateful.
There is no rush. Slow down, be present, take care of yourself, and trust the journey.”
Since discovering Soji Energy products, my outlook on life has changed exponentially. For a while, I was struggling to stay mindful and see the big picture. I had just returned from serving with AmeriCorps for 10 months and had a lot of leftover emotions from my time there that were still dormant. I kept getting tense at random times during the day if someone was talking to me or someone complained and for a while, I couldn’t understand why. I didn’t want to feel twisted up inside all the time, but I had no idea what it was even stemming from. I didn’t know how to deal with it.
Full disclosure, I bought the Obsidian water bottle because I thought it looked sick. At first, I wasn’t interested in it’s supposed healing properties or it’s connection to mindfulness or any of it. I just wanted a cool water bottle. But as my exploration of meditation continued through podcasts and different books, I began to realize it’s true merit.
Meditation teaches us to slow down, note the feeling or the sensation you are having, and move on. Understanding what emotion you are feeling is half the struggle. For me, I started to identify the tight, twisted feeling in my chest as guilt. I’m still not 100% why I feel guilty at times during the day- my best guess would be that I feel as if I could have helped more or made more of a difference during my service term. I am still exploring these emotions and my reaction to certain triggers, but I would never have learned as much as I did so far without the teachings of mindfulness.
Enter- that super sweet water bottle I mentioned before. Now, it means so much more to me than just a cool conversation piece, and I am so happy I bought it. I bring it with me everywhere and just having it with me is a reminder to be in the present. I get so much more out of life by looking around and seeing the things that are right in front of me, instead of dwelling on the thoughts inside my head. I enjoy being with my friends more, I enjoy exploring more, and the sensations of the air and the sun are so much stronger than ever before.
It sounds crazy how a water bottle can make such a difference, but I guess the only way you’ll believe me, is if you try it yourself 🙂