“Ichigo Ichie” and the truth of routines….

It’s nearly midnight and looking back, today was just another ordinary day, filled with the usual routines at home. My sister just called and classified my day as “boring”. Well, I wouldn’t say that, ‘cause after days of madness there is a comfort in doing the usual daily chores. Maybe that’s the beauty of routines.

Routines. It becomes a part and parcel of your life. And in a way, there is some comfort in routines. Getting up and heading to the porch, with my morning cup of tea in hand, armed with the newspaper in the other, to connect to the world outside and to watch life go by; that is my day starts. Routines are an essential part of life. It brings some kind of order and balance in the daily buzz.

Routines and monotony. Not necessarily. Sometimes, monotony is needed to bring life to normal. Imagine every day, if it was filled with uncertainties about what would happen next. As it is, every day has the usual surprises and shocks. Minus routines or the regular daily stuff, it would feel that every day is like a roller coaster. You don’t know if you would be sitting tomorrow or hanging upside down. Thanks, but I would rather stick to the routines, whenever possible and not let my stress levels go skyrocketing up.

Besides, monotony gives a sort of regularity and “systematism” to the day. And it’s when you deviate from the regular monotony that creativity happens too. No art or task can be repeated exactly in the same manner. At least humans can’t. That’s what machines are made for. Every mundane chore, when you give it a slight twist once in a while, i.e. Make a small variation and viola, there is a difference. And that makes the day interesting.

“Repetition and routine leads to boredom!!” But who is doing the exactly same intricate precise actions daily. Consider the daily
morning chore of making tea or coffee. The procedure is a set of movements that have been mentally thought as the same, yet no action is the same. That’s why the Zen philosophy says, the day is based on the philosophy of ichigo ichie”, i.e. “one time, one encounter”. And that each moment is unique and cannot be repeated in the exactly same manner.

In fact, I feel that repetition is a concept; every action has subtle differences that make it different from the previous one. And deviating once a while from the routines, brings the creativity to light.

In a way, sticking to routines helps to bring your day into track and makes it productive. Besides, even daily routines have surprises. You just have to look for them to find them. Routines, monotony, balance, creativity…they all go hand in hand. What do you say ?

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About ....the little thread of thoughts

through five yrs of med school, and now taking a 2 yr break before post-grad working in mission hosp in India; 'm one of ur norm' everyday ppl. Nothing dramatic goin' on in my life, but it's not so quiet either. Just "a lot of happenings". So, hi there n Have a great day :) View all posts by ....the little thread of thoughts

4 responses to ““Ichigo Ichie” and the truth of routines….

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