Mindful Work


"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about." - Rumi

At Bodhi Khaya, our Home of Light, the wild is ever-present. Its beauty, smell, and sacred hiddenness is impossible to ignore. There, just over the edge of the mowed lawn, just off the groomed trails, beyond the carefully-tended grounds and buildings, are bushbuck families, cape leopards, frog, birds and an infinite web of trees, plants and insects. In the vulnerable wilderness of earth and ourselves, we find our human naturalness. The undetectable edge, separating the familiar from the unpredictable, is a gateway to the constantly shifting expression and evolution of who we are. Standing in our knowing of the solid ground beneath, we step courageously into the unknown.


Bodhi Khaya’s invitation to you is to come and share in this back-and-forth dance across the line of who we know ourselves to be and who we are yet to become. We offer many ways to explore this journey of departure and return from engaging with knowledgeable teachers and their practices, to making your bed, to engaging with the wild. And now, during each retreat we invite participants to join us for a daily mindful work.  We work with our bodies on simple tasks like raking or weeding or painting a white paddock fence. We practice our wholeness. We see how the simplicity of what we have in our hands, what we are doing, hearing, and seeing connects us to the grounded-ness of our being and our capacity to stand boldly in the unknown. Mindful work is sacred work: sacred because it has the power to close the gap between what is practical or ‘mundane’ and what is spiritual. Practiced deeply, mindfully collecting branches for the meditation hall’s winter fire, can begin to narrow the places where we separate, disconnect and feel alienated or disempowered. Working in ourselves on the edge in this way begins to integrate our bodies, our hearts and minds.

Many are unfamiliar with learning about ourselves in this way. Some are well versed in the depth of its subtleties. Yet all who engage the intimacy of this communal activity have been awakened and reminded of something of great value to them. Possibly this is a deep yearning to reconnect with the ancient wildness coded in our genes.  And some say a sacred homecoming of a sort just happens. Maybe it has something to do with the smell of decomposing leaves, the feel of soil between our fingers, the birdsongs and the fresh air. Perhaps something comes to us through service for those who are yet to arrive while knowing that others have cared for this moment before us as tenderly as we are caring for it now.

Let us meet there, beyond right and wrong, with a rake in the golden grass, where the world is too full to talk about.