Mindfulness practice trashed outside home

It’s early morning. I hear trash trucks outside, up the street in my hometown of Conshohocken, PA, here in the United States. I “like” the sound. It reminds me that we are a civilized people. And, that I got all my trash out the night before, thus joining my neighbors in a semi-weekly ritual to make our lives cleaner, and hopefully better.

At first, I hear the truck with its unique sound as the motor of the heavy metal devise forces the weight of its power down on boxes, wood and regular trash in plastic bags. I see a form of “beauty” in that “crunching” that takes place. I try to focus on the back of the truck as it “squashes” the trash into smaller pieces to make room for the next load.

It’s soothing, particularly when I later see my trash cans are empty. Clean, except for the crusty stuff that has been clinging to the sides the past several years. I did not know it, but sanitation workers here won’t dispose of grass clippings if they see them topping trash cans. There is a special day just for “natural trash,” for want of a better word. You know, the leaves, parts of bushes and trees as well as cut grass. We have to put them in heavy paper bags that you gotta buy at some new-fashioned “hardware” store. Who thought of advertising on the outside of those bags? Home Depot and Lowe’s get credit everytime one of their products are used.

Another sound I hear is the “clink” of bottles, and, to a lesser extent, cans being tossed into recycling truck bins. They fool me sometimes because they look like trash trucks and sometimes sound like them. Of course, when you don’t hear that special whirl of the “crunch motor” you know they’re simply copy-cat trash trucks.

No more sound from outside now. Does that mean I can meditate without disturbance? What’s that? A cat meowing for food? The rabbit thumping so hard outside you can hear him inside? Let’s not forget that sombitch rooster. He gotta get in his two-cents worth.

Ah, now I see the earplugs. Let me adjust them, place a “throw” over my feet and close my eyes. Time to rid my Self of some junk and trash from within.

Time to really getcivilized.”

4 comments on “Mindfulness practice trashed outside home

  1. […] For another look at meditation outside my house please see Practice trashed at home. […]


  2. Shadowplay says:

    This was wonderful – loved the description you painted! When I think of it, yes, I can fully relate to those good vibes of trash day! Sometimes I wonder what would happen if it ever stopped (shudder).

    Best of all is dealing with the inner “junk.” Need to do a bit of spring cleaning myself….

    Thanks for the reminder, Michael!


  3. saradode says:

    Hi, Michael,

    I’m at my mother’s place in FL, using her dial-up, so I haven’t been writing much because it’s SO damned slow and keeps crashing. I love the way you think about the “garbage sounds”, though! I’ve been thinking about the “minor” (very minor, these days, for some reason) distractions and annoyances in my life these days, and the unavoidable sounds I hear (like my son playing Transformers in the next room!) when I try to meditate or just think peacefully. I used to really get annoyed if everything wasn’t “just so”, and take it personally when things went “wrong”. But I think I’m getting to the point where I see very little as being “wrong”–just another part of the scenery, to be taken in, appreciated, and/or just learned from, even if I’m trying to meditate.

    Your post is a perfect reminder of that for me (even as I try to write on this dinosaur of a computer with the loud sounds of “Spongebob Squarepants” and my son’s Transformers battling it out right next to me–of course, I have no sumbitch rooster, but, knowing, me it’s not out of the question for the future!).




    • contoveros says:

      My 17-yr-old son and I reached an agreement. “Sombitch” will be the spelling for someone or “thing” that is just a little annoying. Like “sombitch rooster.”

      “Sumbitch” spelled with a “u” will be reserved for the real “Sumbitch” like someone I’m sure, unfortunaely, that we all have had contact with in our lives.

      Enjoy Florida. See you up North next decade.

      michael j


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