The whole idea behind Kalyanaloka is that a beautiful, tidy, quiet environment leads to happiness. Simple to say, somewhat challenging to do at times!
There will always be a tension between what I want, and what is best for everyone around me, it’s natural.
I do know that it pleases me to walk into a somewhere that feels like home, there’s no dirt, dust or random objects sprawled around, no loud music playing, it feels welcoming, somewhere I want to be… home.
Yet at other times I can also think that I don’t want to wash up my dishes now, that actually it’s not that messy, that surely leaving my shoes in the middle of the hallway is not that big of a deal… in those moments I like to remember that behaving in a communal way is best for everyone – including myself.
With this in mind, a few practical pointers:
- minimise noise, if you have to (phone calls, etc) close your door and minimise volume, and be sensible to the time of the day – movies and music are best with headphones or low volume. The kitchen is a good space for this as noise travels to other parts of the house less.
- wash your dishes and cooking surfaces straight after cooking, and if there’s many left out to dry, put them in their place too – even leaving crumbs and small stains can be quite unpleasant for others
- be tidy with your possessions and if something looks out of place, put it back to where it belong
- it’s ok to have guests over, just remember others may be resting/meditating/working
- tea is very sensitive to smells, please don’t light incense in the tea room and keep the kitchen door closed at all times
- be sensible! there’s many things that could be said that I can’t possibly think of (rotting food in fridge, change trash when it’s needed, clean up dirty boots before putting them in corridor, removing food from the sink trap or hair from the shower trap, etc etc…) but let’s all trust each other with taking responsibility for living in a beautiful environment