“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” (William Arthur Ward)
I’ve caught myself doing it often: I’ll start in on my housework and find myself turning to a podcast or two to distract myself while I work. I rather enjoyed the whole process. Nothing is more satisfying to me than a job done and done with enjoyment along the way. And while I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, I also realized that I wasn’t really engaged with what I was doing.
I began to feel that I was missing something. As silly as it was, I felt dissatisfied because my mind was constantly somewhere else.
I decided that I would take a page from the Buddhist practice of “mindfulness”. Put simply, mindfulness means being fully present and engaged in whatever you do. To me, it teaches us the importance of living our life to its fullest. Perhaps it was that this that made me consider taking a little less time multi-tasking to make each task I undertake more intentional and less happenstance.
So, what did this look like? It might not look very spiritual, because physically, I basically did the exact same things that I always had to do. Most of the change was mental: I chose certain times where I did not listen to podcasts and I took the extra “mind space” to meditate on spiritual growth, God, and my family. The intention behind this was to infuse what I “have to do” with what “I wish to do”. In the process of testing this out, I began to wonder if maybe I was doing something that actually goes beyond mindfulness. And it reminded me of what perhaps Dr. Moon speaks of when he talks about “jung sung.”
What is jung sung? Dr. Moon has spoken on this in many different contexts, but it seems that jung sung, or devotion, is not necessarily some specific act. It seems to be mostly about the purification of one’s motivations and heart; the heart to live a life of love with God at the center. The acts you take – whatever they may be – becomes an expression of this heart to love. This is to mean that, simply anything can be an act of jung sung. Wiping down the table after dinner, as I spray and wipe the table, my mind is on purifying my heart, clarifying my emotions, and the spiritual challenge of more fully manifesting God’s heart.
I have to admit that I’m not entirely sure this is what jung sung is, but I’ve found it to be deeply meditative. I also sometimes slip up and wander away from this focus, but it’s been unexpectedly satisfying when I’ve been able to transform cooking, washing dishes, or folding laundry into a part of my spiritual practice. I also notice I do everything much better, with more care and attention. It’s also given me the “headspace” to digest certain emotions that I usually don’t think to deal with during my busy days.
Every day is, in some sense, a lifetime. But so many days go day without our even noticing it. I felt this in a most painful way when I found myself basically trying to “kill time” when trapped inside all day during quarantine (after traveling from another country). I don’t want to waste a day or a moment. And this small practice of jung sung in my everyday life is something that has given me the inspiration and hope to live a more meaningful life.