Apart from saying goodbye to Jaysingh, there was also a lot more going on in the Ashram in the past days. Not in terms of guests. On the contrary, we had a few days with no retreat participants or visitors here – and we used the time to do a big house cleaning and clearing out!
We can only do such a thing when we have no visitors here because it is incredible how many things you can store when the house is as big as our Ashram! We couldn’t believe how many things came out of the stores and various cupboards that had not been opened for a while! We brought everything out onto the courtyard, making it look like a flea market, and then started sorting out. Which things were still working and needed, what was broken and what was really just unnecessary?
It is amazing how much stuff gets accumulated over the course of years! We had some boxes full of photos which brought a lot of memories back when looking through them. Obviously, these boxes were packed back into the store as they were. There were old electronic items, some of them broken, kept with the thought that maybe our electrician would be able to repair them some day. An old polaroid camera, our first vacuum cleaner, a table fan, a few lamps and more. He sat down and tried but whatever couldn’t be saved had to leave. There was steel crockery, vases, video and audio tapes, lots of books, even furniture and so many clothes!
We could sell a good amount of all the things which were broken or which we didn’t need anymore. There are people who buy garbage: steel, plastic and everything that can be resold or used in another way. They come by your house and if you have something, you show it to them and start the bargaining. Once you both are satisfied, they pick all the things up and pay you – so practical!
Most of the books which came out of the store were religious ones. Books of the kind which we don’t need anymore, because we are neither in this profession anymore nor do we have any personal interest to read them in our free time. We thus decided to call two or three people about whom we knew they would be interested to keep them – mainly because they were afraid we would throw away those books which for them contain near-to holy words. We were happy they were gone!
Finally we were left with a whole lot of clothes. Some old and used, others new. So many that it took us several rounds to bring all of them to the garden onto a big carpet and spread them out a bit. Every of our staff members took out whatever they needed or thought they could use. There was still lots however and so we invited some labour families, too, to just come by and take what they liked.
It is incredible how much stuff one can keep, thinking it might be of use someday. At the same time it is wonderful when you can just give it all away! We feel so much lighter, there is suddenly a surprising amount of space in our cupboards and home and, most of all, the people who got to take away something for free were so happy!
I can just invite you to make the same, wonderful experience: get rid of all the old stuff that you have lying around and that you don’t need anymore. Give it to someone who might – and enjoy the feeling!