"Let us suppose, for instance, that a letter has to be posted in a mailbox a hundred yards away. If the mouth of the mailbox is all we see in the mind’s eye, then the hundred strides we take towards it are wasted. But if we are on the way as human beings and filled with the sense of all that this implies, then even this short walk, providing we maintain the right attitude and posture, can serve to put us to rights and renew ourselves from the well of inner essence.
"The same can be true of any daily activity. The more we have mastered some relevant technique, and the smaller the amount of attention needed to perform the task satisfactorily, the more easily may the emphasis be transferred from the exterior to the interior. Whether in the kitchen or working at an assembly-belt, at the typewriter or in the garden, talking, writing, sitting, walking or standing, dealing with some daily occurrence or conversing with someone dear to us — whatever it may be, we can approach it ‘from within’ and use it as an opportunity for the practice of becoming a true person. Naturally, this is possible only when we are able to grasp the real meaning of life and become responsible towards it. It is essential to realize that we are not committed merely to comprehending and mastering the external world. We are first and foremost committed to the inner way. When this is understood the truth of the old Japanese adage becomes clear: ‘For something to acquire religious significance, two conditions alone are necessary: it must be simple, and it must be repetitive.’
"What does this word ‘repetitive’ signify here? It can happen that daily tasks, by their very familiarity, serve to free us from the grip of the ego and its quenchless thirst for success. They can also help to make us independent of the world’s approval and open for us the inward way. But this is true not only of familiar tasks. Even the practice and repeated effort needed to master something new can be put to the service of the inner work. In everything we do it is possible to foster and maintain a state of being which reflects our true destiny. When this possibility is actualized the ordinary day is no longer ordinary. It can even become an adventure of the spirit. In such a case the eternal repetitions in the exterior world are transformed into an endlessly flowing and circulating inner fountain. Indeed, once repetition is established it will be found that our very habits can be the occasion for inner work. They enable us to make new discoveries and show us that even from the most mechanical actions there may issue forth that creative power which transforms a human being from within."
–Karlfried Graf Dürckheim, The Way of Transformation: Daily Life as Spiritual Practice, translation by Pamela Travers and Ruth Lewinnek (Morning Light Press, Sandpoint, ID, 2007)