Monday, October 17, 2011

Washing The Dishes To Wash The Dishes

I want to share with you an excerpt of a piece of writing I saw today.  I thought it is a good reminder to be in the moment and to not rush all the time if we can help it.  There's something to be said (in this example) for not thinking ahead.

"In the United States, I have a close friend named Jim F.  When I first me him eight years ago, he was working with the Catholic Peace Fellowship.  Last winter, Jim came to visit.  I usually wash the dishes after we've finished the evening meal, before sitting down and drinking tea with everyone also.  One night, Jim asked if he might do the dishes.  I said, "Go ahead, but if you wash the dishes, you must know the way to wash them."  Jim replied, "Come on, you think I don't know how to wash the dishes?"  I answered, "There are two ways to wash the dishes.  The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes.  Jim was delighted and said, "I choose the second way -- to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes."  From then on, Jim knew how to wash the dishes.  I transferred the "responsibility" to him for an entire week.
- Venerable Master Thich Nhat Hanh, from "The Miracle of Mindfullness"


"If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as they were a nuisance, then we are not "washing the dishes to wash the dishes."  What's more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes.  In fact, we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink.  If we can't wash the dishes, the chances are we won't be able to drink our tea, either.  While of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands.  Thus, we are sucked away into the future -- and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life."

I'm not going to make any personal comments on this; I don't want to taint what you might get from it, so I'm going to let it sit with you and you can come to your own thoughts and reflections.

No comments:

Copyright Text