Washing Dishes: Thich Nhat Hanh

“While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes,

which means that while washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes.

…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. …If while washing the dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if 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.

…If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking 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.”


The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation Thich Nhat Hanh