Washing the dishes

The staggering amount of dishes that make their way into the kitchen sink and onto the kitchen bench is astounding, even for me in a three-person household. Sometimes it seems like life is what happens in the spaces between washing dishes! Some of us don’t have a dishwasher and even if you do, the task of loading and unloading the thing can probably overload you at times. 

For me, dishwashing can often be a frantic task, especially in the morning when I’m trying to get it done before I leave the house or get my work started at home. Or it is a tiring task that happens at night after dinner when I often feel too exhausted to stand. In both these cases, I often catch myself not being present. My mind is elsewhere, and I am resisting the moment. On the other hand, when I do surrender to the flow of life (and the flow of water gushing from the tap), I become present and stop resisting. By focusing on what is, I experience the pleasure and peace of the process. Another aspect that I often ignore is the sense of service that underlies this simple act. By washing the dishes, I am serving my family. I am enabling them to continue to live and enjoy life.

It is so important to always remember:

I wash the dishes to serve my family

I wash the dishes to serve the Divine in them

By residing in the moment, I join the flow of life

By being present, I stop resisting

The hot water cleanses the dishes of muck

The hot water cleanses my heart of desire

The soap suds bubble up in joy

My heart rejoices at the chance to be

The cool water gushes out the tap

The cool water cleanses and purifies my soul

Dirty dishes are made anew

Through serve and presence, I too am renewed

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