February 08th, 2015
Zen of Washing Dishes
Well I am as surprised as you about the blog topic this week. Who knew? It appears to be a very popular clean little secret.
Last two weeks I talked with a few people about meditation and asked them if they meditate. We discussed my blog post. It was surprised and I suppose it should not be surprising how many people enjoy the pleasure of washing dishes in their kitchen sink. Personally I thought with the other meditative choices some other forms of daily reflection practices would be mentioned. No, it is the warm water. The water’s warmth is comforting to the hands, and many people enjoy looking out the window as they wash the dishes. Realtors know many people have insisted on a window with a view in front of a sink. We want our windows even if we are not there much.
Yes many of us have dishwashers and enjoy the convenience but the daily washing of a few chosen items often became part of the daily ritual. For myself, even the few times I did not have a window in front of the sink I still enjoyed washing dishes. However, since I now know the difference I want a window with a view. So if you always have had a window you are very lucky and if you do not have a window so sorry. Hope you can find a pleasant outdoor scene of a beach or a lovely peaceful forest. It sets the tone for the visual to connect with the kinetic touch of the body. The soapy water and playful bubbles add to the pleasure of the experience. The mind can float with the bubbles as a person mulls over the daily events, a respite from the electronic waves of now.
Have you ever thought about our ancestors washing their dishes by hand and imprinting our love of dishwashing through DNA? It is a traditional familial practice of generations. Past down among the generations as a task with the additional words of “I do not mind doing the dishes.” Some even said they liked it. I remember my own mother and the neighbor’s mom saying that too. As a child, I was mystified. Really I thought. Mmmmm, It did not seem very enjoyable to me when there was games to be played, books to be read and TV to be watched. But just like growing children learn to eat vegetables washing dishes is an acquired skill of sophisticated meditative hand movements. Yet so practical, grounding, and task succeeding.
Surely I would be shirking my blog post responsibilities if I did not provide a directive to use this meditation tool.
Meditation Exercise for Washing Dishes
Find some appropriate items to wash. Yes, a few pots, pans, cups and some specialty cutlery most likely will need a clean. This is the time to grab some lovely glassware to admire the sparkle, or a coffee cup that someone gave you. Chose you dishwashing soap. Some people like Dawn because of the name and the color blue. Some like Joy because of the name and the color yellow. Some like Biokleen because of the name and the color clear.
If only a few dishes can be found wash your largest pot and use this as the official sink for the sink faucet water. Place each dish one at a time in the pot with soapy water. Each dish or glass is entitled to a little alone time with you. You and the object have become one in action and represent the oneness of the universe. Let your mind release as each item is washed. Let the thoughts of the day’s event enter into your conscious mind. Remember to accept any negative thoughts, breath into them and release; finish with the joys of the day’s activities. For me, I think to myself. “It is a Wonderful World” and I hear Louie Armstrong singing this song to all of us. What would you song be?
Dishes done oh, so look around to see if you can extend the time of the meditation. The refrigerator is a good place to find potential. With luck one or two dishes will need a toss of old food and a clean. Now all the dishes are washed. You can now dry the dishes or air dry them--Your choice, the hand drying does extend the time of the meditative movement. If you do decide to dry be sure to choose a comforting dishtowel to wipe. I would recommend green or orange cotton towels. Why, because I like them.
Ok dishes done, task completed, take a deep breath, exhale and release, meditation over. Yeah You!
Happy Washing Dazzlers,
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