From Mundane to Meditative

Dishwashing Meditation

When we act mindfully, we breathe life into our day. Where agitation once reigned, peace and spaciousness take root. Even the most mundane tasks can become refreshing.

In fact, mundane tasks are perfect vehicles for mindfulness because they are simple and repetitive. Try savoring the act of doing dishes. You have to do them anyway, right? Why not see if the experience can enhance your day instead of detract from it?

Heres How:

Notice your tendency toward autopilot. Whether it’s day-dreaming or planning, this habit may be very strong. That’s alright. Today you’re trying something new. When you find that you’ve drifted into distraction, return your focus to what your hands are doing at the moment.

Consider the dish you’re washing. Notice the temperature of the water and the sound it makes as it flows out of the faucet and splashes against a dish. What does the sponge you’re holding feel like? As you move your hand, bring your attention with it.

Notice how a swirl of your sponge affects the dish. Watch the water move across each plane until it spills off the edges. Breathe.

Notice the smell from your favorite dishing washing liquid. Let it refresh your senses. Breathe.

Signs Youre On Track:

Time begins to slow. You feel lighter, more at ease. You’re attention sharpens and small details become more apparent. You feel a sense of child-like wonder and gratitude.

Exploring the sweetness of simple things is a deep and rewarding practice. It takes only a few minutes to try but can alter your attitude for many hours. You may even look forward to the once dreaded dishwashing, laundry or toilet scrubbing as an opportunity to return home, to the present moment and deepen your mindfulness practice.

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Thanks for the idea, Lillian! I'm home with my daughter doing lots of "mundane" things today, all of which can probably be filled with wonder and gratitude if I let them. I know my mind has a tendency toward planning, but joy is good reason to be more present! :)

Dear Kristen, what a beautiful comment. As I read it I imagined you and your daughter joyfully passing the day together at home. It also made me think of mindfulness is an act of internal cleansing - much like organizing the living room or doing dishes, when we're mindful we clear away clutter to discover clarity and spaciousness.

All the best,