In his book, The Miracle of Mindfulness, Thích Nhất Hạnh shares the following story. “In the United States, I have a close friend named Jim Forest. When I first met 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. 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 to wash the dishes.’ From then on, Jim knew how to wash the dishes. I transferred the ‘responsibility’ to him for an entire week.
“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 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. 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 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.”
Join us during the month of April as we explore the role of mindfulness in our lives!
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Ways to Engage Mindfulness This Month
- Theme Services:
- April 11, 10:00am: “Practicing Spirituality and Mindfulness Act of Eating”, Sunday Services Committee
- April 18, 10:00 am: “Being Intentional in Our Mindfulness”, Sunday Services Committee
- Second Hours will focus on Mindfulness throughout the month.
- Covenant Groups will be discussing the theme at our meetings this month.
- Facebook and Instagram Posts: Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for daily quotes on our April theme