When they talk about ‘Zen’, they are most likely talking about the Buddhist state of enlightenment that can be attained through meditation, self-contemplation and intuition rather than through faith and devotion. Some will say ‘Zen’ is reached through an activity, skill or subject that emphasizes simplicity and intuition rather than conventional thinking of fixation on goals.
For me, ‘Zen’ would be when I am doing something that helps me remove all from my mind except a fresh fog of thoughts which can be used to relax and remind me of the true importance of life which is keep it simple and take care of myself and others.
Recently my oldest son and one of my grandsons were staying with us and my son noticed I was getting ready to do some dishes by hand even though we have a nice, full size dishwasher nestled within the counter, right next to our kitchen sink. It seemed he thought it was silly to do dishes by hand and not use the dishwasher, especially with just a handful of dishes to do anyway.
So, I simply threw him the normal explanation I have for most folks that say the same and that is ‘it is just the wife and I so we have just a few dishes, which would be a waste of my dishwasher’. An explanation my son found reasonable, though he did mention we could just gather dishes over a few days and then use the dishwasher.
The real explanation can be covered at different levels of thought, with one being that my wife works at the local hospital four evenings a week in the kitchen taking care of all the afternoon and evening dishes and I just didn’t want her to do dishes all evening then come home to more needing to be done. I put 20-plus years in the food service business and one thing I always hated was coming home to dishes needing to be done after being around dishes, dishes, dishes all day at work, meaning I have been in her shoes. Get the drift of one of those reasons for doing the dishes.
In our house, I am also the one who does much or most of the cooking (except for my wife’s lasagna of course) and when I do I figure it is my responsibility to clean up after myself, especially knowing the mess of dishes I can have depending on what I may be cooking.
Many of you may be thinking that maybe I should use the dishwasher after piling up the necessary pots and pans to cook up a mess of food – I normally don’t, in fact about the only time we use that dishwasher is maybe after having a big family dinner with the adult kids and grandkids.
By now you may be wondering where the ‘Zen of Washing Dishes’ comes into this conversation, well let me give you my outlook on the headline of this particular write.
Possible the number one reason for my doing the dishes by hand may be because I use it to clear my mind with nothing but a concentration on how I am doing those simple dishes. One thing to note is that doing dishes for me brings out the OCD (Obsessive-compulsive) side of my life which most may not be aware of. Yes, I have a pattern of what dishes go where and when into the sink to soak, and I remove them, wash them and rinse them in a certain order as well. My wonderful wife will sometimes fill the sink with dishes to soak overnight and if they are left for me, I will remove them all, drain the water and do them in my order, my way.
What I do get from doing dishes is a few moments where the simplicity of the process can calm my mind, my senses and my body as a whole – at least most of the time.
Doing dishes is a few moments for me to glance out the kitchen window and enjoy the birds, squirrels and maybe our resident chipmunk as they go about their business of life as simple as their life seems.
Doing dishes is a few moments for me to not worry about any of my adult children or my three-quarter of a dozen grandkids.
Doing dishes is a few moments for me to not worry about anything but the simplicity, appreciation and wonders of life, family and love itself.
Yes, that is what doing dishes can do for me – that is why I would call doing dishes as one of those spots of ‘Zen’ within my daily travels of life.
Sometimes I wonder in the constant hustle and bustle of life, when or where others find their moments of ‘Zen’, where an activity, skill or subject can emphasize simplicity and intuition rather than conventional thinking of fixation on that person’s goals.
Where or when do you cover your ‘Zen of Washing Dishes’.
And there you have it, another yapping in response to something I may have seen or heard, and either liked or disliked – a memory remembered or forgotten, or maybe just a general insight to the travel of life I was making that day. Either way, ‘Grumpy Gramps’ tells it as he sees it – so enjoy, enlighten or just think about what I may yap about and if you want, feel free to respond.
Oh, for those wondering – ‘Grumpy Gramps’ comes from those moments when I spew out thoughts and opinions because I have been around the walk of life for a while and think someone needs to hear or read them. Those moments sometimes come out a little less than calm and collected, it is those moments when the grandkids seem to cringe, laugh and say, ‘being grumpy, gramps’!!
Until next time – prayers, blessings & happy thoughts – ‘Grumpy Gramps’.
(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer – no part of this may be printed, copied or used without written permission.)