Friday, June 9

“If I am incapable of washing dishes joyfully … I will be equally incapable of enjoying my dessert.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk

What helps you get your chores done?

The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh (pronounced tick-knot-hahn) talks about the importance of being fully present to whatever task you do.

Take turns reading his words:

”To my mind, the idea that doing dishes is unpleasant can occur only when you aren’t doing them. Once you are standing in front of the sink with your sleeves rolled up and your hands in the warm water, it is really quite pleasant.

I enjoy taking my time with each dish, being fully aware of the dish, the water, and each movement of my hands. I know that if I hurry in order to be able to finish so I can sit down sooner and eat dessert or enjoy a cup of tea, the time of washing dishes will be unpleasant and not worth living. That would be a pity, for each minute, each second of life is a miracle. The dishes themselves and the fact that I am here washing them are miracles!

If I am incapable of washing dishes joyfully, if I want to finish them quickly so I can go and have dessert or a cup of tea, I will be equally incapable of enjoying my dessert or my tea when I finally have them.

With the fork in my hand, I will be thinking about what to do next, and the texture and the flavor of the dessert, together with the pleasure of eating it, will be lost.

I will be constantly dragged into the future, miss out on life altogether, and never able to live in the present moment.”


  • How can we be more present when we do chores together? How can this help us enjoy each moment in life more fully?