Washing the Dishes

Photo courtesy of: ‘Time expression’ by jwvein – Pixabay

This morning, after Swimming in Space for awhile, I elected–instead of sitting with the sensations stimulated by that practice–to continue washing the dishes. Walking through the darkened rooms, laying my extra shirt down on a chair, washing and rinsing a few pots and pans, a feeling of moving through a space, which my body shared with everything seen and touched, prevailed. At some point I noticed that a deeply familiar set of skills and routine motions had taken over and that ‘space’ had moved into the background. Then, wiping the stove top to prepare a space to stack the rinsed dishes, I realized that this slower motion–although also familiar–was allowing my hands to slow down and reunite with the ‘space’ through which they were moving.

Then, back washing and rinsing again, with my body telling me that my attention was not actually necessary–perhaps even holding the job back–I recalled that ‘time’ is the presence that was allowing all this movement, measuring distances, settling one surface against another (like a shuttle docking against the space station). Without slowing down, and without regaining the peaceful, holistic feeling with which I had slowly walked out to the kitchen through the darkened rooms and laid my jacket down on a chair, I marveled at how ‘time’ was doing the dishes, living my life, creating a world–whether I chose to notice it or not.

About Michael Gray

I first started studying TSK in the mid 1980's and have since attended a number of retreats and workshops at the Nyingma Institute, in both TSK and Buddhist themes. I participated in the life-changing Human Development Training Program in 1991, and upon returning to Albuquerque co-founded an organization, Friends in Time (with a friend who has Lou Gehrig's Disease), which continues to serve people with similiar disabilities. I contributed an essay to "A New Way of Being"--the last one in the book--in which I describe how learning to honor who I have been has broadened and deepened my openness to present experience. I live in New Mexico with my wife and two sons.
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