Hate doing dishes? Who doesn't? What about cleaning dishes for 120 people? Sounds pretty miserable. However, at Tushita Meditation Center in Dharamsala, India people from all over the world pay to wash dishes as part of the curriculum during meditation retreats.
Most of the curriculum is spent studying various aspects of Buddhism and meditating for up to 7 hours a day, all in silence. However, acts like dishwashing and toilet cleaning are considered "karma yoga" and are important for generating positive merit through service.
Paying to wash dishes for hundreds of strangers sounds grim, however there is a sign above the kitchen sink at Tushita that beautifully expresses another way of thinking about it through mindfulness practice:
"Every time you wash anything, think: I am washing away all the stains of the delusions of all sentient beings. Think that the water, detergent, etc. is the complete graduated path to enlightenment and that you are cleaning away all the obscurations from sentient beings' minds."
Whether you're washing dishes, picking up a piece of trash on the street, or doing any unglamorous chore or task, instead of thinking how does this benefit me, try reframing it that your selfless act is benefiting the lives of others. You'll be amazed by how much this shift in mindset does for your well-being.
At BHANTI, we promote a service oriented mentality through our messaging and how we run our business. That's why we donate a portion of profits to support education and community initiatives from where our garments are made. For more information on how we give back check out Our Mission.