Here is a lovely picture sent to me by Tara, which includes one of my Petri dishes. Along with Tara, I love to compose objects, textures and organic elements into inspirational groups like this one. Tara's includes a sublime quote from Thich Nhat Hanh.
It reminded me of the first time I discovered the writings of this wonderful teacher. Well, discovered is probably the wrong word, the intention was clear to direct people to profound teaching. I was working in the kitchen of Gaia House many moons ago on silent retreat. Everyone on retreat is given daily work duties and washing up was one of these vital chores. The quote below was pinned up in the kitchen. I remember trying super hard to be in the moment, just the sheer effort propelled me the opposite direction! 10/10 for intention about 2/10 for relaxed awareness.
“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.”
Thich Nhat Hanh ―The Miracle of Mindfulness