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Everything zen, everything zen...

I realized something last night that was equal parts disturbing and reassuring... I enjoy washing dishes.

Actually, I can't say I just discovered it last night. I've known this for some time. But last night it dawned on me that the time I spend washing dishes is almost like a bit of a Zen moment for me. Yeah, I know it sounds weird, right? Washing dishes? Zen-like? Seriously?

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the concept of Zen. But here is how I understand it (with assistance from Urban Dictionary)... it's a time of reflection and inner thought when you are able to block out outside distractions and focus on a sort of inner peace. Does that seem like a reasonable understanding of "Zen"?

Well, this seems to happen for me when I'm washing dishes. The running water (yeah, so my method isn't entirely environmentally friendly) blocks out a lot of distractions around me. I cannot hear the TV, the neighbors, not even the train that rumbles through our backyard right outside the kitchen window. I stand there making repetitive motions while cleaning the dishes that tend to calm my mind and allow my thoughts to flow freely. I think the only time this state of calm is disrupted is if I have a particularly difficult cooked-on stain to get out and I've even found ways to remain calm while dealing with that.

During this time, though, I tend to really be able to think things through. Reason out any problems I may be having. Think through my issues and come to a sort of resolution.

That is kinda Zen, right?

I don't even achieve this state of peace in yoga, to be honest. I'm still so new to yoga that my mind is too concerned with getting the positions right and that keeps me from truly finding my center, my peace. Some moves I'm comfortable enough with that I can be relatively Zen-like, but then we move on to something I'm not so comfortable with and I worry about posture and hand/foot placement and balance, etc. Stupid downward-facing dog. I still hate that damn pose.

So what about you? What weird actions bring you inner peace? Please don't say "masturbation."

One of the things I loved most about Pitchfork was all the free music. Sure, there were plenty of vendors selling albums on CD and vinyl and even, *gulp* cassette and 8-track. But so many people were there giving away either free CD samplers of music from their record labels or codes for free online downloads.

And "free" is one of my favorite words!

Sadly, though, several had codes that were needed meaning that they are one-time downloads only. But there was one that just had a URL to visit and enter your e-mail address and you can get an 18-track sampler. That one was from Absolutely Kosher/Misra Records.

So, if you're interested in 18 free indie label tracks, head on over. No, not all of it is necessarily great stuff, but I found some really good tracks on the album.

Oh, and Eric? You still have my copy of that one sampler in your bag! Help! I need my muzik!

Comments

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Julie

Maybe you can transfer a little of that Zen stuff to Brian??? I LOVE to cook, but the dishes...not so much. If you're ever feeling the need to relax, come on out and you can do dishes to your heart's content.

"Silent" Bob "Pappy"

I am with you on it all. Including the train going through the backyard. I have one of those as well! Probably the same train for that matter. The ONLY thing that I have issue with, is picturing you in a number of yoga poses. I would feel the same way about picturing me in yoga poses as well. The only people I think I can picture in yoga poses and not get upset, would be like Jessica Alba or the like. Man, sometimes I am such a guy.

Beyond Alice

I don't know that doing dishes makes me ZEN, but I definitely don't mind doing them. Also, strangely enough, I don't mind cleaning the bathroom.

The Bombshell

I wish I could convince my husband that doing dishes is a great relaxation technique! I loathe doing dishes. Trying to think of what does bring me that sense of peaceful flow... Maybe crocheting, but I haven't done that in ages.

Marie

My total zen place is a cool summer day, sitting outside in the countryside.

Also, can you please come and do my dishes? Because I very much hate cleaning them.

Sybil Law

I get totally zen on dishes, too! I mean, we have the dishwasher and sometimes I just choose to wash them (and of course, the Calphalon pots and pans I wash, anyway)! I basically get kinda zen about cleaning, in general. I like no one else to be here when I'm doing it, and it gives me immediate gratification and peace of mind when I'm done.
So we're probably both freaks. ;)

Kevin Spencer

Doing dishes is one of the few chores around the house that I don't mind doing at all. My first night job while still in high school was washing dishes at a huge hospital kitchen. Doing dishes at home has seemed *very* easy ever since ;-)

Stacey

There is nothing zen about washing dishes. Not for me anyway.

I can't really think of a "zen" activity. Honestly, usually my mind won't shut up, so I'm more likely to enjoy an activity that keeps me focused.

BlondeBlogger

"Please don't say 'masturbation.'"

ROFLLLLL!!!!! Oh my gosh I laughed so hard at that!

Okay, for me it's the shower. Have always done the most thinking there (I take really long showers, lol...I'm with you all the way on being eco friendly!)

By the way...had your blog open in one of my tabs and was busy in other ones for a long time. Then realized I'd had yours open still. So, I promise I wasn't stalking you. :)

kapgar

I was wondering how many people would invite me in with open arms.

kapgar

If it helps the mental image at all, I'm ridonkulously flexible.

kapgar

Minus the floors I'm okay. Toilets and sinks don't bother me.

kapgar

Knitting does it for Katie but she hasn't done that in a while either.

kapgar

I'm not sure the Z2n extends to others' dishes. ;-)

kapgar

At least we're in good company.

kapgar

Very easy and I'm sure very appreciated by the lady.

kapgar

Focused? How much work does that take?

kapgar

Showers gooooooood! But I have to close our bathroom door so it gets
unbearably hot.

martymankins

With the exception of loading the dishwasher a couple of times week (at best), I've always despised washing dishes.

Back story... my wife has never had a dishwasher at her house. For 21 years, she washed them by hand. Since I've been with her, I've stepped in and did the dishes, with her knowing my distaste for washing dishes. When I did do the dishes, I always put the iPod on, which helped distract my hatred for washing dishes. It was my way of helping out on a chore that I didn't want to do.

So what I'm saying is that either you are a saint for liking to wash dishes or you need to put on your iPod more often when in front of the sink.

kapgar

I think I'd be too paranoid about my iPod getting wet or dropping in the water entirely. Sometimes I play music through my computer. But otherwise I just lose myself in my head. Much more pleasant despite what some might argue. ;-)


Robin

I'm all for bringing people a sense of zen, feel free to come over and wash our dishes anytime!

SoMi's Nilsa

Which begs the question why you didn't stick around my place to wash our dishes? We had a lot of serving dishes that had to be washed by hand!!!! (hahaha - I kid!)

Sizzle

I love doing the dishes.

See? Related.

kapgar

You payin' the airfare? ;-)


kapgar

We offered to help clean. Blame yourself for kicking out willing help. ;-)


kapgar

C'mon, like we really need more proof.


John

"...Washing dishes? Zen-like? Seriously?

TOTALLY Zen-like. In fact, one of the best examples you could have cited. Being Zen-like is about being present, here, now, pertaining to WHATEVER you doing (like washing the dishes) and not wishing you were doing something else. It applies to whatever we experience, be it pain or pleasure, without projecting ourselves somewhere into the past or the future. : )

Good job. : )

P.S. - Sorry I'm just now seeing this, I've been CRAZY busy, behind on all blogs. : )

kapgar

Okay, so washing dishes is in, but waterboarding is likely out, eh? Cool.


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