During his teachings Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh often remembers his deep experience of washing dishes; explaining how, at the beginning of his training, at Tu Hieu Pagoda in the 1940s, this task was far from pleasant. Washing the dishes for over 100 monks each day, without soap but using ashes from the fi re, and scrubbing using only rice and coconut husks. Cleaning so many plates and bowls must have indeed been a laborious chore! He recalls how the cold water drawn from the well was a slow task that chilled his hands to the bone – especially in the dead of winter. Even heating up a large pan of water suffi cient for cleaning took some time. Once he had everything prepared, the challenge of scrubbing, wiping, cleaning, drying and stowing away such a volume of dishes in time to rejoin the other monks for practice meant that the task was always completed hurriedly and without a second thought.