It is our motivation, our concentration, our mindfulness that is important; we can transmute whatever we do, turning dust into gold.
There once was a young monk who did not know how to read, so his teacher told him to spend his days cleaning the temple. He spent years cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. He was told that as he cleaned, he was to repeat, “The dust is gone; the smell is gone.” One day he thought, “What is dust?” At that moment, he understood that the real dust is our fettering emotions.
In most cases, if someone were to tell us to do nothing but clean a temple, we would feel resentment. But when we accept all aspects of life, we find that we can learn from any situation.
The Dharma actually becomes a part of us and we become a part of the Dharma.
Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche