A moment of meditation

gray monk statue in between plant pots

Cleaning as a form of meditation

Samu is a part of Soto Zen training which consists of… cleaning. The whole wax on, wax off kind. It’s such a simple exercise, and is considered its own form of training.

If you allow it, cleaning can be relaxing and even therapeutic. There’s no real pressure on you to go out of your way to do a good job, but the act alone makes you want to do a good job. It makes you want to get that last tiny speck.

I like to think of this when I’m doing something I have to do, but don’t really feel like in the moment. On the other hand, I also like to make a point of doing some form of cleaning, like sweeping the floor or wiping my computer screen, when I need to take a short break.

These exercises are the perfect chances to get into a meditative state, a state where you’re still focusing on what you’re doing, but the outcomes don’t matter nearly as much as your state of mind while you’re doing it. They are the perfect moments for meditation.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


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