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Thread: The Zen of Vacuuming?

  1. #1

    The Zen of Vacuuming?

    Hi all!

    This morning at work, I was cleaning up while no-one was around. As I got out the vacuum, I decided to try a "vacuuming meditation". It was really amazing how the repetition and white noise almost immediately led me into a kinhin-type of state. While so engaged, I had a bit of an epiphany.

    Cleaning up is no different than making any other change in the world. First you have to accept that the dirt is there. Complaining about it or, worse, denying it is there, isn't going to help at all. All complaining does is add to the suffering (mostly for those who have to listen to it). Denial of its existence simply means that it is going to get worse and take more effort to get rid of later. (Unless you take that to its logical conclusion and live in a mud hole.)

    After accepting that the dirt exists, you simply need to use right thought and action. "Hmmm, this carpet is filthy. I really should do something about that." *grab vacuum, clean*

    It was a nice moment. Plus, using it as an opportunity to meditate also meant that it seemed to go a lot faster than it normally does. Talk about reducing suffering!

    Gassho,

    Kanno

  2. #2

    Re: The Zen of Vacuuming?

    Plus, remember, there is ultimately "Nothing to Clean"! Remember that, even as you clean & vacuum diligently!

    That is viewing dirt and dust through the ultimate vacuum ... EMPTINESS! 8)

    To quote the 6th Zen Ancestor, Ven. Huineng ...

    The Whole Body is far beyond the world’s dust. Who could believe in a means to brush it clean? It is never apart from one right where one is.

    Gassho, J (who, my wife reminds me, has lots of chores around the house today)



    ps- for those who don't know, it is from this old story ...

    The scholar and head monk Shen-hsiu had written a verse on a corridor wall in response to a request by the aged Patriarch:

    Our body is the Bodhi Tree,
    And our mind is a bright mirror.
    At all times diligently wipe them,
    So that they will be free from dust.

    What disturbed Hui-neng was the statement that our minds collect dust and need to be continually wiped clean; to him our mind, being part of our [true] nature, is always pure and above delusion. Putting this thought into verse, he asked a visitor to write on the wall:

    The Tree of Perfect Wisdom is originally no tree.
    Nor has the bright mirror any frame.
    Buddha-nature is forever clear and pure.
    Where is there any dust?

    or another alternative version ...

    Bodhi is no tree,
    nor is the mind a standing mirror bright.
    Since all is originally empty,
    where does the dust alight?

  3. #3

    Re: The Zen of Vacuuming?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanno
    Hi all!

    First you have to accept that the dirt is there.

    Gassho,

    Kanno

    Hi Kanno,

    What a lovely post. I don't think I can be reminded too many times of this very simple understanding. My life is or "seems" so "busy", I need to remember what is in your post. And Jundo's post which is one more step. Jeff Kitsis referred to one more step after that, that there is one more turn to make otherwise you hit your nose on the tree.

    But as to the above, it is important for me to remember to also be accepting that my emotion about the dirt is also there, perhaps not to be "cleaned up", just there, just ok, however I feel.

    gassho,
    rowan

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