Sunday, March 14, 2010

Got Samu?

Just got done with some early spring house cleaning. Dusting, vacuuming and scrubbing. And I feel great! House looks good too.

Cleaning reminded me of time during sesshin at the Nebraska Zen Center. We would have Samu, or work period. I would look forward to it as it gave me relief from sitting on my ass for hours. It also soothed the pain in my knees and back. During samu we would clean the zendo. This included cleaning Buddha, scrubbing floors, toilets, raking leaves, cleaning altars and vacuuming zafus and zabutons. never felt so good.

There is an old Zen saying that 'cleaning clears away delusion'. I am a strong advocate for this saying. Next time you find yourself upset, no matter what it is, start cleaning. Doesn't make any difference what you clean. Just clean. Focus your mind on the details. Get into it! Notice how you feel when you are done. feeeels good!
Hands palm to palm,


  1. This reminds me of a friend of mine, who once told me that whenever she feels not okay, she does cleanings... and it feels good!

    I laughed at her that time.

    Now I realize it wasn't a joke. Perhaps I should try this soon... thanks for the insight!

  2. Hi Rizal...I was like you as well. Cleaning to feel good? I even tell my clients when they feel depressed to go and sweep and mop their kitchen floor. One of my clients said she has the cleanest floor in the neighborhood and she feels better.

  3. Yes... I am cleaning the house today and last week I was cleaning our Caravan. Cleaning and gardening help to keep us in touch with the basics of life and living ;-)

  4. Couldn't agree more, Doug. It also brings us back to gratitude and caring for those basics that support our life.

  5. Resonance over here! LOL I've been doing my spring cleaning too!

    I've also noticed the therapeutic value in cleaning. It works every time! The fact that our surroundings are nothing but a reflection of our inner being, it makes perfect sense that cleaning up outside would help to clear away inner undesirables!