Soji (掃除): A Meditation on Zen Cleaning by Shoukei Matsumoto



Soji (掃除)
A Meditation on Zen Cleaning

In Japan, cleaning is called ‘Soji’ and valued as a way to cultivate our minds. In fact, Soji is beyond mere cleaning. Buddhist monks in a monastery put more time into practicing Soji than into practicing Zen meditation. Actually, Zen is not only about meditation but about your whole life. 

A monk’s day begins with cleaning. We sweep the temple grounds and gardens and polish the temple building. We don’t do this because it’s dirty or messy. We sweep dust to remove our worldly desires. We scrub dirt to free ourselves of attachments.

One important thing Soji practice tells us is that we never complete cleaning. Just as leaves begin to fall right after you sweep, desires begin to accumulate right after you refresh your mind. We continue cleaning the gloom in our hearts, knowing that we will never end it.

How can you change your daily housework into an opportunity to contemplate yourself? I recommend that you have your own ritual when you start cleaning. In my case, I give prayer and chant a short mantra to a little Buddha statue before cleaning. Once you make it your daily routine, it protects you from evils. This is the power of routine.

See also:

Spring Healing Herbs by Paige Emery: A ritual guide for mint, violet, rosemary, chamomile, sage, rose, dandelion, clover.

Spring Cleaning Tarot Spread by adrienne maree brown: Ask the cards for guidance on how to work in harmony with the enlivening energies of spring.

Hildegard’s Healing Recipes: “Your food shall be your remedy.” Hildegard's medieval recipes for inspiration for your own healing practices.

Daily Practice GuideThe establishment of daily practice, a devotional rhythm in life through ritual and routine, is the bedrock of a magical practice. Dedicating yourself to such a practice can benefit your consciousness, health and general well-being. 

Magical Plants for Healing, Balance and ImmunityAs well as seeding and nurturing plants, now is an important time to enhance your self-care for the days and weeks ahead through ritual, intention-setting and clearing your energy.