The home I share with my husband and baby is our personal space, our sanctuary.
Not a Guidebook
At first I thought it was a spiritual ‘how to’ book about where to put things in the home. How wrong was I? I was pleasantly surprised – in fact, the book is almost meditative. It’s a book describing how Buddhist Monks use the process of cleaning to cleanse their soul. The tagline is ‘Live clean. Feel calm. Be happy’. It demonstrates how with just a few simple changes to our daily habits and routine, we can feel calmer and happier – just like Monks.
The book teaches us the importance of respecting objects. It’s thought that we should rethink the way we view ‘rubbish’ in our home. Whether that means reusing, clearing or donating, ultimately we should give objects back their ‘purpose and shine’. In turn it makes you consider if you’re ‘buying well’ for your home.
It also talks about the importance of opening windows and getting fresh air in to the home whilst cleaning every morning (never evening). It tells us that by removing dust we sweep away our worldly cares and enable ourselves to live simply. We take more time then to contemplate ourselves, ask ourselves all the questions we would ask a friend if we hadn’t seen them in a while. Monk’s clean their temples religiously (excuse the pun) with spectacular attention to detail. They are also very modest and take pride in their work. Monks are cheerful and well and always working as part of a team; like we could in our own home.
This book taught me the significance of being appreciative, respectful and how an aesthetic practice can cultivate the mind. Make your bed in the morning, clean everyday, charge yourself full of energy and create a breathing space for your mind to enable yourself to have a pleasant day.
When I finished the book I felt so inspired to get some ‘home clothes’, clothes that were dedicated to doing chores like sweeping, mopping, cooking. I felt inclined to use more vegetables, to be more wholesome and felt a little more inspired to carry on my pursuit of ‘enlightenment’. I love the whole Japanese idea of not being wasteful and how important it is to break the habit of generations. Remember, what behaviour our children, neighbours and partners see, they inherit.
This is such a fantastic book and I urge everyone to read it.