A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind by Shoukei Matsumoto – digested read

‘Have a haircut on the 4th, 9th, 14th, 19th, 24th and 29th of every month. Unless you are bald’

Japanese people take cleaning very seriously. When we have finished cleaning everything in the house, we go back to the beginning and start again. Cleaning isn’t about cleaning. It’s about filling in time usefully before you die. Buddhist monks have a motto: “Live to clean and clean to live.”

Before you start to clean, you must get rid of all your rubbish. Remember, though, nothing starts out as rubbish. Rubbish only becomes rubbish when people treat it as rubbish. So learn to respect your rubbish. First, try to find a place for it where you think it will be happy and then tell it how sad you are to be saying goodbye to it.

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