Shoukei MATSUMOTO is Buddhist Monk in Komyoji Temple. Born in 1979 in Japan, he graduated in Literature from the University of Tokyo. After graduation, he joined Komyoji temple and initiated new projects such as Temple Café Project or “Mirai no Jushoku-Juku” (a business management program for Buddhist priests and monks). In 2013, he was nominated as a member of Young Global Leaders from World Economic Forum. In 2019, he was also appointed as a member of the Global Future Councils from World Economic Forum. He has published five titles and “A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind” was translated into more than fifteen languages. If you want to know more about the author you can follow him in @shoukeimatsumoto.
“A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind” explains the traditional meditative techniques that will help cleanse not only your house, but your soul. So Zen Japanese Buddhist monks take cleaning very seriously. In fact, they view it as an essential part of a healthy, positive life and Buddhist practice. Just at the beginning of the book the author throws us: “monk’s day begins with cleaning. We sweep the temple grounds and gardens and polish the main temple hall. We don’t do this because it’s dirty or messy. We do it to eliminate the suffering in our hearts.” And he adds: “We live simply and take time to contemplate the self, mindfully living each moment. It’s not just monks that need to live this way. Everyone in today’s busy world needs it.”
A long the book Shoukei shares a simple routine that will allow us to reconnect with ourselves and our environment. Sometimes his explanations look like common sense others will surprise you. However his messages will never leave you indifferent and I am pretty sure you will love the relationship that explains us between the way you act versus who you are.
The book has 3 parts. First of all explains some general habits that will help you a lot in your day to day. The second part talks about clothes to wear and several objects that will make cleaning easier for you. And the third part teaches us how to clean several common places or elements, as kitchen, bathroom, etc. Across the chapters gives us some amazing phrases, that I really love (below some of them):
- The Japanese idea of not being wasteful is not just about avoiding waste—it also embodies a spirit of gratitude toward objects
- Tao Te Ching convey that the ideal way of life is like water: flexible and calm
- To remove impurities from your heart, be sure to keep the bathroom sparkling clean
- If you use an object for as long as you can, carefully repairing it when necessary, you will find that not only your relationship with objects begins to change but so will the way you relate to people.
- A room filled with so many things that they can no longer be organized is proof of a clouded heart.
- Your garden is a place where your body and soul can be in dialogue with your surroundings
Here you can find a video where the author explains the importance about “The Power of Cleanliness”, similar to meditation for enlightenment:
If you are interested in reading this book, attached you can find the link to buy it. I always prefer the option to download on kindle, to save paper: