Sweeping The Floor As A Form Of Meditation

I don’t regularly practice meditation in the traditional sense. But I do find peace in the things I do. In my free ebook, The Happiness Of SimpleI discuss how simple tasks such as sweeping can become meditative. It’s not the end result that matters as much as it is the process of doing.

Last summer, my sister, who practices Buddhist mediation, spent a couple weeks at my home. One day as I was sweeping the hardwood floors, she asked, “Why don’t you just use a vacuum?” First, I don’t own a vacuum. But more importantly, I find the simple act of sweeping to be peaceful and meditative.

When I sweep the floor, I focus on the process. Sweeping is somewhat mindless, but that’s the point. When I think of nothing else other than the act of sweeping, I empty my mind of worries, doubts, and fears. I sweep away anger, anxiety, and frustration. I simply center myself in the act of sweeping the floor.

Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine. – Shunryu Suzuki

Routine Tasks Can Help Us To Be Mindful

I’ve written about breaking away from routine. And I believe that is important. Getting stuck in routine can keep us from being happy and creative. But life is filled with routine tasks. It’s in these tasks that we can find peace and tranquility.

I have a yard. Although I don’t find mowing with a gas-powered mower meditative, I do find mindful qualities in other yard work. I do own a reel mower, but my grass can get very thick and difficult to mow that way each time. So I often use the gas mower for the sake of saving time.

I have three Japanese maple trees, each a different variety.

Each year, I spend a few hours pruning these trees. In this case, both the process and the result can be meditative. The process, because my focus is solely on trimming the tree. The result, because I end up with a tree that is very minimalist and visually pleasing. 

You can easily see how this idea of work as a form of meditation can apply to many forms of work.

Sweeping Is Just One Form Of Meditative Work

Here are some other chores that I find very meditative in nature:

  • Raking the yard
  • Painting the fence
  • Planting a garden
  • Mopping the floor
  • Watering the grass

There are many other simple chores that could be added to the list. And we could go a step further. I also find activities such as walking, running, and riding a bicycle to have meditative qualities. There’s even a sense of mindfulness that comes through writing. Any simple activity that requires some focus and has a sense of rhythm can be meditative.

Simple living should not include getting rid of simple chores. The goal shouldn’t be to live so simply that you no longer have to work. For it’s often in work and simple chores that you can find a sense of peace and meditation. I encourage you to mindfully do your work.

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Dan Erickson

Dan Erikson is the passionate voice behind Hip Diggs, where he explores the art of living simply and intentionally. With a keen eye for minimalism and its profound impact on our lives, Dan delves into topics ranging from decluttering spaces to decluttering the mind. Drawing from personal experiences and a deep appreciation for the minimalist ethos, he offers readers practical insights and actionable steps to embrace a more meaningful, clutter-free life. When he's not penning down his thoughts on Hip Diggs, Dan enjoys the serenity of nature, reading, and exploring the nuances of simple living in a complex world.

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