Sarmad Radio - Episode 2 - Cleaning as Excercise to Stay in the Now - with Shoukei Matsumoto

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In this episode we had the honor of talking with Shoukei Matsumoto, Japanese Zen Buddhist monk, who is the author of the life-changing book "A Monk's Guide to a Clean House and Mind", which has been translated into 18 different languages.

Shoukei argues that cleaning is not just about removing dirt but is an exercise to stay in the now, a practice of cultivating the mind and heart.

Especially now that we are spending an unprecedented amount of our time at home, Shoukei's book feels to have a completely different level of urgency. Read this book and it might change your life.

In the first part of episode 2, we talked about his journey to a monastic life and in the second part, we talked more in details about the book, read some excerpts from it and had some insightful discussion about cleaning different parts of house.

" ...  Just as you have finished raking the leaves, more are sure to fall. It is the same with your mind. Right when you think you have cleaned out all the cobwebs, more begin to form. Adherence to the past and misgivings about the future will fill your head, wresting your mind from the present. This is why we monks pour ourselves heart and soul into the polishing of floors. Cleaning is training for staying in the now.  "

" ... People today are busy, and we have all experienced going home tired, then leaving dirty dishes and laundry unattended as we go to bed. But did you begin the next day refreshed? Was it not depressing to wake up to the new day with yesterday’s chores still to be done? It isn’t just the moment you realize these things are still pending that you feel depressed. When you go to bed thinking, ‘Ugh, I still have to do these things but I’m too tired’, you retain this gloomy feeling in your consciousness all night. "

About Shoukei Matsumoto
Shoukei graduated from Tokyo University's School of Religious Studies. Right after graduation, he joined Komyoji temple as a monk. He completed MBA from Indian School of Business in 2011. Selected to attend the Forum of Young Economic Leader in 2013, Matsumoto has created a 'temple cafe' and an 'online temple', Higan-ji, where he offers people a way to rebuild traditional Buddhism through new media.

You can find Shoukei on social media:

And you can order the book here:
Amazon - A Monk's Guide to a Clean House and Mind

Intro music was made by Behzad Abbasy

About Sarmad Radio
Sarmad Radio is the podcast section of Sarmad Platform, aiming to extend our conversations, thoughts, and experiments in an auditory realm. The episodes each feature a guest, and  include research, readings, conversations, stories, music, noise, and jokes. These podcasts are produced as part of our project Image-Norms-Power (2021-2022).

This project is made possible with the generous support of Gemeente Rotterdam and Mondriaanfonds.