Zen and the Art of Sweeping

February 22, 2012 sexyknees

Meditating while sweeping!

Between the muggings and occasional building fires my apartment complex is a very placid place.  While walking through my neighborhood one day, however, I passed an apartment dweller whom felt it prudent to make use of a gasoline-powered leaf blower to clean his 4′ x 6′ balcony.  The noise was just as unbearable as his apparent laziness.  I realize that strapping on the equivalent of a mini jet pack and making piles of leaves magically do your bidding has its appeal, but there is a limit to how frequently we use technology to accomplish our chores.

There is an art to sweeping.  Done correctly, you can lose yourself in your task and meditate on issues of greater importance.  It is not the chore but rather the focus which is beneficial.  Perhaps I am too sensitive, but I find it nearly impossible to concentrate while in the presence of one of those incredibly loud leaf blowers – ear plugs or not.  So do yourself a favor and get rid of that noisy contraption.  Buy a rake and broom instead and spend some time being physically active while losing yourself in your task.  You might find answers to questions which may otherwise be lost within all the noise pollution to which we have all grown too accepting!

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Adam  |  March 30, 2012 at 4:02 am

    True actually. And if one pays attention, a good broom can do a great job cleaning areas a vacuum could never do. Most folks are just too lazy to bend over to use the dust pan. My grandfather purposely used a rotary push mower ( the kind that operates by simply pushing it…no motor ) for years just to keep the noise down for his neighbors. Talk about being considerate!

    • 2. sexyknees  |  July 14, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      Oh, I love those things!!! My dad always thought I was lazy because I never mowed the lawn, but the truth is that I hate loud noises – it physically hurt me. So yes, I’ll take those old push mowers and a broom over modern equivalents every time!

      I was told by a psychiatrist friend that physical exercise is one of the fastest and most effective methods to overcome depression, so if you need to clear your mind, avoid sadness, or concentrate on serious issues, try sweeping or mowing in silence. Thanks for sharing, Adam!

  • 3. Kylie  |  May 29, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Lu-Tze AKA “The Sweeper.”

    Agent of the Monks of History, from the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett, the Men in Saffron. Renowned in the organization as its most productive and achieved agents, also quite good at keeping the place tidy. Lu-tze is known by all students of the Monastery as one of the most supreme fighters in its existence, knowledgable in martial arts such as Upsi-daisi and No-kando and rumored to be a master in Deja-fu. After 800 years of service in the Monastery, he is probably the second most skilled monk in existence.

    The reason for his fame and success is that Lu-tze is not a holy man, unlike many of his fellow agents, and seeks no formal enlightenment. The origins of his philosophy were in his training as a sweeper in the home of Mrs. Cosmopilite. The moment he first saw her, he was awed by her innate knowledge of the teachings of Wen the Eternally Surprised, because at that moment she said, “I haven’t got all day, you know.” In the three months he worked for her he learned the way of Mrs. Cosmopilite.(Hint: it’s all in the wrist) He compiled her teachings into a book which he keeps with him at all times. For is it not written, “I wasn’t born yesterday!”

    In Thief of Time Lu-tze is the enigmatic master of Lobsang Ludd, imparting on the young man the wisdom of Mrs. Cosmopilite and his considerable experience with temporal problems and how they should be beaten up. In Night Watch he is the agent sent to make sure a confused and angry Sir Samuel Vimes carries out his mentor’s part in the Treacle Mine Road Revolution.

    Memorable quotes include the Rules for survival in the Oi Dong dojo:

    “Rule One: Do not act incautiously when confronting a little bald wrinkly smiling man.”
    “Rule Two: Never refuse a weapon.”
    “Rule Three: When holding deadly weapon and facing an unarmed man in a pose of submission, be very, very afraid.(See Rule One)”
    “Rule 27: Always remember the First Rule!!”

    • 4. sexyknees  |  July 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing this information with me, Kylie! I had no idea about Lu-Tze and will dedicate time to read all about him. I very much like the quotes!!!

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