Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Samu (Zen), work that encourages mindfulness

Samu is the understanding and the experience of material as spirit. What use is it to live in this world if one doesn’t realize one’s thoughts through material? Work done in this spirit really becomes a panacea for the mind and is at the basis of spiritual power. All the great masters practiced samu diligently, this is why the majority of Zen stories take place in gardens, during building work or in the kitchens of temples”.
- Master Kosen; source


Samu refers to physical work that is done with mindfulness as a simple, practical and spiritual practice.
Samu might include activities such as cleaning, cooking, gardening, or chopping wood. It is a way to bring mindfulness into everyday life as well as to get things done.
Samu is popular in Zen monasteries, particularly as a means of maintaining the monastery and as practicing mindfulness.
- source

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Work includes assisting in the office, cutting vegetables in the kitchen, cleaning the toilets, stacking firewood, weeding the garden, or perhaps even building a shelf to organize footwear. Whatever the task may be, participants dedicate themselves to it peacefully. In the simple act of performing duties with complete concentration of body and mind, life becomes simple and serene.
- source

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