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Everyday, at dawn and in the evening, monks take care of the temple compound. They cut the grass, clean the inside of the buildings and sweep the floor.
They must uphold certain standards of cleanliness according to one of the three main principles of Buddhism which is to purify one’s mind.
However, before the mind can be cleansed, the surroundings must first be cleansed. This is the reason why monks must train themselves to love cleanliness in their everyday life.
As sweeping is a repetitive movement, it is also considered a sort of moving meditation that allows the sweeper to ponder and calm the mind.
Next time you clean the house, try to focus on the sweeping movement and see how you feel.
When shooting daily life and routines, especially in religious places, be respectful and unobtrusive. You don’t want to disturb the monk’s meditation by standing in the way and clicking madly on your shutter. Stay out of the way, take a few shots and smile and thank them when they look at you.
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