Reflections From ‘Cleaning’ A Bodhisattva

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Why and how
you do anything
reflects a part of you.

— Stonepeace

I should do this more, but I spring-clean the Avalokiteshvara (Guanshiyin) Bodhisattva image on the shrine at home only once a year.  (The saving grace is that I do it quite thoroughly.) It’s a fantastic spiritual practice for training mindfulness and reverence in action, and ideal for cultivating all-angled visualisation of magnificent enlightened forms! While cleaning, a few reflections came to mind.

Embodiment of compassion
Ready to stand up for action
Yet also resting at peace

Carved from a block of wood
Like Buddha-nature embedded within the ordinary
Its full potential arising

An island upon oneself who offers refuge
On the island of the Buddhadharma as true refuge
In the tumultuous sea of Samsara

With a foot upon a pure lotus
Never defiled by the world
Even as she treads into the world of dusts

Dusting the Bodhisattva image
I remember she is really already self-cleansed
She ‘offers’ the cleaning cloth back to me!

Smile that is assured
Smile that assures
Smile that is assurance

Strength of will and wisdom
With ease and grace of compassion
Ever solid in principle yet fluid in skilful means

Not letting any dust alight
One sees the original face
Meanwhile, my dusty eyes sees a dusty world

Wiping the nooks and crannies, the folds of the robe
It’s the hidden corners of my body, speech and mind
That need to be cleaned

Unknown angles
Missed details
See the complete the picture of reality

Who are you other than
why and how
you do everything?

— Stonepeace


  • Hi,

    Could you enlighten me what’s the proper way of cleaning Guanyin Bodhisattva? It’s due time that I should clean mine too


  • @Jimmy: Here is more on who is Stonepeace!:

    @Alex: Actually, there are no definite rules as to how to clean. Just make sure you use a clean cloth to wipe will do. If it’s sticky, you can use a damp cloth. But if it’s wood, it might discolour! I use the kind of cloth that has microfibre that can pick up dust easily. Happy cleaning!



  • Hi,

    Thanks for sharing Just wondering how often you clean Guanyin?

    To side track, is it a must to we undergo “initiation” or Kai Guan domestic Guanyin before we pray? Also, the Christians believe the Buddhists are idol worshiping, So are we?

  • Awesome, glad I came across this article and will practice mindfulness when I next clean my Guanyin statue! Still learning every day.

  • @Alex: As in the article, ‘I should do this more, but I spring-clean the Avalokiteshvara (Guanshiyin) Bodhisattva image on the shrine at home only once a year. (The saving grace is that I do it quite thoroughly.)’

    You can clean it more regularly than me. It also depends on if the image is dusty.

    On consecration, you can see an article on it at http://moonpointer.com/new/2011/01/consecration

    Buddhists don’t do idol-worshipping. We simply are using images to represent and remind us of the ideal qualities we wish to emulate. Some of these qualities are in the article above.

    @Jeanny: Glad to know it’s helpful!



Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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