‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ & The Dharma?

The KonMari Method is a technique to organise material stuff at home. Its first step is to heap especially clothes in one giant pile – to realise how much ‘more than enough’ one has. This creates motivation to declutter and to sort what remains. To truly want to clear a mess, realise how much of a mess one is already living with. This is as if to see the First Noble Truth of suffering that the mess creates, before removing its causes (i.e. Second Noble Truth), knowing what wanted (i.e. Third Noble Truth) and getting there with the actual work of tidying up (i.e. Fourth Noble Truth).

A non-mess is when there is a sensible place for everything, with everything in its place – using compartmentalisation with categorisation – of clothes, books, documents, miscellaneous items and mementos. Prior to tidying up all is a ‘meditative’ practice of (re)connecting to the house on the whole, followed by holding of each item to see if it ‘sparks joy’. If it does, keep it; if not, have a sense of gratitude, before parting with it. This treats everything, despite being inanimate, to be as if infused with ‘life’, to be respected – so as to be thankful, and not wasteful.

Fruitful tidying of the house is with spiritual tidying up of the mind too – by purging the Three Poisons of attachment, aversion and delusion. Attachment is to what not needed any more, and to wanting more, that leads to hoarding. Without cutting this, even minimalised living will soon be ‘re-maximised’. Aversion is towards ‘clearing the attached’. It gives excuses not to tidy up, and lacks discipline to maintain the tidied. Delusion is of the workings of attachment and aversions above, not knowing how much of a blessing it is, to be able to share ‘excess’ blessings – be it by recycling, or by gifting the reusable to others in need.

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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