Scrubbing the Floor

The 28th day of December is the date for Year-End cleaning in Chinese tradition and scrubbing the floor is one of the essential cleaning procedures. Scrubbing the floor seems a simple and everyday task, so why am I mentioning it? Actually, there are lessons to be learnt behind this simple act. In the old days, people knelt down to scrub the floor; nowadays, we stand up and use a mop. From a historical point of view, this symbolises the evolution from a slavery society to a democratic society.

From the time of laborious scrubbing with water to using efficient bleach and chemicals nowadays, we have endured centuries of change. Some call it becoming more civilised, some call it becoming modernised; whatever we call it, we have unknowingly begun a war with germs, bacteria and viruses. I will leave you to ponder the cause of this warfare.

Master Shenxiu of Chan School from the Tang Dynasty mused: “The body is the bodhi tree, the mind is a bright mirror stand, at all times we must strive to polish it and not to let dust collect.” If we always keep our environment clean and tidy, we will not need to put in so much effort at the end of the year. We can apply less chemical detergents and reduce the damage to Mother Earth. It is for every body’s benefit to live peacefully with Mother Earth in a clean and tidy environment. Hope we all do our best to protect the environment in the coming year.

Master Sik Chi Wan

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