Clean for the Holidays - Immersion

Day 9: Cleaning House (Immersion)

“Use every distraction as an object of meditation and they cease to be distractions.” – Mingyur Rinpoche

Beginning to clean the house of superfluous stuff is a wonderful metaphor for the invisible cleansing taking place in our heads and hearts.  Each ‘thing’ that I negotiate with myself to let go involves an emotional tug-of-war.  What does it mean to me, what is it about that ‘thing’ that I value?  Does it a represent an historical need, or a continuing want?  What does it say about me?  Is it necessary to my self-image?  Is it a prop for a yet-to-be-played-out scene in my life?

All of this begs the question – how much ‘stuff’ do we need in order to be the person we want to be?  Honest answer?

Not much.

What do you need?

  • music – but that can be digital, with the exception of musical instruments.

  • books – keep the ones that continue to feed your soul and your daily work. 

  • beautiful objects – which ones feed your soul?

  • comfortable furniture to enjoy relaxing with family and friends.

  • things to stay clean and well fed.

  • clothing - enough to present yourself professionally in your work, and to be warm and comfortable for daily activity.

We can use this exercise as a vehicle for working out what’s important, and a measure against which we can view future wants.  It’s about contributing to environmental sustainability, having a smaller footprint, while working towards a comfortable future life, where simple needs are adequately met. 


To bring mindfulness to cleaning, shift your mindset about the task. Instead of viewing it as a chore, view the task as a positive event like a stress reliever. As you perform the task (whether it be doing the dishes or vacuuming) focus on what you’re doing. Smell the soapy suds. Feel the vibration of the vacuum in your hand.

  • Step 1: Dust Your House. ...

  • Step 2: Clean Furniture Fabric. ...

  • Step 3: Clean Mirrors and Glass. ...

  • Step 4: Clean Surfaces. ...

  • Step 5: Clean the Kitchen and Bathroom. ..

  • Step 6: Clean Floors. ...

  • Step 7: Vacuum the House.