KIYOMERU - The Japanese Art of Cleaning

Japanese Calligraphy
Kiyomeru by Azumi Uchitani

KIYOMERU - Purification

KIYOMERU (清)is a Japanese word to purify. Purification of a physical and non-physical world is the foundation of our daily life.


For spiritual development and our well being, we may practice meditation and yoga to clear our mind and bring peace. We can also continue to clear our mind and purify our energy throughout a day with our awareness and attention. We can live consciously to purify our inner world, by observing our inner chatters and keeping our surroundings clean. It is a practice. The practice becomes a beautiful habit.


Now, how about our outer world? What do you think of the task of cleaning? How do you see it? 


Cleaning - Purification of our outer world

In this modern society, the cleaning job is collectively labeled as a low-grade task and we delegate this task to someone else. Yes, we could spend our time on something more intellectual or creative activities than cleaning, perhaps.

Although it may seem a low-grade task, it is a sacred act.

The task of cleaning cleans our mind, our inner world too. Cleaning is taking care. When we are cleaning, we are respecting and cherishing our surrounding. We are connecting to the beautiful high frequent energy in the non-physical world, in contrast to anger, hatred, greed. You may have noticed how great you feel just even after wiping a table. Both of our inner world and outer world become in harmony with this purified energy.


In Japan....

In Zen Buddhism, the task of cleaning is one of the most important training for mind purification and physical well being. For the monks, cleaning is their daily duty. You may see them beautifully polishing the wooden floor like a dance performance.

In Japanese temples, we are invited not only for meditation, but also for cleaning tasks as part of our spiritual training. It is an honour to clean a part of temples and experience this sacred pure energy that cleaning brings.


In Shintoism, purification of the inner and outer world is the basic life philosophy and there are daily and seasonal rituals to practice.


Also in Tea Ceremony, it starts with a ritual of cleaning a tea bowl and all the utensils we use and ends with cleaning again. It is a purification of energy too.

Purification 清 is one of the 4 principles of the Japanese Tea ceremony, among Harmony 和, Respect 敬, stillness 寂, 

和敬清寂(wa kei sei jyaku)


At school, Japanese children clean their own classrooms and school premises. It is a part of education. We learn to respect our environment and belongings in early age. I remember that, in my school days, we had a homework to make my own cleaning towel from old towels. It was a part of school life.


Inner Peace starts with cleaning

Here in Europe, it is common to delegate the cleaning tasks to someone else. However, during the lockdown of Spring 2020, we had to do the cleaning by ourselves. Some may hate it, Some may enjoy it.


I re-discovered the joy of cleaning during this lockdown as I was able to give more time and attention to it. Everyday, every minute, we can make a conscious choice to be with "Wa Kei Sei Jyaku" - Harmony, Respect, Pureness and Stillness. Cleaning is the task to offer our loving energy to our outer world and inner world. We will be wrapped with the energy of joy and abundance. 


If we have a belief that cleaning is a low-grade task, it starts from cleaning our thoughts.

Once we replace your belief associated with the cleaning, we automatically start giving more gratitude to those who clean our surroundings and public spaces. Just being aware that our street is clean to walk and being grateful, our energy field is transformed even when we are feeling down.


  • Cleaning is the Purification of our inner and outer world.
  • Cleaning is as important as doing meditation and yoga to our soul. 
  • Cleaning is connected to the energy of abundance, prosperity, worthy, love, joy, bliss.
  • Cleaning is a sacred task.  

Inner Peace starts from the cleanness of our inner world and outer world.


Thank you for reading!  


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With love and light,