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samu: working as meditation

Zen samu is a mindful work practice that helps Zen Buddhists cultivate discipline, concentration, and compassion

Zen samu is a Japanese term that refers to the practice of mindful work in Zen Buddhism. It is a form of spiritual practice that involves engaging in everyday tasks with a sense of awareness and presence. Samu can be any kind of work, but it is often associated with physical labor, such as cooking, cleaning, and gardening

The purpose of samu is to cultivate discipline, concentration, and compassion. It is also a way to learn to let go of self-centeredness and ego. When we practice samu, we are not simply working to complete a task, but we are also working to cultivate our minds and hearts

exceprts from zen illlustrated

  • Zen practice is no separate from enlightenment
  • enlight-enment is not separate from practice
  • When we work with this attitude, then every weed we pull in the garden or every email we send can become an act of rooting out our own ignorance and communicating respectfully
  • give up the idea that we will finish, gain anything,
  • ...nor to be at some point in time when we don’t have to practice anymore
  • After Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment, he never stopped practicing the way
  • No matter what kind of job you are doing, you can practice samu
  • The key is to look at your task as the most important thing
  • It is not something that needs to be completed, but something you are doing as a means of practice
  • When you finish a task that is assigned to you during samu practice, you will be given another task to work on, so work just keeps coming your way
  • Work is never completed, just like our lives from moment to moment — there is always the next job to be done