- Based on H.E. Tulku Thondup Rinpoche’s
“The Merits of Cleaning a Temple”
Compiled by the Merit-Making Team (MMT) Drikung Meditation Center/Jokhang Institute
The six paramitas or 'transcendent perfections' comprise the
training of a Bodhisattva, which is Bodhicitta in action.
Accumulation of Merit (Skilful Means)
1. Generosity: to cultivate the attitude of generosity.
2. Discipline: refraining from harm.
3. Patience: the ability not to be perturbed by anything.
4. Diligence: to find joy in what is virtuous, positive or
5. Meditative concentration: not to be distracted.
Accumulation of Wisdom
6. Wisdom: the perfect discrimination of
phenomena, all knowable things.
What is a "tempien?
Temple= Our Body; Speech & Mind
Anywhere can be our "temple
Quality of "Temple»= Pure perception,
awareness of peace & calmness
We need to improve ourselves before we can help others. Body is the vessel/vehicle of mind. Mind is the master. Therefore it is essential to clean the mind.
Ultimately a clear mind will help us realize the stages of spiritual.
Attitude when cleaning “temple”: Joy + Dedication + Pure
Perception (more than ONE Paramitas Practices in addition
to Generosity of your time and energy)
Field: material objects i.e. Statues, Buddha Images, Dharma, Sangha, Temple etc.
Regard the cleaning environment as temple of Buddha/Deity/Your Yidam, not just as
statues, but the quality of Buddha with infinite manifestations.
Mental Attitude / Intention
Cause: Set proper intention and aspiration to clean
Action: Maintain the proper intention and aspiration to clean – carry out the cleaning
with proper motivation and attitude
Actual Application of Cleaning
Clean with diligence, tolerance and enthusiasm i.e. How wonderful I am to be able to do
this cleaning with a totally awakened mind!!
• Cleaning creates a clear mind for yourself
• Cleaning brings about a clear mind in others
• Cleaning attracts celestial beings
• Cleaning causes beauty
• Cleaning causes rebirth in the god realms
• The benefits of cleaning in this life and the next.
• The benefits of cleaning according to Mahayana Buddhism – motivation
of Bodhicitta by applying all Six Paramitas.
• The benefits of cleaning according to Common Buddhism.
• The benefits of cleaning with the correct motivation – to have a clear mind so that we will become the source of a clear mind for others and ultimately obtaining Buddhahood.
• The benefits of cleaning as a service to the Buddhas – as an offering to
the Triple Gems – their Quality, not the statue per se.
How to practice “Cleaning” Meditation?
Begin with “clear” mind, with minimal amount of clutter, confusion, conceptualization & emotional conflicts in mind.
Attitude: This is a special kind of cleaning, not ordinary cleaning.
How wonderful! This is a great privilege I get to do this cleaning. Do it with joy, diligence & enthusiasm.
Do it with complete faith.
Clear mind + Full Awareness = Merits
Motivation: Remember the merits of serving the field in this way and these merits will benefit all sentient beings by giving them a clear mind.
Pure intention is the essence throughout the whole practice.
Field (temple, shrine room or holy objects etc.) = object of refuge
• May chant mantra or say prayers
• Remember the quality of Buddha/3 gems (wisdom, compassion and omniscient mind)
Ourselves = Devotees (aspire to be like Buddha, seeking Buddha’s blessing)
Cleaning action = Service (devotion)
View: Treat everything we experience just as a designation, a name, just a dream – not real, like a mirage.
You can see them vividly, but there are no tangible, solid or gross forms.
Optional visualization: Visualize ourselves having an ocean of bodies, with infinite number of hands, each hand radiates an infinite number of rays of light, each ray of light holds a broom, each broom serves an infinite number of Buddha Pure Lands. This method brings boundless qualities into your world.
Dedication: Whatever merit you have accumulated should be dedicated to the benefit of all sentient beings. “May I clean all the Pure Lands of all the Buddhas of the ten directions, so that the suffering and the cause of suffering of all sentient beings may be swept away by the broom of enlightened intention.”