I blazed through A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind which I stumbled upon at René’s house. It was a pleasant read for which I have little to add, perhaps just warn the reader that the book is not meant to be a template for a cleaning routine (this would require you to become a monk), the main takeaway is the fact that it is possible to perform inner work by means of outer work.
The book repeatedly draws analogies between real world objects and their spiritual counterparts: windows ought to be spotless and completely transparent like our spiritual vision; light fixtures ought to be completely free from dust, for that which emanates light should not be obstructed; in dark and humid corners mold will grow, and the same will happen to our mind if we don’t find time to meditate, and so forth.
For the person walking the spiritual path, these analogies arise naturally from all activity. The spiritual shepherd will show his flock the way by walking it, the weightlifter will inhale and exhale upon each repetition like a yogi, the spiritual scientist will (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb13ynu3Iac)[see himself as a karmic agent of the world], the spiritual architect will predict his buildings appearing in molecules, and so on.
For the person performing activity out of spiritual motivation, there is no such thing as success or failure. That would be attachment. The purpose of outward activity is inward transformation. The things that dwell within the soul cannot be perceived by our worldly senses: they cannot be seen, heard or manipulated in any way. But the material world provides a metaphor to work with it.
While removing the dust of your surfaces and possessions, you are at the same time removing the dust from your memories and from memory itself. Is this a falsifiable statement? No, it is not, and thus is is not science. The great misunderstanding of our age is that anything that is not science is not real. For, as much as a great tool science is, it is impossible for it to experience the first person perspective, so people often ask: what does science have to say about love? about art? about the meaning of life? and the answers that come up are dry, vacuous or meaningless. These questions are not meant to be answered by science, they are answered by each one of us, within our hearts.