“The religion scholar Rita Gross makes the point that most domestic acts are revered in Zen monasteries. The ordinary is made a point of reverence and attention […] There is nothing sacred about sweeping the walk of a monastery, and nothing profane about sweeping the kitchen at home.
But in a vast literature and endless works of art, the monk sweeping the stone walk is emblematic of a high pursuit, cast in an entirely different light than the woman sweeping the kitchen while her toddler eats breakfast. Which act is more difficult to do well, to do with mindfulness and selfless attention? What exactly makes them seem so different?