The most inspiring spot

When I was about nine, I visited a small town at the foot of Mt. Fuji to attend a ceremony that honoured the spirit of my grandfather who’d passed away many years ago. The family and relatives gathered at one of the many Buddhist temples in town and waited in the sitting area for the official starting time.

There was complimentary tea service in the room, and after drinking several cups, I needed to use washroom.

“Go down the corridor and you’ll see the sign,” said my mother when I asked her.

I walked down the narrow, dark corridor alone until I came upon a wooden door with a ladies’ room sign on it. When I pushed the sliding door open, bright sunlight flooded in. The window was open, and a fresh wind swept across the room.

What a difference from the rest of the temple…?!

As I crouched over a toilet bowl, I observed that this washroom was sparkling clean. No matter how close I looked, I couldn’t even find a single dust. When I washed my hands in the basin, the wind once again came in through the open window and carried the fresh air to every corner.

The washroom became my favourite spot in the temple. Nothing felt more spiritual or inspiring than a spotless washroom with bright sunlight and fresh winds.