The Sanskrit word śauca (शौच) is the de-cluttering of one’s life. Being able to step back and clean up is important in nourishing the seed of clarity.
What must I try and clean up on a daily basis?
- The external environment; and in particular my dedicated yoga space. If external and internal are but one; how can a cluttered and untidy environment be conducive to the process of yoga? But I must tread this way with caution; this may become an excercise in ego-stretching, one of “me” controlling and working against the natural way of things. Keeping the external space tidy is important, but I must not fall into the trap of becoming attached to keeping things clean- disinfecting the very creativity that Life embodies constantly.
- The body. The body, impermanent and undergoing the process of decay moment from moment. The body is not clean, not 100%, and this is ok. What is the point of a body covered in disinfectant? It is dead clean. But when the body is not clean, it succumbs to illness, and effort exerted in keeping the body relatively clean is a daily reminder of the body’s inherent impureness and impermanent nature. It is a sobering practice.
- The mind. It is time to clean up the mind. For the mind to “come clean” about many secrets; to reconcile within myself the damage tied up, and then facilitate reconciliation with others. Daily practising of the ability to release suppressed frustrations and sadnesses, with authenticity, clarity (as much as will allow), and ahimsā is śauca, a cleaning process. We must mourn if we need to mourn. Don’t let feelings of embarrassment or guilt imprison what is truly happening. Just apologise, from the heart, and soften the ego in doing so. Don’t clutter the mind with that stuff.
The cleaning up process, external and internal, clears the dirt away from the mirror of consciousness- allowing and preparing for that light, purusa, to be seen finally for what it truly is. So let us begin with picking up that mop and bucket and with mindfulness- clean with joy.
Happy Cleaning Up!