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Friday, November 6, 2009

About Purification




Purification is the main practice of yoga and also the fundamental practice for all other religions and faiths. All the asana practice, pranayama, concentration and meditation are to help us to purify the mind.

We need to clean our body once or twice everyday as well as our house and the living environment for hygienic reason and comfort.

But the cleanliness of our mind is far more important than the cleanliness of the body and the environment. The process of cleaning the mind is called purification. Be wise not to be cheated by the appearance of a person. A person who looks neat and clean from the appearance, might be full of impure thoughts in the mind, while a person who looks messy and dirty on the appearance might be a pure saint inside the heart.

That’s why we can’t judge anybody from their looks, their actions and speech and even not what they do and not do. An impure person can be a very good actor. And a pure saint cannot be recognized or defined from his appearance or his behaviors. It is a huge ignorance to judge a person and labeling people with good and bad tags.

We need to sweep away those impurities in our mind from moment to moment and yet there is still impurities arising all the time. It is like when we had finished sweeping away the dead leaves on the ground in the garden, immediately there are others dead leaves lying on the ground again because the trees are still there continue to produce new leaves – liked wise, the ignorance in us continues to produce impurities in our mind unceasingly. And with great patience, we are repeating the sweeping and cleaning action again and again unceasingly and without feeling frustrated and tired.

This is an on going practice for everyone until there is no more dead leaves being produced, the root of the tree is dead and stop producing leaves – liked wise, the root of ignorance is being rooted out and no more impurities are being produced in our mind.

Some people think that if they go to a temple or sacred places for a trip, do some prayers or take a sacred bath, and their sins or bad luck will all be washed away. But in their hearts are still full of impurities and ignorance, and when they went home, they will still continue to have impure thoughts, actions and speech. This doesn’t really help at all.

If we really want to have good luck in our lives, we need to have self-control over our impatience, anger, hatred, jealousy, arrogance, greed and lust. We need to stop speaking harsh words and lies, mocking, teasing, slandering, gossiping, condemning or indulging in impure and meaningless conversations. We need to check our thoughts before we act and speak. We must take care that our actions and speech are bringing benefits and harmony for other people and for our own self. If we are not able to bring any benefits or harmony to other people or to our own self through speech and actions, then it is better that we remain non-action and speechless, but sending our good-will and compassionate thoughts to all the living beings out there.

If we always have ill-will or evil thinking towards other people, we are actually gathering bad and negative energy in ourselves and in our lives. Definitely bad luck will happen onto us and in our lives. And if we only have good-will and kind thinking towards other people without discrimination of good and bad people or people who we like or don’t like and people who we know or not know, then we are gathering good and positive energy in ourselves and in our lives. Definitely good luck will happen onto us and in our lives.

The real purity is attribute-less without any qualities. It is pure without negativity or positivity. We don’t generate any negative energy and we don’t crave for any positive energy as well.

We don’t need any good luck or positive energy to give us good things and happiness in life. Because we are content and at peace if we don’t have ignorance and are wise.

We don’t see any things so called “bad” as bad or any so called “unhappiness” as unhappiness because we see beyond all names and forms. Everything that is being categorized into good and bad, happiness and unhappiness under the perception of duality in our mind, are being seen as same and no differences under the wisdom of impermanence, non-self, uncertainty, namelessness and formlessness.

May we all go back to the state of purity and be free.

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Know thyself. There is no existence of 'I'. Everything is impermanent. Be free, be peaceful, be happy.

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Pantai Cenang, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
My husband and I run ongoing yoga retreats in Langkawi Malaysia. We teach traditional Hatha Yoga - a combination of Asanas (postures) and Pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation, that has given benefit to millions of practitioners over thousands of years. Our yoga studio is situated in Langkawi. We also run yoga retreats in Europe and India.

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