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Friday, November 6, 2009

About Purification

Purification is the main practice of yoga and also the fundamental practice for all kinds of religions and faiths. All the asana practice, pranayama, observations, restraints, concentration and meditation are to help us to purify the mind. However, what is purification in yoga and/or buddhism can be very different from the purification in the many religions and faiths.

The purification in the many religions and faiths of the world of ignorance and egoism is mostly about self-righteous morality that is not necessarily the truth of what things are, which might generate many unnecessary discrimination, prejudice, hatred, oppression and violence towards certain names and forms that the minds dislike and disagree with based on that particular belief, values and practice.

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 mind 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 mind.

That’s why we can’t judge anybody from their looks, their actions and speech, and even not what they do and don't 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 the tag of good and bad.

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 and egoism in us continues to produce impurities in our mind unceasingly. With great patience, we are repeating the sweeping and cleaning action again and again unceasingly and might be getting frustrated and tired. And hence, the mind purification is not just about sweeping the impurities in the mind, but to root out the ignorance and egoism that give rise to ceaseless impurities.

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 would be arising 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 minds might be 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 work at all. 

Similarly, performing all kinds of yoga and meditation practice regularly gaining many effects or physical and mental health and fitness benefits but without eradicate ignorance and egoism from the mind, also doesn't lead to the liberation from ignorance and egoism.

If we really want to have goodness 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. Our actions and speech should be promoting peace and harmony for other people and for our own self. If we are not able to bring any peace or harmony to other people or to our own self through certain speech and actions, then it is better that we remain non-action and speechless, but sending our good-will and kind thoughts to all the living beings out there.

If we always have ill-will or evil thinking towards other people, we are actually producing similar energy fields in ourselves and in our lives. And if we only have good-will and kind thoughts towards other people without discrimination of good and bad people, or people whom we like or don’t like, and people whom we know or don't know, then we are producing similar energy fields in ourselves and in our lives.

The real purity is attribute-less without any qualities. It is without negativity or positivity. There's no craving towards positivity and there's no aversion towards negativity.

We don’t need any good luck or positive energy to give us goodness and happiness in life. Because we are content and at peace as we are, if we are free from ignorance and egoism, and are wise.

We don’t see any thing so called “bad” as bad, or any so called “unhappiness” as unhappiness, because we see beyond all the impermanent qualities of 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, non-separateness, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness.

May we all return to the state of purity, and be free.

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About Yoga

Know thyself. Everything is impermanent and selfless. There is no 'I'. There is no 'I am selfless'/'I am not selfless'. There is no 'I am hurt'/'I need to be healed from hurt'. Non-blind believing, non-blind following, non-blind practicing and non-blind propagating, but be open-minded to inquire the truth of everything. Be free. Be peaceful. Be happy.

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