Saucha – Internal and external purity or cleanliness

One of the teachings or practice of yoga is the observation of Saucha – Internal and external purity or cleanliness.

Internal purity or cleanliness is to maintain purity or cleanliness of the mind by eliminate impurities from the mind, to allow the mind to be able to see the truth of things as it is, without being influenced by any impurities.

External purity or cleanliness is doing our best within our capability to maintain cleanliness of the physical body, the living environment and the yoga and meditation practice space to allow ourselves to be able to perform physical form of yoga and meditation practice in a clean and conducive practice space, and be able to perform all our duties and responsibilities towards ourselves and others with a healthy physical body.

There’s no limitation for the internal mind purification or cleanliness, except lack of non-attachment, self-awareness, introspection, self-discipline, self-control, determination and perseverance in oneself. Meanwhile there’s some limitation for external purification or cleanliness as there are external elements or factors that are beyond the control within our capability. Although most untrained minds will be affected and influenced more or less by external conditions, that’s why external cleanliness is an important factor in yoga and meditation practice, but, all kinds of external limitations couldn’t and wouldn’t stop one from achieving internal purification or cleanliness, if one knows what is non-attachment.

I’ll do my best to have a clean living and practice space for my personal physical yoga practice at home and while travelling. But, if a clean living and practice space or environment is not available for me to be performing physical form of yoga and meditation practice, it’s okay. It won’t stop me from performing internal yoga and meditation practice continuously.

For running the yoga retreats, I’ll do my best to provide and maintain a clean living and practice space for the retreat guests. But, what is beyond the control within my capability, I’ll let it be and allow the guests to practice non-attachment and learn to accept the reality that is not necessarily the way that how we would like it to be.

By having a clean living space to live in, or having a clean body for achieving physical good health and high fitness level, or having a clean practice space to perform physical form of yoga and meditation practice doesn’t guarantee that one will be free from ignorance and suffering. It is the internal practice of non-attachment, non-craving and non-aversion that allows the mind to be free from ignorance and suffering, under any conditions and situations, whether a clean living and practice space is available to us, or not.

Om shanti.

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May all be free…

All kinds of suffering, unrest, ignorance, selfishness, unjust, violence, dissatisfaction, disappointment, and fear will always exist in the perception of names and forms in the worldly life existence of the ignorant and egoistic minds.

Buddha taught living beings how to be free from suffering.

Buddha didn’t teach living beings how to make the world of names and forms to be free from all kinds of suffering or unhappiness. Or Wishing there will only be desirable, pleasant and happy experiences, and no undesirable, unpleasant and unhappy experiences in the world of impermanent names and forms.

Buddha taught living beings to purify one’s mind, cultivate one’s kindness, to refrain oneself from evil thinking, action and speech.

Buddha didn’t teach living beings to ‘purify’ other beings’ mind, to make other beings to cultivate kindness, or to make other beings to refrain from evil thinking, action and speech.

As the world is just what it is. It is neither a suffering place nor a non-suffering place.

Suffering derives from ignorant of the truth and egoism.

To be free from suffering, one works on eliminating ignorance and egoism from one’s mind.

As the perception of the worldly life existence is not outside the mind. It’s within the mind.

Purify and tame one’s mind, and be free.

The world of impermanent names and forms will still be what it is. All other beings will still be what they are. But, one is free from suffering for being free from ignorance and egoism while living in the world of impermanent names and forms.

This is not selfish.

No one can change another being.

One might can influence others to work on their own salvation when oneself is fully purified and be free from ignorance and egoism, without the intention to change other beings or change the world to be the way that the egoistic mind desires, or thinks how it should be.

Purifying and taming one’s mind is the greatest contribution towards humanity and world peace and harmony.

May all be free…

Purification process of the mind?

The purification process of yoga and meditation practice is like cleaning a drainage system that hasn’t been cleared for a long time. Blocked drains can cause problems to our lives and the environment.

For some people the cleansing process is not necessarily pleasant.

Before we open the cover to look what is inside the drain we don’t see any disgusting rubbish and it doesn’t smell too bad. But as soon as we open the cover and look inside there might be bad smells or unsightly rubbish and waste floating on top. It can be quite unpleasant or disturbing. When we use a rake or net to remove the rubbish floating on the surface the smell becomes more intense and more undesirable waste is revealed. It becomes even more unpleasant or disturbing. If we generate aversion towards this experience, we might want to stop cleaning and replace the cover. We might not want to deal with the drain or the rubbish right now. And the drain continues to accumulate more and more rubbish and generates further problems in lives and in the environment.

It’s similar when we practice yoga and meditation. It is an intense cleansing process. The mind needs to be cleansed regularly so that it doesn’t cause problems to ourselves and to society.

The purification process can be unpleasant, or even quite painful for certain people. All the past accumulated mental and emotional tension that we have suppressed, or tried to run away from, comes up to the surface of the mind.

Some people retreat from the purification process, as they can’t bear or handle unpleasant experiences, while others are determined to go through the purification process without judgment or expectation, without craving or aversion, developing non-attachment and non-identification towards the mind and its contents, as they have developed a certain degree of understanding of the mind, and are determined to free the mind from impurities to benefit oneself and others.

Om shanti.