“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” ~ Buddha
“Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.” ~Buddha
“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Lammas Day here in Ohio was really hot and humid. The celebration I attended had an outdoors fire going. This managed to create enough heat to perhaps bake bread. A quick sniff test – I was relieved to learn that my deodorant was still managing to give off its “spring fresh” scent throughout the ceremony.
A couple of weeks later my leader sent out a quick post evaluation of the event. The lack of purification came up quite a few times in his observation. The noted lack of purification seemed odd to me, because it seems like common knowledge that you should do this before going to any ceremonial event: keeping Sabot, wedding ceremonies, visiting a new baby, going out to dinner at a nice restaurant for someone's birthday…..
Purification or ritual cleansing before any ceremonies is an ancient tradition. It’s done in order to prepare the physical body to act as a liaison between the spiritual and physical plane. A cleansing before a ritual or ceremony is done to wash away residual energy both seen and unseen.
I can see some of you doing the hand flip of “yea right” on the unseen stuff.
Think about this - have you ever been in an office that causes your neck hairs to rise? Or perhaps you’re at a person’s house and as you move room to room it feels like cobwebs are sticking to your arm. Have you ever sat through a meeting where everyone is arguing and you end up with one whopping headache?
That “stuff” you are feeling is sticking to your body’s energy field until you remove it.
Think of that “stuff” as a piece of dust you find in your sofa. Look at it closely, there’s a lot of stuff there: hair, cookie crumbs, lint and that button you’ve been looking for since….Get the picture? This is what surrounds your energy field and ultimately effects how you think and feel.
I’ve found there seems to be a lot written about how to cleanse the physical body and the physical environment (i.e., purification bathes, aura cleansing, appropriate ritual clothing, listing of cleansing herbs, smudging and salt containers to pull out negative energy), but not so much on how to purify the mind/thoughts and heart.
Spending time on Navajo Nation, my preceptor told me that thoughts are silent messages out to the universe. Negative thoughts have a way of putting a kink into the universe. I think of them as the sludge that gunks up the magic in the world. In car terms, it is the very reason why you need to change your oil – if you don’t your engine might halt, that red light might turn on which leads to a sizable mechanics fee. The red light under magical conditions can mean that intended love spell has now been directed to another or has been transformed into lust. Examples of my gunk include: focusing on what the heck I’m going to do with all those tomatoes; stressed out on how I’m going to get all those tasks done at work, or anxious about my son’s grades.
I’ve brought the importance of mental cleansing up before a ceremony before. I feel people seem to brush me off saying: “Oh. Did that.” or “Good thoughts, check.” When people tell me this, I feel mental cleansing has been reduced to an easy and quick process like lathering up your hands with lavender soap. When I have this type of attitude, I’ve found that I tend to be distracted or show a lack of concentration in my work. To me, purifying the mind goes beyond ticking off “positive thoughts.” It requires a time and space devoted to introspection, personal change and self-control.
Much of the written work done regarding how to purify the mind has been completed by both the Buddhist and Yoga communities. The common key is looking at how we react to patterns. This is done through meditation by doing a mental check in about noticing what is going on in your mind without judgments and accepting it.
Meditation - there are a lot of great meditations out there on Youtube.