I want to preface this post by explaining that I am still working out the kinks and difficulties with my audio recordings. I have been experiencing some difficulties loading the files up to Soundcloud. I just registered for an account with Libsyn. I will most likely have to create a podcast page and post audio files maybe once or twice a week instead of daily. In the meantime, I will just make daily blog posts.
Washing at dawn:Rinse away dreams. Protect the gods within, And clarify the inner spirit.
I was introduced to the word “ablution” somewhat recently, following a workplace controversy that was addressed at an all hands meeting late last year. Like much of the country, my town is experiencing an influx of Somalian refugees, and we now have many of them in the workplace. At certain times of the day, these immigrants will wash their feet in our restroom sinks, which are not designed for that purpose, before praying. Many of the employees were disgusted by the practice and complained about water messes in the restrooms. The company is now looking into installation of special basins to accommodate this ritual. I wondered if some of the complaints were about prejudices toward other religions here in the Bible Belt, and then I remembered that some Christian denominations also perform ablutions, usually called “foot washing”. I have no interest in participating in the controversy, but the practice intrigued me enough to learn about, and understand the reason for the practice.
“It is believed that there are 36,000 gods and goddesses in the body. If we continually eat bad foods, intoxicate ourselves, allow filth to accumulate anywhere outside or inside of ourselves, then these gods abandon us in disgust.”
-Chapter 2, 365 Tao: Daily Meditations by Deng Ming-Dao.
According to Deng Ming-Dao, purification starts all practice. I suppose I should take this literally and choose to shower in the morning instead of the night before. That will likely result in two showers per day, since I come home dirty from work in the evening and shower before bed. Perhaps a quick morning rinse will suffice.
By rinsing away dreams, he says we need to let go of illusions and anxieties in both our sleep and waking moments. Letting go of projecting meanings on everything. As western Tibetan teacher Lama Marut says, “Things out there do not exist the way they seem to.”
Protecting the gods within. (See quote above)
- I often eat bad foods. Particularly foods that are sugary, very processed, fast foods, candy, etc.
- I no longer drink alcohol on a daily basis, and haven’t in a few years, but I still continue to smoke cigarettes, consume energy drinks, diet sodas, and take way too much caffeine.
- Much mental filth remains. Old grudges and resentments, self hate, negative self talk, etc.
- My house is pretty messy most of the time. Will address this issue in future after next week.
- Wake up at 5am.
- No fast foods.
- Monitor negative thinking throughout the day.
- Drink water. Do not smoke during one break at work.
- Spend an hour cleaning the house.
“Knowledge—self-knowledge in particular—is freedom.” – Ryan Holiday, Daily Stoic.