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One of the main elements of Sahaj Marg practice is cleaning, a companion practice to the morning meditation. All of our experiences—actions and reactions, thoughts and emotions—leave impressions. These impressions, called samskaras, accumulate over time, influencing our view of reality and consequently our behaviour. As habit patterns emerge and solidify, we continue to react in the present as we have in the past, setting the blueprint for future action. In this way we become, in a real sense, slaves to our past experience.
Imagine the soul inside a cocoon, wrapped around and around by impression upon impression. As these layers accumulate it becomes more difficult to experience our essence, the soul within. The practice of cleaning is a process whereby we direct our thought, in combination with our will, to remove or clean away these impressions so the light of the soul can shine. Once these impressions are removed the root causes of behaviour patterns, which keep us bound to the past, will gently and naturally fall away.
"Any sort of undue attachment, positive or negative, is a poison for spirituality."
The cleaning is done each evening when the day's work is over. To clean, sit comfortably in the same posture for half an hour with a suggestion to yourself that all complexities and impurities, including grossness, darkness, etc., are going out of the whole system through the back in the form of smoke or vapour, and that in their place the sacred current of the Divine is entering into your heart from the Master’s heart, filling the vacuum left by the outgoing impressions. Do not meditate on those things which you want to get rid of. Simply brush them off. Finish with the conviction that the cleaning was completed effectively. A feeling of lightness is a sure sign that the weight of the day's impressions has been lifted.
While the evening cleaning effectively removes the day's impressions, deeper cleaning is essential to reach deep-seated samskaras. Fortunately, the Master has prepared prefects to offer individual sittings, accelerating the removal of long-standing impressions. The deepest cleaning of all is done by the Master himself. This is one of the reasons why it is important to visit him whenever we have the opportunity.