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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 for thirty minutes each evening when the day's work is over. To clean, we sit comfortably in one posture with the suggestion that impressions and complexities accumulated during the day are leaving the whole system through the back in the form of smoke or vapour. At the same time we have the idea that the sacred current of the divine is entering the heart, filling the vacuum left by the outgoing impressions. We do not review the particular events of the day or give them undue attention, since we know from our experience with meditation that whatever we focus on tends to expand. The cleaning is approached in a general way with confidence that all impediments to our growth are leaving. 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.