During a yoga training we were presented with a bit of old cracked soap and asked for our opinion on it.I stated with indignation that it was disgusting. “Oh” came the reply, ‘but in some cultures this bit of soap could be regarded as the most prized possession carefully shared and used only on special occasion’s. ‘Furthermore’ she added, ‘if we are not clean we can’t see God clearly’.
Cleaning and being a yogi is a hard job. I have to take care not to suck ants up the vacuum, or get spiders while dusting unless I end up as one of them. I choose ‘green products’ and use alot of elbow. We have guests coming so the morning is all about cleaning. Today we cleaned the windows. It wasn’t until they had been cleaned that I realised how terribly dirty they had been and more importantly I saw much further. The plants outside seemed more vibrant, the day clearer. I could see.
The yogis refer to vision as Vidya and it’s opposite, Avidya, simply put, not seeing clearly. An example of this given in the sutras is, you are walking at dusk and because of the dim light you mistake a stick for a snake. Similarly when we are driving down the highway we can’t see what is one mile ahead of us, only the blinkered vision of what is in front of us.Like me with the soap, only my view point, only my vision. Once we start to lift the veil of this ignorance or Avidya we can start to become less reactive and judgmental and start to see things as they really are or can be. Maybe when things don’t go our way we can stop and say ‘oh I see how it really is now’ because you may see the situation with a different understanding or maturity. You start to cultivate clarity of the situation and cleanliness of thought.
Practice for today: Seeing God clearly was a reference to seeing the true nature of how things are, of who we are. Stop for a moment and summon up the courage to remember where you may have not seen another person ‘clearly’ maybe this person is yourself?