October 21, 2014.
Yoga Sutra II.40: Through simplicity and continual refinement (Saucha), the body, thoughts, and emotions become clear reflections of the Self within.
Yoga Sutra II.41: Saucha reveals our joyful nature, and the yearning for knowing the Self blossoms.
Through the practice of Saucha our flawless essence becomes the basis for the choices and directions we invite into our life.
Pure silver is a lucid and shiny metal. Unrefined, it appears ordinary, its luminescence hidden. The process requires the silversmith to boil the unrefined silver over the hottest flame. It is essential for her to fully attend to the molten silver during this tedious process. If the silver remains in the fire for a moment longer than necessary, it could be destroyed. The correct amount of time yields awesome beauty. How does the silversmith know when the silver is fully refined? When she can clearly see her image in it.
Saucha recalls the simple and pure energy of youth that fostered healthy development on all levels of our being. The same longing for simplicity, though sometimes hindered, continues throughout our lifetime.
Everything Is Holy to Those With An Open Heart
Nurses are the angels of mercy in the medical profession. They serve with compassion and take their rewards from knowing they bring comfort and healing to us. Often they have the unpleasant duty of cleaning up bodily discharges. It is their purity of heart that allows them to serve us at our greatest and most humbling time of need without judgment or aversion.
The illustrious Florence Nightingale formalized the nursing profession. Abandoning her privilege and status, she chose to dedicate her life to the sick and infirm. The essence of compassion, “the Lady with the lamp” selflessly spent long hours bringing comfort to many. She revolutionized hospital care with simple yet essential improvements. Basic procedures we now take for granted, such as keeping the body washed and dressings clean and placing a bell at the bedside, allotted patient’s dignity in the face of distress.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta many years later exemplified Florence Nightingale’s basic principles. Encountering the destitute and the sick lying on the streets, she cradled them in her arms, impervious to the unsanitary conditions of their bodies, offering them “a moment of love and dignity before they died.”
When difficulties would arise during our healing retreats for those with cancer, Mother Teresa’s words returned to inspire me: “The miracle is not that we do this work. The miracle is that we love to do this work.”
Cultivating simplicity of mind and emotions can be a refreshing change from the complicated world we live in.
It is truly “gift to be simple.” The blessings come when we can embrace simplicity, making our lives easier and more joyous. Saucha is the purity deep within our own hearts that resonates as our guide to knowing.
Another aspect of Saucha is the ability to be emotionally light. We tend to take situations and ourselves much too seriously. Observing the humor in life promotes emotional purity.
Take the time to cultivate Saucha in your life. Observe and write down which foods, clothes, and places allow you to feel that sense of purity, simplicity, and refinement. How do they assist you in feeling that way? The next time you are deciding what to eat, what to wear, or where to visit, recall what feeling you want to invoke and then follow its lead in choosing.
❤ Article: Compassion is Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi
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