Sharing thoughts on a topic which is more than ever present in all our daily lifes due to the corona virus. First of all by writing this post I would like to open up a platform for a new and different way of thinking about our hygiene. Disinfectants are sold out in all the shops. And the usage is increasing. Of course we do have a good reason because we all try to avoid receiving or passing over any kind of diseases, virus or bacteria. And no question about that we all should keep on doing whatever lies in our responsibility to keep a high material hygiene standard. But what has meditation to do with the actual situation?
What does Mental Hygiene mean?
I am sure most of you reading this article are in the position to have access to clean water and having the opportunity to brush your teeth, take a shower, go to the hairdresser, wash your clothes, vacuum your apartment, wash your dishes, clean your car/bikes/whatever vehicle you own…this list is long.
Reflect a few moments:
…what are you taking care of in your life on a material level?
…what needs a certain regular maintenance?
…how much time do you invest in activities that serve your Material Health?
Can you see the dirt?
After you spend a few thoughts on what you do for your Material/Physical Hygiene. Let’s take a look at the Mental Hygiene. It is always easier to see a Material/Physical Pollution because dirt usually leaves stains. It is most of the times obvious, e.g. you will find dust somewhere. And it is already in our blood to take a rag clean the surface, take a vacuum cleaner, clean the dust. But just because you don’t see the stains (with your eyes) on your Mental Plane doesn’t mean that there is no “pollution” in a certain way. What we read, what we hear, what we experience, what we have learned years ago when we were small kids, does leave traces in our bodies and in our minds. Actually it does have a massive impact on your mind, your soul, your thoughts, your speech, the way you think, act, talk…
Meditation, Mindfulness and Mickey Mouse
When you where young probably your mother, father or person who was taking care of you showed you how to brush your teeth. It could have started like this:
Hey …(your name)…let’s go to the bathroom and brush your teeth. Open your mouth, aaaahhhh, schrubbbschrubbbschrubbb…bääääh…
You asked / thought:
Why do I have to brush my teeth?!
This tooth paste tastes disgusting.
Brushing my teeth hurts.
Brushing my teeth is boring.
Maybe you received a Mickey Mouse toothbrush because your parents were hoping to motivate you in that way. And this is the point where I can see a connection between the Material and the Mental Hygiene. I made the experience that Meditation (especially Mantra Meditation) is very important, when not most important, for my personal Mental Hygiene. You might agree: The mantra that I chant/recite might be my Mickey Mouse toothbrush. As the mind is sometimes restless like a kid that tries do avoid going to the bathroom and brush the teeth. Some people use electric toothbrushes, some are using manual toothbrushes made out of wood, plastic…again the connection to Meditation. Some people meditate with a mantra, some in silence, some with music, some in nature.
How does your Mental Hygiene look like?
Reflect again a few moments:
…what are you taking care of in your life on a mental level?
…what does it need to start your Mental Hygiene?
…how much time do you invest in activities that serve your Mental Health?
The methods in the field of Meditation to “clean” your mind, thoughts, speech and activities are at least as various as the range of toothbrushes you find in our world. Isn’t that wonderful? Moreover I am convinced when there is a toothbrush for everyone there will also be a Meditation technique for everyone. What I can tell you when it comes to choosing a Meditation technique – do it like your choose a toothbrush: Try them, feel them, see the results after a few days, weeks, months. And maybe especially in the beginning you feel like you are not able to “brush your teeth on your own” don’t worry. Search for someone to show you how to brush your teeth (meditate), join a group, book a private session (feel free to contact me). Bit by bit you will see meditating will become like brushing your teeth every day. This process is not only limited to meditation. Meditation might be one way but there are many more ways to “clean up” on a mental level. Dancing, Yoga, Nature, Music…whatever connects you with yourself, something higher, something greater, the divine.
Bhagavad-Gita As it is
Chapter 16 Text 1-3
The Blessed Lord said: Fearlessness, purification of one’s existence, cultivation of spiritual knowledge, charity, self-control, performance of sacrifice, study of the Vedas, austerity and simplicity; nonviolence, truthfulness, freedom from anger; renunciation, tranquility, aversion to faultfinding, compassion and freedom from covetousness; gentleness, modesty and steady determination; vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, freedom from envy and the passion for honor-these transcendental qualities, O son of Bharata, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature.
Excerpt from the Purport
Saucam means cleanliness, not only in mind and body but in one’s dealings also.Source: https://asitis.com/16/1-3.html