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Cleaning our inner mirror

Yesterday as I was cleaning the blinds in the studio where my practice is, it became apparent how much alike cleaning the blinds is to cleaning our inner mirror. Cleaning blinds is meticulous work, wiping each blade from side to side and top to bottom, yet you only start to see that is clean when you almost finished.

It took patience and determination to clean each blade. Of course I could have said, “well, it is not my responsibility” as it is not in my room per se. Or I could have just use a duster and lightly cleaned it and it would have sort of looked clean.

I chose to attend to it with the focus and determination that I bring to every task. I learned this focus and determination from cleaning my inner mirror. I also learned that no one is coming to save me. The responsibility of cleaning my inner mirror is mine alone, just as I wanted the studio of my practice clean, that makes it my responsibility. It is both scary and liberating to take responsibility for our interaction with Life.

Our inner mirror is a symbol for our inner state. When we start on the path to find another way, the mirror might be murky and for some, it might be completely covered in dust. Ever practice we undertake to remove some of the covering of the mirror, removes another layer and slowly the mirror start reflecting.

Just like cleaning the blinds, cleaning our inner mirror is meticulous work. Many times as people start to clean their mirror, they come back to me and say “it is so hard, I am not getting it right”. The reality is it takes years to clean that mirror… 14 years of active work in my case, I might have been slow on the uptake, the point is, it will take more than the occasional inner glimpse to remove the covering of our mirror.

‘Why do we need the mirror clean?’, you may ask. When the mirror is covered, it is not able to reflect who/what we are. We cannot take actions to realise who/what we are, as Self is unchanging. Yet we can take action to ensure our instrument to realise Self is clean and is able to reflect back our true nature. Just as looking at a car in your rear view mirror does not change the car, so looking at Self in our reflective mirror does not change Self.

How do we attend to cleaning our mirror on a day to day basis?

It is twofold, firstly* give your full attention and best effort to everything you undertake, yet do not claim the results as your own. As we all know even with our best efforts, the results are not up to us. Life has a way of playing out regardless.

Secondly**, be mindful of the laws of creation, contrary to popular believe we can not just do what we want when we want, which is a very adolescent approach to life. As spiritual adults we come to realise that we do what is required when needed and do what we want when we can, and always under the golden rule of doing no harm^.

The more we align with the laws of Life, the more we are able the flow and engage in effortless action.

How will you attend to cleaning your inner mirror in 2020?

*Karma Yoga
** Dharma Yoga
^ Ahimsa

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