Cleansing the body is as much a mental and psychological – and spiritual – thing as it is something physical. Cleansing the body, in this instance, is something more than just taking a shower. It is taking into account the recognition that much of what we put into our bodies, and what we expose them to, is “impure” or “unclean”. In many cases, these impure or unclean substances are created by society.
Many people have differing ideas of unclean. For some of us, a cleansing may be as simple as using only stuff that is “primary” – has only gone through a few steps before it reaches us. Things like fruit and vegetables, as well as simple bread, or other grain products which we could/have made ourselves. People tend to think of mixed substances – cookies, cakes, hot dogs – as impure or polluting of our bodies.
Is this leftover from the Jewish standards? Or is it simply our subconscious recognition of the idea that not all of what society does is good?
In any case, we are faced with a problem. How do we cleanse the body? What do we have to consider?
- Is this a “for-good” cleansing? A permanent lifestyle change? A specific defense against current circumstances? Or is it something that is going to need to be repeated either on a schedule or by how we feel? If it will need to be repeated – can we create a smaller event for maintanence?
- How much time can this cleansing take? How busy is your life? Is this a fifteen minute cleansing? Or a week long one?
- What do we consider necessary for this cleansing? Diet? Hygiene? Emotional Connections? Personal psyche? Pain? Meditation and contemplation? Deprivation of senses or material goods?
- How effective do we want this cleansing to be? Is it simply for the body, or for the mind and spirit as well?
- What restrictions will be on us during the cleansing period? No talking? Fasting or limited eating?
A very simple cleansing ritual that would last all day, and weave in and out of every day activities is one that I most often use.
When I wake, I shower. During my shower I pray and meditate for peace and strength and wisdom.
When I dress, I dress simply – nothing in my clothing that is representative of a mood.
When I eat – if I eat – I choose foods that are simple – fruit, fruit juice, milk, water, toast, vegetables, etc. I stay away from large meals and fast or prepackaged ones.
Before I eat – if I eat – I offer a prayer as a way to make myself conscious of my actions.
When I have free time at night, I will pray and meditate once more. I sleep naked or with little clothes on, to represent my natural state. (And to be truly free, you will be skyclad in all your rites)…
I do not practice a maintanence rite, but if there was one that I would like to pick up, it would definitely be ritualized hand or foot washing before entering my own room or the ritual room(if I had a ritual room).
What do YOU do for your cleansings?