Since the publication of Kabbalah for Health and Wellness readers have been telling me that one of, if not the most important exercise they have found, was the “Purification Practice” in the book’s opening pages. This notion that we must first “clean our glass before we fill it” was an obvious, but often overlooked or ignored instruction. With this simple practice of first cleansing their mind, emotions, and body of the seeds of destructive thoughts, words, and deeds, readers found new enthusiasm for their Work. This enthusiasm brought with it results they rightly claimed were a result of undertaking this simple, but effective practice. What is purification? It is in a word, PREPARATION. Yes, preparation. When we purify or cleanse ourselves what we are doing is putting aside destructive thoughts, words, and actions, and preparing ourselves for the work of self-awakening. Simply recognizing that we are the one responsible for our own successes and failures in life, more so in areas of the mind, is a critical step on the Path of Return. This falls under the virtue assigned to material life, that of Discrimination. Each of the spheres or levels of the Tree of Life has a lesson that we must learn before we move on to the next area of awakening. In the material world that lesson is primarily discrimination – to know what to keep and what to get rid of; to understand the causes of our actions and their effects. In short, if we can simply keep from making our lives more difficult, then we have made the first step of freeing ourselves, and entering onto the Path of Return – or self-awareness.
The primary energies used in this purification practice are Solar and Lunar. They represent the forces of life in their most basic dualistic expressions: male/female, night/day, active/passive, awake/asleep, and so on. These dual forces are further elaborated upon in the Sepher Yetzirah when it discusses specific expressions as understood by their planetary attributes. Here, the seven Single Letters of the Hebrew alphabet express experiences such as: poverty/wealth, health/sickness, wisdom/foolishness, and so on. However, before we can begin transforming these more complex expressions, we need to become familiar with their roots in the basic energies of duality as expressed in the Solar and Lunar forces that pour into our consciousness, or heart. In the purification practice the heart is symbolized by a cup or chalice. This means that we need to open up our heart, or rather heart-mind, to the inner energies and to be receptive to them. This can be done in a highly symbolic or even ritualistic form, or simply as a powerful idea.
Regardless, purification is a critical step on our journey and in our daily practice. Just as we do not hesitate to clean our clothes, homes, offices, or dining area, we should not hesitate to cleanse our mind and its intellectual and emotional contents either. If the goal of the Mysteries is to “Know Thyself” then the best place to start is with the contents of our own mind, the very foundation of our Work.
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