In matters of inner exploration, the most important thing is to keep your slate clean.
If you have a slate, and you write on it and if you want to write anything else, you have to rub it off. Otherwise if you overwrite you can neither read it, nor is there space to write more.
There are two ways of doing it. One is by realizing, that it is important to have your slate clean. Which means don’t carry your anger and hatred and stupidity and poisonous feelings against others from one day to the next. When we go to sleep, can we leave it at the foot of the bed and get up in the morning fresh. And say, ‘it’s okay. Yesterday is gone, can we start afresh?’.
Two, all the knowledge that we derive from books, which becomes a big load on our head, has to be daily cleansed.
And how do we cleanse it?
You cleanse it either with good activity, by doing good to some body or by doing activities like listening to beautiful music, so that you are totally absorbed in it and you are not filled up with rubbish.
Once a seeker said he wanted to learn how to swim. So he went to a swimming instructor and asked to learn how to swim. The instructor agreed and told him what to do. The seeker said he could do it.
But the instructor found that this student who wanted to learn swimming, was carrying a big load of old cabbage on his head. While he was talking, his hand was up holding up kilos of cabbage on his head.
The instructor told him, that all he had to do was to get into the water and follow instructions. “But how can you do it, you have to get rid of this cabbage first”, said the instructor. “Put it somewhere and then we can try.”
The seeker said he could not put it away.
“Why?”, asked the instructor.
“It’s become a habit, I can’t let go of it.”
“Okay then”, he said, “If you can’t leave it then I cannot teach you.”
Then the student said, “ I knew you were a useless teacher. You cannot teach me. I’ll go and find a teacher who can teach me to swim while I am still carrying the cabbage on my head.”
It is impossible to do this and so a daily dose of clearing the cabbage is very important.
– Sri M