Washing at dawn:
Rinse away dreams.
Protect the gods within,
And clarify the inner spirit.
Purification starts all practice. First comes cleansing of the body — not to deny the body, but so that it is refined. Once cleansed, it can help us sense the divine.
Rinsing away dreams is a way of saying that we must not only dispel the illusions and anxieties of our sleeping moments but those of our waking ones as well. All life is a dream, not because it isn’t there, but because we all project different meanings upon it. We must cleanse away this habit.
While cleansing, we naturally look within. It is believed that there are 36,000 gods and goddesses in the body. If we continually eat bad foods, intoxicate ourselves, allow filth to accumulate anywhere outside or inside of ourselves, then these gods abandon us in disgust.
Yet our concerns must ultimately go beyond these deities in the temples of our bodies to the universal One. After we clear away the obscuring layers of dirt, bodily problems, and delusions, we must be prepared even to clear away the gods themselves so that we can reach the inner One.