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Washing away “Self” with yoga practice

When I went Zen meditation meeting the other day, I heard an interesting story on “Self” from the master.

According to him, he makes time to wash his “Self” away, at least once a day.

In this text, “Self” means the self as the oldest son, the self who had certain experiences in his/her youth, or the self who is called certain nickname, etc…

By washing such “Self” away, the master tries to take a proper distance from the past self, and the self seen or thought by others.

Not only in Zen, yoga philosophy also has the idea similar to this”Self”. This is called Ahamkara.

My master washes off his “Self” by Zazen, reading sutras, and taking bath. These are quite similar to yogic practice.

By concentrating on Asana and meditation, or practicing Niyamas such as Shaucha (purity) and Īśvarapraṇidhāna (Contemplation to the holy beings), yogis can wash away negative aspects of Ahamkara, the self.

It often happens that “my decision” is actually decided by just a habitual power, or something or someone other than me, such as our past history or experience, and common sense.

Besides, overdriven “Self” turns out to be “Ego”, and suffers you from negative emotions such as anger and despair.

To be free and happy from those habitual power and future sufferings, washing off “Self” seems very important.

If your troubles are caused by “Self” as I introduced here, why don’t you try to wash that “Self” off by concentrating on asana and meditation, or think about practicing yoga philosophy in your daily lives?


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