Today in the shower (for the second time today) something happened that usually happens, but not in the shower. I turned toward the water to rinse and my eyes caught the back of the Axe body wash bottle. I read many of the words thereon and was caught two very short sentences at the end of the directions: Be Clean. Smell Good.
It’s not rare at all that I have a very mundane experience and it transforms into something … more. Like reading the back of the body wash bottle. Similar business could happen while counting leaves on the ground or sitting at a table in Starbucks or noticing the feel of the leather on my car’s steering wheel.
I do it all the time without even trying. Practically transcendental experiences just doing what I do. I’ve always done it – and one of my earliest memories is of precisely this kind of thing. It involved a snowfall.
So there I was showering all spiritual like. Totally normal. And my first thought during this experience is of the Heartfulness practice of cleaning. Be clean.
The long and short of the Sahaj Marg / Heartfulness path is to remove the samsaric layers that we pile upon ourselves as we move through our evolution. From our perspective, true and productive personal and collective evolution happens naturally but happens best with intention. Be clean – and be it on purpose. It requires your own responsible and intentional effort. The Guru helps in an invaluable way, (and I do feel fortunate to follow a fantastic lineage of loving and watchful gurus) but even then pretty much only with your permission and cooperation. Be clean. And if you don’t feel you can be clean then at least try to be cleaner.
My next thought was really more of a question: Smell good? How can the Guru make me smell good? The body wash does it on the most superficial of levels. Our cleaning practice and the help of the Guru go far deeper. Naturally, the “good smell” in this context is something that is tougher to achieve that that which is obtained by rubbing soap on your skin – but it also lasts a bit longer.
I’ve read in various texts that certain things “smell” good to God. I think that’s bullshit. I think for there to be any legitimacy to a statement like that you have to believe in a personal god. (To be clear, I think I believe in a personal relationship with the One but not a personal One. Theres a difference.)
So what might, “Smell Good” mean in this context? I think it might touch on the idea of carrying with you the change that happens when you make an effort to, “Be clean.” When I shower and use that heavily scented bodywash and then go out into the world I look cleaner than I otherwise might and I smell cleaner. In a world caught up in appearances, looking and smelling clean / cleaner means something. It changes how things might otherwise go. We’re touching on karma here, right?
I have no interest in going into any specifics about how karma might change according to your own efforts to be clean, but surely you understand that relationship.
Hopefully, dear reader, you see the value in doing your own cleaning – in the shower and in your Center. Be Clean and smell good, my friends.
Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti