Blue Cloth in Yoga and Zen

The Blue Cloth Sometimes in a spiritual group a dispute develops over practically nothing. Although it is so trivial, people feel strongly about it. No one seems to know the cause of what is happening, or what to do. When the teacher first founded the group they were poor, and had only a cheap brown cloth over the altar on which was the form of the god. They worshipped with prayers and mantras for the first half of the meeting, and then, when the minds were to some extent pacified, they meditated on the Upanishadic text: ‘O holy divinity, I am what thou art, and thou, O holy divinity, art what I am.’ The teacher had once mentioned that to see or meditate on the colour blue has a calming effect on the mind, and added that blue was the best colour for an altar cloth. This remark was taken …

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