Law No 11, A story about Cleanliness ( American Indian Tradition) for 10year olds to adult

BE CLEAN, BOTH SELF AND THE PLACE YOU DWELL IN.

Told to me in meditation BY CALLING HORSE an ancient Chief.


When my people moved into a new place each family would be allocated a certain part of the camp to look after. They would set up their teepee or teepees. They would construct their own fire for cooking. They would have to care for the entire area under their control.
On one occasion I remember an argument between two families. It was about a certain bush. One said it was in their territory and so they could use it to hang their washing on, and the other said no, it was theirs. It was indeed a petty argument. However, there were deeper causes for this argument. In the past these people had argued amongst themselves over other things. One of the families was very clean and tidy. They would always be first at the river for morning ablutions.  There would never be loose stones lying around their teepee. Their drying plants would be arranged in tidy rows, hanging on ropes. Their teepee would never be torn or dirty looking. The other family, on the other hand, was very different. They would be last for ablutions, if they were there at all. They would never all have a wash on the same day. Some days two out of the five members would wash, other days, none. They were a foul smelling bunch. People used to castigate them for their bad habits and every so often one of them would get hurled into the river. Their ground around the teepee was never swept so that stones would hurt people’s feet if they walked by.

The clean tent and the dirty tent. All Calling Horse pics by Alan Nisbet

The clean tent and the dirty tent. All Calling Horse pics by Alan Nisbet

At the time when the two families were arguing about the bush for drying their clothes, we were in a camp where there was not really enough space for everyone to spread and to have their own privacy. People were irritating each other. The chief was having a hard time keeping the peace. The main reason that the clean family objected to the dirty ones was not on account of the small tree, but because they smelled so bad.  Their teepee smelled bad too and the clean family was just down wind of the offending tent.

The argument grew heated. The chief had to come and mediate. When he had heard both sides of the story and had inspected both the teepees and the surroundings of the two families, he sat down half way between the two tents.
“I shall let my senses be the judge of this argument.” he said.
“As I sit here, I am aware of the tent over there even if I close my eyes. I can smell it. I am aware of the tent over there if I walk round it with my eyes closed, because I stumble on the stones scattered around it. I am aware of the family which lives in that teepee over there, because even with my back turned upon them I can smell them. They are clearly not following the laws of the Great Spirit with regard to cleanliness.
I ask myself how I can help these people to tread on the correct path, the proper way, the Way of The Great Spirit. The answer is this. I feel that if only they had a little bush to hang their dirty clothes upon, they would be able to wash their bodies and their clothes.They would also able to clean the tent and wash the cleaning skins and hang them out to dry. It is clearly because they do not have this bush to dry their washed clothes upon, that they are such a smelly, dirty family. So I think they should have the bush. The clean family will have to set up a rope and some sticks to dry their clothes upon. I expect they will arrange their washing in a very beautiful design.”


With that the chief stood up, the dirty family looking very embarrassed and the clean family looking rather bemused.
“Carry on, my Children,” said the old man. “The Great Spirit enjoys the sweet smell of cleanliness. See what you can do to provide it for Him!”

Introducing Guptananda

Welcome. I’m Teresa. I plan to put my stories on this blog. I hope you enjoy reading them. Although I started off writing Yogas Stories,  I write about other subjects too, and you will find different stories under the different categories in my blog. I’d love to hear any thoughts you may have. Click on the word ‘comment’ below each post to get in touch or share your thoughts. For the time being here is a short introduction to my background.

My General Background
I live in the UK with my husband where I worked as a special needs teacher in a college of Further Education (now retired). I’m also a mother of two grown sons, a grandmother, a qualified yoga teacher, psychotherapist and counsellor. I also embrace other forms of healing including energy healing, Bach Remedies, essential oils, and crystals. In my spare time I love to garden.

The Stories
In 1995 an amazing thing happened. A spirit guide, Guptananda, came to me during a meditation when I was asking for help to teach my yoga classes. I had met him once before in a meditation circle when I asked for help in understanding New Age writings. I was taken up into a blue sky and across to the continent of India. I travelled across the snowcapped Himalayan Mountains, to a cave, inside was a guru. He told me that I didn’t need to read New Age material, but told me instead to read the Vedas, Upanishads and the Bhagvad Gita, and that I would find all the answers I needed there. I had read them once before as part of my training to become a yoga teacher. In response to my request for help  He said “There’s no point in teaching people spiritual practices unless they are obeying the ‘laws of life’.” I couldn’t remember what they were myself and he sternly told me off! Then he told me not to worry, and said that he would help me. He gave me a story on greed, then another on chastity. Over weeks and months he gave me a set of  stories all about his own life. He told me he lived 400 years ago. The first yoga principles are the yamas and niyamas, the laws of life, similar to the 10 commandments. I’ve used these stories to help me to teach my students. The stories given via Guptananda offer the teachings of these principles in a very readable and acceptable format, suitable for both adults and children.


As time went on people began asking me to write stories. I discovered that other guides would also visit me to offer stories on other themes, for example therapeutic stories for my counselling clients and stories for Education In Human Values in schools and colleges I believe that these stories are wonderfully touching and relevant to today’s life. They have been a gift to me and I want to share them with other people. They are of particular relevance to those on the path of studying or teaching yoga, but are useful to people in all walks of life.