Friday, December 14, 2007

Yoking myself to the light

Wow. I've forgotten how much yoga means to me. What have I been doing for the last few months? Wallowing in pain, or what?

After my first real yoga practice in months, my body feels relaxed, and my mind feels more clear then it has been in awhile. The complimentary practices of asana and dhyana have mellowed me out and revived my pallid and out of shape soul. My body needs some exercise but my prana is stirring up from the depths of my sushumna nadi, and my life practice receives a revitalization that I hadn't known I needed. Blocked energy must be flowing through my avidya blocked nadis. I can breathe again.

I'm an animal just like everybody else, and I wonder sometimes why it is that we take our own bodies for granted? Our bodies are ourselves in this lifetime, and we treat them as mere tools to be misplaced often, replaced as needed. Give me a break. But I understand. It's hard to fit reality in to a busy schedule when we are bombarded by samsara at every possible moment.

Journeying through this year, I have begun to realize the similarities between spiritual paths. It is easy for me to sit down and have an intense meditation session and exclaim, "I am a Buddhist!" or flow through the surya namaskar and yell, "I'm a Yogi!" but in all reality I am just me. I grew up as a Christian, but I rejected that path early on. In the long run, the rejection of my original path as a follower of Jesus of Nazareth enlightened my soul but also harmed my spirit. The samskaras that etched themselves indelibly on my fragile heart have hardened me toward receiving pain and sadness, or accepting fear and hate, and processing my resultant maelstrom of stress and confusion with the tools of a spritual practice. My innate impulse is to take any of mu skills and talents and try to enact an alchemical transubstantiation and turn the pain into joy via my own inner power of will. I think the main thing spiritual practices teach is that it doesn't work that way. We have to accept God's will in whatever form we imagine it to be, whether you see Brahman giving birth to Maya and forming that we which we understand as reality, or if you believe in a God who gave birth to the universe and a son who saved it from itself. But of course this is where my indigenous religion and I differ.

Whereas I can only perceive God as simultaneously existing as everything at once and everything as a separate entity, and I wish to join my separate entity (jiva, soul) with the everything God, monotheism seems to believe in God as something separate living in a separate reality (heaven) who will actually judge your soul by your level of faith, your good actions, and the sins you commit, and send you to either heaven or another separate reality occupied by another type of God called the Devil who has control over certain aspects of Creation, and who's main job is to try to get you to commit sins in order to populate Hell, even though God assures mankind that he will kill or destroy the Devil at the end of time. Or something like that. The Christian story is a little mangled for me to stomach, and I have problems with certain concepts like sin, heaven, and hell. Karma, good or bad, just makes more sense to me, mostly because it seems like a better system. And there is only God, no heaven or hell or Earth or Saturn or Ford or Chevy. And it doesn't really matter what I believe in, in any case. God will continue on.

Monotheism is ripe with contradiction, which is why I think monotheistic believers tend to create wars. Atheists have no reason to go to war and non-dualists believe that we are all one, therefore why fight, eh? But ultimately arguing against the Christian religion is not my primary objective, at this point, although I believe it has caused much dukha in this world. I guess I just want to follow the good path, the path that will lead to the end of suffering and the beginning of liberation and beauty. Why is it that so hard to find?

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