Yoga rockets us beyond our limitations and its practice affects all aspects of our lives thereafter. My practice, based in Ashtanga, but modified for practical life, anchors me in the union of body, mind and spirit, so that I may experience myself beyond those ties and move into what some call the Atman. As I root and connect with myself, I transcend this material world and establish deep bonding to other plateaus of being.
Still, I exist here, within the world of householders and workers, so I learn to lead myself with care through the growth of the spirit. In the practice of yoga, I stay aware of the danger of spiritual materialism—to never allow my power to become ego/status rather than the humble beginnings of something called enlightenment. What I experience in my practice is something akin to a pure joy; a flowing of elements, the dissolution of boundaries, and it’s a place to which I want to return, often.
To balance and understand myself, I read and listen to those I believe come from a place of truth about these matters. From many other beloved books, only my shabby copy of Patanjali’s sutras (translated/written by Swami Prabhavananda and notated by Christopher Isherwood) travels with me. This connection of my love of the literary transcendence and my spiritual growth and nourishment creates discourse between three well educated, strong and brave teachers and myself.
In times of crisis or need, for help on my path, I turn to the poets and mystics and my mother who never allows me to lie to myself.
We have to discriminate the snake from the rope when it comes to spiritual growth—the real from the unreal. And the teacher/guru is oneself in one’s highest place, so encouraging and nurturing her with good words, good deeds and good practice promotes inner wisdom. Beware those who offer “The Way” (for a hefty fee) for they bear illusion and delusion in their claims. Through meditation, whether TM, Zen or our own, with a good dose of love, humour, gratitude and true humbleness, may we stumble to grace.