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Sunday, April 28, 2013

How It Works

Here's the scenario that makes the meditative yoga I practice makes sense.  It goes like this.  Human beings are souls residing in physical bodies.  And because our spiritual energy is tethered to the physical world, like all things in the physical world, we lose power and strength over time.  We get tired, and we have to get rest and refreshment to function well.  This is true both physically and spiritually.

We know about getting a good night's sleep or eating healthy on the physical side.  On the spiritual side is meditation.  There's the kind of meditation where you let your mind rest, your thoughts slow and relax.  But there are other approaches as well.  There's the kind of meditation that not only allows you to rest, but actually connects you to a source of energy that restores you to your original positive and powerful spiritual qualities.

The idea is this: G*d is the source of all spiritual virtues and qualities, like love and peace and compassion and generosity, and connecting to that source, to G*d, enables you to fill yourself with those qualities as well.  And once you fill yourself up, these qualities become yours to share.  We know how awfully we can behave when we're hungry and tired, and we can see the impact of spiritual depletion all around us.  So many of us are drained of the energy we need to be our best, or even our good selves, and instead we act bratty and self-indulgent.

Imagine you are a light bulb, designed to shine and illuminate darkness.  You are made to radiate light, the light of the soul, but you have no energy source, no place to plug yourself in.  How bright does a light without a power source shine?  It doesn't.  Not because it can't but because it needs a connection to do so.  And we are the same.  We are designed for that connection.  It's the most natural thing in the world.  But we are used to the darkness - our own and that of others.  We are used to trying to shine, but failing, blamings our own shortcomings, but really all we need is the connection.

Spiritual work, spiritual practice, is a lot of common sense, a lot of simple effort around plugging yourself in the source, eliminating the distractions that keep you from doing that, and giving yourself a chance to fully illuminate in the way you are designed.  Your effort is just to make yourself available and capable of receiving what you actually require to shine as brightly as you were made to do.

You can complicate this.  You can question if you have the capacity to shine, or the ability to connect, or spend all your time analyzing why you haven't done that up 'till now.  Or you can just get on with this, with creating some new habits and practices around filling yourself with spiritual light, and letting it illuminate whatever darkness surrounds you.

You don't have to have it all figured out to give it a try.  Just start somewhere.  You don't have to know the science of light, or electricity or optics.  That's just another excuse to not get started, that you have to understand everything before you can move forward.  But you already know how good it feels to be at your best, to feel refreshed and capable of meeting even the toughest of life's challenges with confidence, compassion and clarity.  And if you don't, I'm sure you've imagined it, because this is what we can be.

Give yourself a chance to be your best, and see how good it feels.  Instead of fighting all the negativity, all your limitations and shortcomings and weaknesses, begin to develop your strength.  Y'know - it's like switching on a light.  You don't have to think about how to light up the room; you just have to flip the switch and the magic happens.

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