Sunday, January 5, 2014

Body, Mind, Spirit, Yes!

I was at a kirtan the other night, and someone led a Kundalini chant, from the words of Yogi Bhajan, "I have no body, I have no mind, I have no spirit, I'm just the breath of God, breath of life, breath of life, the breath of God."

While the tune was gorgeous, and I enjoyed singing along to the melody and creating harmony with the kirtan leader, I was thinking the whole time.... "but I do have a body, and I do have a mind, and of course I have a Spirit.....AND, I am the breath of God!"

As a student of Tantra, we learn a philosophical approach to yoga that the body and the mind are not problems to be avoided or transcended.  They are the way that Spirit (the One, Universal Consciousness, God or Goddess- whatever name works for you-) has chosen to manifest itself and experience all that life has to offer.  So God is choosing to BE you- to infuse itself into your body and mind.  It's a way for the Supreme Everything to experience anything at all.  Think about it, if you were everywhere and everything all at the same time, it would be hard to understand or enjoy any one small aspect of that vastness.  My teacher Jaye Martin describes it as if you took thousands of colors of paint and put them together in a bucket, it would turn almost black, and you wouldn't be able to see or enjoy any one particular color.

So, now I'm thinking about my body, and my mind.  And if they really are manifestations of God, if I am really here to be embodied Spirit, I really better get up and get out there into the world experiencing it.  I want to USE this body and mind to do good in the world.  To love people, and to encourage them to experience as much as they can in this lifetime, since who really knows if we'll ever have another experience like this again?  Each day is completely new- a new opportunity to sample what life has to offer.  Isn't that what this body is for?  For moving around through the world?  For seeing and hearing and tasting and hugging and helping?

And isn't that why I do
yoga in the first place?  To keep my body in tip top shape, so that I feel comfortable moving and reaching and climbing and working and playing?  So that I can cultivate my mind away from the chatter and into the moment?

This year, I will be using my body and mind to bring yoga to more and more people.  I'm working to establish a Yoga for Vets class at the Sarasota Vet Center.  I'm working with the Seva Yoga Program to bring yoga to other special populations, such as special needs children, abused women, and troubled teens.  By using our body and mind to do whatever it is that brings US joy in this life, we are uplifting everyone, and making the world a happier, more positive place.  How will you be using your body and mind in 2014?  Please leave a comment below.....

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