PATIENCE MONTH: DAY 24: “Think of the patience God has had for you and let it resonate to others. If you want a more patient world, let patience be your motto” ― Steve Maraboli
I have found another pocket of resistance within my body and mind. It is the idea of what a huge part of my spiritual life is based on and around.
In the early 1970s, I got to meet some heavy hitters in the world of yoga and Ayurveda, along with the Vedic traditions. They taught me the principles of the yoga tree during the years, and I have spent the intervening years in my personal practice of these traditions. I revere and honor them, along with the traditions they embody.
Over the course of the last 15-20 years, I have watched these traditions become Westernized and made “groovy” to the point that they have no inherent spiritual connection any longer. They have been, in what is typical to the Western culture, programmed to suit a more physical and egoic nature.
The true nature of these teachings has nothing to do with becoming bendy and physically fit. They are to allow practitioners to more easily sit for long hours in meditation and to enhance physical well-being with spiritual ways of life.
I try very hard to be patient with those who want to impose their misunderstood and misguided beliefs about these traditions on others. Without a strong foundation in the true teachings, they are dangerous when they force poses on bodies that cannot accommodate them.
They have taken spiritual and healing practices and bastardized them to the point where they are no longer recognizable. The teachings of over 5000 years have been condensed into a 60 or 90 minute time and sound byte that has nothing to do with the true purposes. I am saddened by this, but never surprised. The amount of ego involved in this is terrifying and sad.
In traditional teachings, years are spent on the learning of the spiritual branches of Yoga tree before asanas (poses) are ever introduced. Because of Monkey-mind, Western culture does not have the patience to allow this way of being truly taught YOGA. So, we have the Ego-based idea of what it all means. That leaves only the physical dynamics of the poses and working to look better than the person next to you and live in that ego-state.
I have practiced this way of life, yes, it incorporates all of life. The Yamas and the Niyamas are way more a path of life for me than even these 12 steps, because they go way deeper into a spiritual way of life that tells me how to feed my body for maximum efficacy and health, along with how to be in the world to live in accordance with vital spiritual principles.
I am sad, and finding my way with this issue. It comes up from time to time, but I am working to live the principles and allow others to completely miss the whole point. It is an issue more of acceptance, but I see the Ego and the Spirit on either side. I am sad…so many of us are sad. It is a sad thing.