Would it sound egotistical for me to say that I have a direct connection to God? Well, at least that was my experience this morning. My little one just started CCD (formerly known as Sunday school). This is his first year so he's learning the basics of the Catholic religion. I was raised Catholic but I've been exploring eastern spirituality on this yoga journey I'm on. I feel like it's important for children to have some formal religious education but it's equally important for them to be exposed to other religions and philosophies so that they can find the path that calls them. Who am I to tell them how they should worship God?
So back to my direct connection to God. I've been reading this book called Jesus in the Lotus, The mystical doorway between Christianity and Yogic Spirituality. While I was driving to church this morning I was contemplating this idea of "inter-spirituality" as Russell Paul calls this fusion of religions with regard to my son's religious education. Yesterday we were in a little shop and my son says "look mommy, it's Shakti" - It was actually a statue of Durga (a Hindu Goddess). I'm okay with him being aware of all forms of the Divine Mother but how will his CCD teacher react if he draws a picture of Durga as his representation of the Divine Mother? Just imagine the discuss I'd have to have with the priest if Jake draws a picture of Kali!! (Kali is another aspect of the Divine Mother but she is a fierce scary Goddess)
While listening to the readings and the Gospel today another crazy thought went through my head.... "Don't tell the Vatican but Father so and so here is a yogi!" LOL! The bhavana for today's mass was faith. One of the reading was about the potential that is in each tiny little mustard seed. That potential is in each and every one of us. All we need is faith. During the homily Father talked about Jesus on the cross and how even his faith was shaken at one point but then he surrendered in faith "not my will but thy will be done". I have to say that I was moved by the homily today. It felt like God was confirming the things I was reading in this book. Christianity and Yoga are teaching me the same things. Maybe the words are different, the prayers are different but the essence is the same. Father so and so was talking about the grace of God, he was talking about the union of God and man, about having faith that during times of despair God is there, he talked about how during times of great challenge we may not be able to see God's presence in our lives but afterwards we look back and even if things don't turn out the way we wanted we can see that with God's grace things are even better then we could have imagined. It takes faith to believe that everything in our lives is perfect.
Doesn't that sound yogic? Of course! these are the same things we learn on the mat and on the meditation cushion. Doesn't Yoga mean union? Isn't the message the same? At the end of mass the priest says "Now go and love and serve the Lord". Isn't that Amma's message? Love and Serve? The priest says love and serve the Lord which we all know means loving and serving others as well.
Since I was a little kid, singing in church was my favorite thing to do. I guess that's why I'm so drawn to kirtan (devotional chanting). I was waiting outside the restroom for Jake and I noticed a sign on the bulletin board that said "The Holy Name is Alive". How's that for a direct connection to God. I asked and he answered!
"Come to the feast of heaven and earth. Come to the table of plenty. God will provide for all that we need, here at the table of plenty...."
Even when are tables seem pretty bare - keep the faith and know that God will provide for all that we need.
(Funny.... my spell check isn't working.... Is this God telling me to have faith in my spelling ability?)