For a little over a year now I've been participating in a study of the Upanishads. We are blessed to have a teacher was has studied yoga texts for many, many years. Each month, he generously opens his home to
us, spiritual seekers. We sit at the foot of our teacher and read and discuss the beautiful poetic verses known as the Upanishads.
Last night we read the Mundaka Upanishad which talks about two modes of knowing. Knowing something intellectually and knowing something experientially. Ed gave the analogy of wanting to know what a mango tastes like. You can ask someone who's eaten a mango to describe it to you and you'll have some idea about the taste of it but until you take a bite you don't really know how it tastes. The only way to KNOW what a mango tastes like is to eat one for yourself.
It's the same with spiritual practice. You can spend a lifetime reading about yoga/meditation but until you step on the mat or sit on the cushion you only know it intellectually. Once you've tasted the sweetness of the practice only then will you REALLY know what it's all about. Still, even haven bitten the mango for myself, I still doubt.
What I learned last night is very simple, yet very profound. "You need faith until you KNOW. Once you know, you don't need faith anymore. Until you know, keep the faith" Just in case I missed the message last night God sent me another reminder today in SD's yoga class - his bhavana?? Faith. You gotta love the synchronicity of life! ( Is it the flow of Grace? Or is it just a coincidence?)
What I've been doubting has been my experiences in meditation. What I've been doubting is the flow of Grace. I looked into the eyes of a woman I just met and saw the eyes of a teacher I wished I had gotten to know better. What does that mean? Was I just imagining this? If not, why does she keep showing up in my life? I don't know. Until I know, I'll keep the faith.
I have faith in the yoga practice, I have faith that the veils of maya will one day be lifted and I'll KNOW but until then I'll keep doing sadhana. I know the benefits of sadhana first hand - that I KNOW. I will continue to open my heart through these beautiful yogic practices - Showing up each day to the mat helps me to strengthen my faith. I KNOW the power of the practice and therefore I continue. I hold on to the faith the one day, the answers to all the other questions of my life will be reveled. Until I KNOW I need faith, once I know I'll no longer need faith.
"When He is seen within us and without, He sets right all doubts and dispels the pain of wrong actions committed in the past. In the golden city of the heart dwells The Lord of Love, without parts, without stain. Know him as the radiant light of lights. There shines not the sun, neither moon nor star. Nor flash of lightning, nor fire lit on earth. The Lord is the light reflected by all. He shining, everything shines after him. The Lord of Love is before and behind. He extends to the right and to the left. He extends above; he extends below. There is no one here but the Lord of Love. He alone is; in truth, he alone is."
Om shanti, shanti, shanti!