Don’t shy away from this blog because there’s God in the title. I’m not a religious fanatic. I am a spiritual seeker on the path toward peace.
So this blog won’t preach at you or wag a finger in judgment. That’s not my job. My job here is to write words of inspiration that connect us all so that we can live a better life and make a better world.
This morning, my alarm went off at 3:25. I jumped out of bed and drove to Karma Yoga for sadhana, the 4 am prayer, yoga and meditation set that my friend Katherine Austin does every single day. I’ve done it a few times before, but truthfully, most days, I prefer the cozy cocoon of my bed and a more digestible awakening hour of 5 a.m. to begin my personal meditation here at home.
Why go to such lengths to start the day? I never thought I’d be up before the sun, reciting a mantra in my head. But now, I can’t imagine life without it.
I used to worry about money, have anxiety about work, stress out over schedules and running here there and everywhere. I couldn’t handle the highs and lows with ease. I can now.
I invited a friend to join me this morning, but of course the insanely early hour was the first big deterrent. Then she said, “It’s too much like religion.” Fair enough. Sadhana IS a form of religious worship – the Japji is Sikh prayers to start the day.
I don’t worry that I’m not Sikh and this could be a conflict with my Jewish persuasion because I believe we’re all the same. Prayers are prayers, the lilt and rhythm, even the translated meanings, all the same. The notion that we need to pray in order to draw closer to God and gain clarity of Right over Illusion is universal.
Many days I like to read a few pages from a book on Peace by the Swami in northern India whose ashram runs the annual International Yoga Festival. Here’s what I landed on today:
“Peace comes through prayer. It doesn’t matter what name you use for God or what language you pray in…What matters is that the prayer is earnest, pure and heartfelt.”
He included a poem from Mother Teresa: The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is devotion. The fruit of devotion is service. The fruit of service is peace.
Do more for others and your life will be better. Take the selfless I out of the equation and work for the greater good. Try to change the world. Believe in and promote equality, justice and compassion. Do work that heals rather than work that steals.
The older I get, the more spiritual I become. I’m not tied to any particular dogma and in fact, I rather recoil when someone gets in my face with “shoulds” and an insistence of one way as ultimate Truth and all other ways as hooey.
It’s just not what I believe. I believe in the idea that God resides in all of us, so there is something brilliant and wonderful and earth-changing in every single person. Even the heartbroken bullies. I don’t have to endure their wrath but I can have compassion for whatever it is that turned their heart away from kindness.