Mandy’s chapter was about discovering what yoga can do for your mind and spirit. I understand what she is saying and it’s fun to read her perspective. Yoga is the practice of relaxing into the tension of being stretched. It’s about finding the edge of yourself and growing that territory further out by facing the fear of falling off. The mental strength you gain has an undeniable positive effect on the rest of your life.
She parallels the practice on the yoga mat and out in her life:
“As I follow what I believe to be the promptings of the Spirit of God inside of me, I find myself exploring all sorts of new territory. What I am learning on my mat in yoga is transferring to how I enter into these new mysteries of my faith. I bend a little in my mind, as far as I feel comfortable, and then I breathe and see if I feel as though I can safely release the muscles to allow myself to go even deeper or if I am at my proverbial edge, needing to back off” (page 180).
In a conversation I had a couple weeks ago, my friend and I discussed the different paths people take to find the truth. They’ll get a glimpse of the truth and make a religion out of it. When I studied religions in college, I noticed that each had an element of the truth in it. It’s just that many of them haven’t found it through the Source of Truth, and so it’s tangled by tumors of false belief or spiritual blindness.
There is a such thing as spiritual enlightenment, of living selflessly, loving others, and finding your connection to the rest of creation. These things are worthwhile spiritual practices, but they have nothing to do with the flesh. Meaning, they have nothing to do with Jesus. Any religion can accomplish amazing acts of humanitarian work and meditation practice can strengthen the thinking part of our lives. Food can be our God-designed medicine, positive thinking can alter our chemistry, and healing breaths can change our neurological activity. In all of that amazing and fascinating truth, none of it mentions Jesus.
There is a connection between tradition and freedom from tradition. It’s all part of the whole. I’ve been exploring this territory for a few years now. Mandy’s writing gave me the sense that she knows she’s talking to people who may not have discovered much about God outside of the safety of their religious institutions. I wish we had more Bible-based conversations about the bigger picture. I think people would find the healing, freedom, and peace they crave if they recognized that God created everything and He is an active part of every aspect of life. We’ve scooted away from Him in every area except the Sunday Morning sanctuary.
Mandy cited this scripture and I love it…
As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. – Ecclesiastes 11:5 KJV
Dan King wrote the 29th chapter of Soul Bare. He titled it, “Look At Me, Daddy”. I’ll write my thoughts about his chapter next.