Monday, February 15, 2010

How Can I Serve?

I sit here on a quite morning with a fire and my coffee enjoying the sun coming through the windows casting light across the room. I have had much to contemplate this week. This week begins the season of Lent, one of my favorite times of the year. Lent brings sacrifice and examination to the forefront of our lives. Now I have never truly stated my full beliefs to any one person when it comes to religion or spirituality because the truth is I don't know the best way to articulate it most of the time, and I'm either with my church friends or my yogi friends, and the beliefs run from Conservative Christianity to Agnosticism. For thirty nine years I have grown up in the Christian faith and it is and will always be the forefront of my life, I know the Bible well. Yet there are many things about the "Church" I don't' agree with. As Gandhi said "I like your Christ, it's your Christians I don't like." I'm often embarrassed by the stand many denominations take in the name of Christianity, yet I do realize some Christians may very well feel the same about me. Yet I believe in God and the Trinity, however I also believe in the tenants of Buddhism, as I see it as a philosophical path not a religious one, yet I know it is a religion for many people. The point of all this is to say that I will observe my faith by being reflective and examining my life deeply over the next few months as I always do during Lent.
Saturday I was studying the Bible to teach a lesson and I had to read a section of all the gospels on the last supper and Peter's denial of Jesus. I came upon the gospel reading that dealt with violence. In three separate parts of the Bible I found where it said paraphrased "He who lives by the sword will die by the sword." I get that, it's ahimsa. That is who I strive to be, a non violent person- Growing up Methodist and now Presbyterian the focus on hell and damnation was never forefront in my life. I live life with the tenant of who God is as the focus as a Christian, as a yogi I observe the yama's and niyamas as these guidelines parallel the life of a Christian perfectly. The yoga Sutra's a writing of ancient Hindu text also give directions of how to live a life of moral and ethical life in line with that of the teaching of God in the Ten Commandments and the teaching of Jesus in the gospels. For me being a yogi and studying many ancient text is perfectly in line with my beliefs and my religion and relationship to God. If we study other religions and the philosophies, and core of the belief systems they observe we can assume that all living beings in many different religions can love and accept one another, and live nonviolent and loving lives towards one another with acceptation and mutual admiration and without judgment and condemnation (which to me seem to be the sword).

I had three funeral's this week. Five people died that I knew, one funeral encompassed three deaths. Some I was close to,others were acquaintances. It bought to the front of my mind how I want to live life. Often I am aware of my mission and then I get caught up in the day to day doing and forget my mission "How Can I Serve?" Happiness is found here, in serving. All we need are the basics, including love. Once our needs are met we can give freely.
The true Christian way is not to publicize your Lenten endeavors but to do it quietly, however I know this is going to be hard and I need support. So I have gathered a group to observe together, all for different reasons. Over Lent I will be following a forty day money fast and The Compact . My hope is to have more time to focus on what's really important and focusing on what's in my own backyard my family, my home, and my work. My work of sharing the love of yoga with others and letting go of fear. I will be posting to both blogs regularly any insights or experience (good and bad) that I have. If you would like to participate with me email me

Shanti, Shanti, Shanti, Namaste (Peace for Body, Mind, and Spirit, The divine in me recognizes the divine in you),