Rachelle, the wonderful host over at Magpie Girl, seeks to help people find their own right-fit spiritual practice which sometimes means "dancing in the overlap." She invited me to write about my own hybird and place of fertile border-crossing between being a monk rooted in Christian tradition and a yogini.
Make sure to stop by her post for a chance to win copies of my two newest books – Lectio Divina – transforming words and images into heart-centered prayer and The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom.
One of the things I love about yoga is how parallel its principles are to the Christian principles of monasticism which sustain my spirit. I learn through yoga philosophy how to be fully present to my experience in this moment of time with compassion. I encounter exactly the same invitation in the wisdom of early desert monks who taught how to stay with our experience and not run from ourselves. When I practice yoga I become a better monk. When I practice my monastic side, I become a better yogi.
Yoga teaches about satya, being with the truth of this moment. About santosha, finding contentment within this truth. About tapas, stoking my inner fire to stay with my experience, to stay with the practice. My monastic tradition also teaches me to open my eyes to reality as it is, not how my ego wants it to be. It teaches me to practice being content, accepting the fullness of this moment. It encourages me to practice discipline and welcoming in difficult or painful feelings I often want to run away from. By staying with these wisdom paths the invitation is to enter more fully into places of grief, transition, letting go.