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Fear & Doubt: Doorways for Courage & Faith


BESIDE RESTFUL WATERS

A Column by Greg Hermann

“Direct lessons of faith come through the doorway of doubt...”

Christina Sell,Yoga International, Summer 2012

You caught me! I'm reading some articles from back issues of 'Yoga International'. As I was reading through this article, the statement quoted above made me stop. I was genuinely stunned by the profound nature of this simple experience. I mused over what I expected should be my rock-solid faith given a life time of doubt. I rested my mind for several minutes. Then several thought flooded though, like:

Courage enters through experiences of fear.

Compassion grows through experiences of pain.

Patience follows experiences of pressure.

Love expands with experiences of resentment.

Obviously, I could continue this list through decades of experiences which allowed me to “put my big boy pants on” and grow up. Sometimes, I just want to stay in my little boy clothes and have someone else take me by the hand. However, my adolescent nature takes over and I break free. Suddenly I find myself standing there needing to be grown up, needing my big boy clothes, and usually scared.

Later in the same article, Christina Sell references a discussion she had with Geeta Iyengar. Christina quotes Geeta: “When fear arises, you must lift your chest. You must lift your heart.” Immediately my heart filled with gratitude. I thought of all the 'opened heart' poses we know, even at the most basic levels of Yoga practice. I was flooded with memories of a wise instructor asking me to hold a pose. With time and practice, these poses began to fill, expand, and radiate from my core, my heart.

Gratitude continues as I ponder the wisdom of our practice, the timelessness of the lessons from our sages and yogis, and the contentment of knowing I am a yogi. Wow! I have been given this gift to share. We have been given this gift to share. As I write, I am further committed to our original teachings of vairagya and abhyasa, non attachment and practice.

The waters around me at this time are quiet, restful, and calming. I pray the same for you and your practice.


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