“Spirituality is the path that one travels to or with the Spirit,” according to Rudolph Ballentine, a medical doctor and lifelong student of the Himalayan Tradition. He translated the world of yogic practice into the journey of becoming whole. He knew that yoga meant joining all the different parts of ourselves and our world, so that people experienced wholeness. He also knew that the definition of healing was “making whole.” He knew that the practice of yoga in all its aspects was the step toward true health.
So, what if a person does not practice yoga or does not want to practice yoga? Can health and wholeness be their experience?
And too, will the practice of yoga help a person become whole in such a fragmented world? Can it help brothers and sisters who believe in different ideas of God reconcile those differences? Can yoga help men or women become one with a partner without focusing just on the physical aspects of intimacy? Can it enable different political ideologies to respect each other? Can people of different races know that the other race is not out to get them or not inferior to them when yoga is practiced? Can people themselves find peace within themselves without dulling their own minds and pains with alcohol, coke, or heroin without yoga?
Yes, of course!
And, absolutely not!
It all starts with us as individuals. I will never be at peace with others if I focus on how they are attractive or repulsive to me. When I do that I am treating them in the way I don’t want to be treated. I am treating them as objects or qualities or physical entities that either fulfill or degrade me. I am separating them from myself. That is not yoga! That is not wholeness and health!
When I do that I am no longer seeing myself as a person, a loving being. I am separating myself from reality by losing myself in my judgments—e.g. “She is really good to look at.” “He has such a smelly appearance.” “They don’t work hard enough.”
At that point I am forgetting that myself and the others are DIPs. I am forgetting that we are all made in God’s image.
I will never be happy with myself if I always criticize what I do and how I act. I am again separating myself from reality by losing myself in my judgments of myself—e.g. “I am too fat.” “I am not as good as I could be.” “I could never sit still and stop my mind from running all over the place, like a monkey.”
All these judgments are not reality, not healing. They do not help me realize that my core self (my true self) is a whole, complete and loving creature of the Source of Life. In a sense, we need to return to our childhood days of being a well-fed, nurtured child that explores and joyfully plays throughout life.
Moments that bring me back to that joyful playfulness is when I am lying still on the floor or sitting quietly in a chair and just paying attention to my breath flowing in and out of my nostrils—just paying attention to the warm air coming in and the cooler air coming out of my nose. These are heavenly moments of wholeness for me. They are the sacred moments of spirituality, because as I journey on that non-disturbed path of sensing the life force flow in and out of my whole body, I am with my Spirit and moving closer and closer to the Spirit.
I am IN YOGA.