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The Call to the Spiritual Life

By Michael Ketterhagen



“Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”

--1 Samuel 3:9 (NRSV)


A brief story from one of the Hebrew historical books speaks of a young man named Samuel. His introduction to the spiritually-directed life reminds me of the way many yoga students begin to assume a more active role in their practice of yoga.


Samuel heard a voice call his name while he was sleeping and he assumed that it was coming from his teacher, Eli. Finally, after three misunderstandings of the source of the call, his teacher told him to respond to the call of his name, which was coming from within him, by “listening” to the voice.


I have noticed that when asking my students if they would like to be yoga teachers, they respond more than once, “I have been thinking of that for a while.” Or they say “I have been wondering about that lately.”


It seems, like with Samuel, that it takes a while for most of us to respond to our inner call to move into our spiritual journey with more vigor. When a person decides to learn about teaching yoga, they are not so much wondering about teaching but are struggling with the idea of going deeper into their own spiritual journey. Many yoga teachers-to-be think of teaching as a secondary goal.  Many see the training as a movement toward exploring more deeply their own bodies, their own minds, and are drawn to the meditative dimension of yoga. Many want to grow spiritually—“I want to know myself more.”


It just takes their own Samuel response (“Speak, your servant is listening.”), for them to finally become “familiar with the Lord” within themselves. It is their inner Spirit constantly inviting them to move into the spiritual path of their lives. That is what the meditative dimension of yoga is—movement into the spiritual journey, where one becomes “familiar with” the Divine inner world.


All we need do is ask that Divine voice to speak to us and then listen. It will direct us on our true journey in life—the journey to our core Spirit. We will become more “familiar with the Lord” of our life.


I bow to the Divinity within you!

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