“Finding the Divine Within (Latex Gloves Not Necessary)” excerpt from “Happy Yoga”

This is a little lengthy, but definitely worth the read. The following passage is from Steve Ross’ book, Happy Yoga, that I have quoted/written from in previous entries. Of all that I have read from this book, this is without a doubt one of my favorite passages. Enjoy!

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There’s nowhere to go for the truth, there’s no one to pay, there’s nothing to do. You can only undo all that is not true. And then you discover that truth was with you all along, concealed by everything false. Then which is everlasting is just underneath everything that’s temporary. And that which is divine is hiding behind everything that is mundane. Ever play hide-and-seek? In the same way, life is like a game, or play (leela). You must endeavor to find the truth and the divine in everything.

God concealed and God revealed are ways that yogis often describe the play of consciousness in the world. Everything is God everywhere all the time. But some things seem more obviously God than others. When you watch a beautiful sunset, that’s obviously God. It would be considered God revealed. It’s a little more of a challenge to see that a war zone with bullets flying and people screaming and dying is God, too. That would be considered God concealed. Compassion, love, or any genuine celebration of life is an example of God revealed. So even though it’s all God, the yogis acknowledge that in duality, some things seem more like God than others. There are elements of the world that appear to be more of an expression of the perfection of God, of love and bliss, than others.

While an enlightened master sees that everything is God, given a option of the experience of God concealed or God revealed, there’s usually a preference twoard God revealed-love, compassion, freedom, bliss, truth-you get the picture.

God revealed is a little taste of the infinite, but so is God concealed; it just requires an able eye to see it. Yogis say that there’s a big picture-and it’s huge. An individual can only see a tiny piece of a this big picture. So you might look at your tiny piece and think, “What the hell is this? This doesn’t look like anything! This looks like non-sense, fear, pain!” But when you see it in the context of the huge, enormous, gigantic, big picture, it all makes sense. Aha! Through love, compassion, surrender, allowing, forgiveness, joy, and other aspects of God revealed, you get a tiny glimpse of the big picture. But if you’re stuck in a world where God is concealed through resistance, anger, hatred, violence, loathing, and so on, you’re stuck with those little tidbits of the big picture that don’t look like much.

What about experiences that seem like God revealed at first but later reveal themselves as God concealed? The drug heroin, for example, induces deep peace for some people-at first. Then it slowly ruins your entire life by destroying your body, depleting your finances, and, of course, requiring larger and larger doses to make you feel normal. Any recovering user will tell you the same story. This is true of many elements in the world. The yogis say these aspects of worldly life are like poison honey. The first symptom might be sweet, but the end is bitter.

Spiritual life is like a medicinal herb: bitter in the beginning, sweet in the end. Becoming conscious can initially be challenging. But once you get rolling, your life becomes peaceful, blissful, and much sweeter for your efforts.

How can a yogi experience God revealed all the time? God is what you are. The more you can let go of excessive thinking, the more you’ll experience it. To reveal the God energy that you are, accept each moment. Acknowledge each moment as sacred. Don’t resist what it is. Look past the appearance through to the God just underneath.

Many yoga students are able to attain beautiful states of peace in yoga class, especially at the deeply relaxing end in shavasana. They experience God revealed when they feel happy and light, bliss pulsing through their bodies. But the moment they walk through the door and back into the real world, they get sucked back into the outward chaos of their lives and the inward chaos of their minds (God concealed). Pick up the kids from school, is the husband happy? Massage at six, make sure the business is running smoothly, do I have enough money? I want to be single, I want to be in a relationship, are my kids smart enough? My mother’s in the hospital, and on and on and on and on. This kind of activity could continue for the rest of your life, accelerating and picking up momentum like an avalanche. It can drive you insane or it can provoke inner surrender.

What’s going to happen is going to happen. You can do what you can about it, but compulsive thought will only make it worse. Why not let go? If it succeeds in blissing you out at the end of yoga class, why not try it in your life? Do what you can and release the rest.

Your life is perfect as it is. Every aspect is exactly as it should be, pointing you precisely in the direction you’re meant to go. Whether you are able to see it or not depends on how resistant you are to what is. Whether you can see it as God revealed or God concealed is a result of your point of view. What might seem like problems may actually be invitations for change. To reside as love, joy, compassion, stillness, and grace is to reside as the divine within and without. And this is true yoga.

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