Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Big Guy

Warning! Warning! The following may contain material that is offensive to some folks. I may use the word "God"....

Seriously, the following contains my personal interpretations. There may be errors.

I was running errands the other day and was searching the radio for some decent music and I came across George Harrison singing "My Sweet Lord". I stopped on that station and actually sat still for a moment in the car just taking it in. When the song was over I realized that the station I was listening to this ancient Sanskrit chant on was the local Catholic station. The funny thing about this is that the Church has frowned upon Yoga as "they" feel that folks are substituting Yoga for traditional religion.

I was born and raised to be a good Catholic girl. I went to Catholic high school and even wore the dreaded plaid skirt for four years. But I was a huge doubting Thomas. When my husband and I met in college I was pretty bummed when he dragged me to church every Sunday. He, also raised Catholic, is devout, not the doubting Thomas kind. His devotion was what endeared him to my parents and I knew that it was so very important to him that I went willingly every week. We had to walk at least ten blocks to get to church from our dorm and on the way back we would stop at Brook's Pharmacy in Cranston, RI to pick up our afternoon snacks; the awful Bugles chip things. But I diverge...

So I have pretty much floundered around my religion all my life and had no spirituality at all until Yoga. When I started to practice nearly 8 years ago, I started to have these "interactions", if you will, with Christ during asana. I really couldn't explain it at the time and I kept it to myself. I thought that if I shared these experiences with anyone they would have me committed. But it was these interactions with the Christ energy that opened the door to my spirituality. Once that door was opened, I found that I was starving and I had to feed that hunger or die.

I started reading, voraciously, anything that seemed to satisfy any part of that hunger. Since Yoga was the path that this incarnation chose to take to move towards the Light, it was the Yoga books and scriptures that I read. When I read Paramahansa Yogananda's "Autobiography of a Yogi" I finally understood why Christ was communing with me during practice. Paramahansa explains so eloquently in his teachings that Christ is considered by many to be an incarnation of Krishna. My own guru has often explained many of the connections between Christ and Krishna. Just the CHR/KR sound of the name is no coincidence. Both are considered the love light energy and many Hindus revere Christ for this. Once I started to open my body, there suddenly was room for His love and light to enter. He must have been trying to get in for a long time and He jumped when the opportunity to meet me presented itself!

It was about the time when I finished "Autobiography" that I started to notice that when we went to church, things that I have heard a priest say for my entire life, I started to hear differently. All of a sudden I was understanding my mass. I had a deeper appreciation for my own religion. I was able to embrace Christ as real. Real. Somehow, suddenly, through Yoga, I believed.

Christ is what Yogis consider a Siddhic Yogi; one who obtains great powers. Walking on water, bi-location, multiplying food, etc. These feats are frequently spoken of in Yogic scriptures. These feats are what made Christ both man and deity. These feats, as taught in The Bhagavad Gita, are accessible to all humans. This is one of the things about Hinduism that I adore. God is not unobtainable. God is in you, you just have to know where to look. Yoga is the science that teaches you how to find the divine light within you.

It doesn't matter what you call IT. God. Love. Shiva. David. Universe. Krishna. Parvati. Ganesha. Energy. Light. The Big Guy. It's all the same, people! This is where I have come in my quest to merge into the Light. You don't need to name it. You just have to have an open heart and an open mind. Once that door is open, the light floods in.

In the past 8 years I have been blessed to be in the presence of an enlightened being, my beloved guru, Shri Anandi Ma, many times. I have seen Her enter into samadhi. I have had Her hands on my head blessing me and removing the karma of all my past lives. I have drunk the sacred milk that has bathed Her feet. And I believe. I believe that God exists. Christ said, "Blessed are those who believe but have not seen." I guess it took me a little longer and He must have known that I needed a little bit more prodding and so he sent me to Her. Sometimes I wonder if all the events of my life led me to my teacher....

I still flounder when it comes to the teachings of man disguised as the word of God. I think, in this day and age, many of us do. I also think it is wise to have a healthy dose of skepticism and modern day Christ would probably agree. And the more I know, the less I understand. It's just that I have found a place of peace in my life where I finally have some blind faith in a power greater than myself. (And it doesn't hurt that I am blessed to have the guidance of a living saint.)

We are raising our children Catholic, of course. We are regulars at our church and I am proud of that. I am grateful that I have an understanding of Christ that allows me to introduce Him to my children in a different way than I met Him. I want them to see God in everyone and every culture. When they were little, about 4 and 5 years old, we drove past the Buddhist temple every day to work. One morning one of them asked me, as we passed that statue of Buddha, "Who is that?" And I replied, "That's a friend of Jesus." It was a spontaneous answer and I was amazed at my own insight as a mother. And that is how we have approached religion since. Just recognizing that Christ is in everyone and that everyone has the ability to become Christ-like is all I need to know to raise them in faith.

There is a recording of Swami Kripalu giving a lecture where he emphatically states this phrase: "God IS! God IS!". You can hear the ferocity of his belief. The force of the prana behind his voice crying this out was overwhelmingly powerful. It has never left me since first hearing it several years ago.

I am continually blessed with experiences in the presence of my Guru and teachings of other enlightened masters. I know that the blessing of my Guru is a gift directly from God and I am grateful. I also know that my path may not be your path and that is okay. I am amused by the Catholic church's view on Yoga but I still go to mass. So although I could probably get excommunicated for believing that my beloved teacher is a Goddess walking the earth, the fact remains that I believe. And isn't that the only thing that truly matters?


  1. Thank you for a Catholic slacker,I've been struggling to get myself back into going to church...I want to, I believe and this has given me the push to go out and make it happen...and if you don't mind me asking, where do you guys attend? I'm doing a bit of testing to find the best fit for me....

  2. We attend at St. Anthony of Padua in Litchfield. There is an RC church right near our home but we go there instead because we really like the priest, Fr Tucker. Mass is usually about 30 minutes.
    ps- nothing wrong with church hopping til you find the right one!