“The nagual is not experience or intuition or consciousness. Those terms and everything else you may care to say are only items on the island of the tonal … One can say that the nagual accounts for creativity. The nagual is the only part of us that can create.”
Carlos Castaneda

Tales of Power

Spirituality

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Spirituality is my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. It is the way I am. It is about asking and challenging my own perceptions of what better is and then moving in that direction. It is about engaging life with a sense of purpose. It is about being clear with my intentions. I can now acknowledge that I have gravitated in this direction almost all of my conscious life. But only during the last 10+ years have I become aware of it.

I now feel like I am riding one of those trains that can’t be stopped – there’s no going back, only moving forward. It is with this awareness that I meet everything I do. I am still very protective of this quality. It is, ironically, one of the only things left that can make me aggressive and violent. I have very little tolerance to what I perceive to be spiritual compromise. It is also therefore the source of my greatest frictions. I believe it to be the reason I now live in what seems like a growing (or shrinking) isolation.

I teach Yoga rarely because I am uninterested in the “popular & entertaining” qualities expected of it. My teachers have taught me to teach with a quality of “Give them what they you want so you can give them what you want”. I can do that, but only to a limited degree. I can be creative in tailoring tools and practices to meet individual needs (in one case I’ve even had to prohibit a student from actually doing Yoga in order to make a space for it). It is very difficult for me to teach generic/weekly Yoga classes for people who want to feel good about themselves by associating with Yoga superficially. There are plenty of teachers who do that, so I leave that to them.

Another, less obvious, example is creating websites – I don’t do much of that either. On a rare occasion that I do it is a wonderful process. For me it is very similar to teaching Yoga where instead of asana, breathing and meditation there is personal expression & discovery through writing. I have very little interest and patience for superficial aspects of “designing a website” – which is where most people get caught up. While I do appreciate good great design, it is, in my eyes, an empty & false shell unless it is anchored in a deeper sense of personal purpose & communication … or at least a craving for one.

My spirituality paints/taints everything I engage. You can have a flexible body and a good looking website – I just can’t help you with that unless I sense a deeper & spiritual connection. I assume this connection is always present or close by, and I always seek it out. But many times people don’t want that – and it becomes a source of friction. “Just make it look nice” they say, to which I usually reply “I wish you a pleasant and inspiring journey”.

On the face of things it seems that my spirituality has placed me in a place of separation rather than integration. This seems to be in contradiction with the spirit of Yoga, a spirit of union and integration. I can embrace the world around me as an observer, less so as a participant. My emotional body is hoping this will change. I sometimes wonder if I may be crazy? But the existence of a few rare & precious relationships in my life indicate that I am not.

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