“The presentation of an idea, apparently improvised, is only valid if there has been adequate study and preparation…”
Miyamoto Musashi translated by Stephen F. Kaufman

The Martial Artist’s Book of Five Rings



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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