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Making friends with faith

Posted by Julie Andres on Thursday, February 27, 2014 Under: yoga

As the hours of daylight increase and we edge toward the vernal equinox, crocus and jonquil bulbs begin to emerge courageously through the cold soil. Colour returns in enticing peeks, and the delight of seasonal change, with all its familiar rhythms and surprising irregularities, is in the air.

Even though personal transformation can be difficult to witness from the inside, these outer signs heighten a dawning awareness--
in spite of niggling doubts, I see that I have been making changes after all. The evolution of my yoga teaching and personal practice remind me daily of the shifts that take place when there is intention, discipline, and--here it comes--faith.

Faith is a word that I've not felt all that comfortable with for most of my life. In my mind it has often had an underlying adjunct along the lines of "blind" attached to it. Or sometimes it has elicited an association with "leap", usually toward some dogmatic religious imperative. But now it feels as though a kernel of faith has always been there, somewhere in my heart, waiting for a trace of recognition, just a little light shining its way.

When I notice my growing faith I often think of gardening. Years ago, when I first started to cultivate flowers and vegetables, I would sprinkle hundreds of seeds--petunia or lettuce or beets or herbs--into the soil when I really only needed to plant a fraction of that amount. I consciously did not trust that many of the seeds would actually sprout. I was covering for the inevitable (I thought) likelihood that the seeds would not produce a good rate of return. Over time I realized, to my surprise, that most of them did, indeed, germinate. Not only that, but each shoot vied for equal rights in their tiny pots or garden beds, and then, to get a good crop I had to thin most of them out by pulling them up by their beautiful, translucent stems and killing them. Now I plant seeds sparingly; after years of experience, my faith in their pent-up power, their prana, comes more easily.

Of course, there is a direct correlation to the world around us and the seeds that are discovered within. Awareness of breath turns into a dedicated pranayama practice, which leads to mental stillness. Sitting in silence allows increasing peace of mind to develop, which opens doors that reveal joy. I have found, through this discovery and unfolding of faith, that there is an exquisite connection, a delicate, yet unbreakable bond between each of us and all other beings. The way of realizing this is through intention, discipline, and self-observation leading to individual expression and refinement. With these practices we remove personal barriers that prevent us from uncovering and nurturing the seeds of faith that await.

As I awaken to the presence of this unfurling, positive changes advance with less reluctance and struggle. And so it goes.

Enjoy the beauty and blessings of the coming spring.

In : yoga 

Tags: yoga  medittion  transformtion  faith 

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