I thought for the longest time that I did not have faith in God, but then I realised it had been the God presented to me as a child that I did not have faith in. Our concept of God guides our path in life to a great extent, whatever name we may call that God. If you don’t think you believe in God reflect on these wise words from Guy Finley: “Anything which you have let tell you who you are, you have made your God.” From this perspective God could be religion, science, parents, money or many other things. And I have seen in myself, and in my coaching clients over the years, how each of those can play the role of Gods in peoples lives. I do not push my idea of God upon others, because I believe it is something that we experience for ourselves, but I do like to share how my perception has shifted for me over time.
Kriya Yoga was first introduced to the west by the yogi Paramhansa Yogananda, and is now being practiced by thousands on a daily basis as a result. I was someone who was raised in a religion to believe in a punishing and vengeful God, by a controlling and patriarchal organisation, one that lead me to believe I could not have direct contact with a higher power. Yogananda reminded me that I can, something that I believed in at a deep level of my being. When, at the age of 14 I had a near death experience, I questioned much of what I had learned from school and church.
Someone spoke to me of the book “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramhansa Yogananda, and I sought it out, but I was not aware of the profound shift it would create within my life. I learned about a completely different God, a God of love and compassion, one who simply wants the best for His children. But reading about Her was not enough, I wanted to embody Her at the deepest level of my being.
Last year I was initiated into Kriya Yoga, and practice it daily, or at least as often as I can. There are no words to describe the effect the practice has had on my life, and many of my experiences are my own personal experiences, which would lose their affect if shared with others. But what I can tell you is that there are few days without growth, and no days without miracles, and a deeper sense of inner peace is becoming a more regular state of being.
I have learned a great deal about surrender as a result, and especially in this year of 2012 where so much is changing on a personal and global level. The mind wants to create less than favourable outcomes of what may happen based upon particular choices, guided by old conditioning, when I expect the gavel of a judgemental God to wallop me over the side of thehead. But as I allow myself to surrender to this idea of God that resonates with my heart, it begins to take root within the cells of my being, and I am able to find a peace that has often alluded me in the past.
I spent many of my teenage years battling the teachings of the church and resisting the control of it, but only fell further into guilt, shame and outright confusion. I lost trust in those who would share their spiritual teachings with me, and pushed away even those who would offer me wise counsel. A part of my ego fell into the trap of believing that the only guru I needed was the one within me. It took me a while to cotton on to the fact that the inner guru was actually well hidden beneath a veil of untruth, and that only through a frequent reflection of my inner guru in the form of a true outer guru, would I be able to get anywhere near making contact with my inner guru.
As such, it has been a journey of surrender, surrendering to the guidance and wisdom of a truly enlightened being, and along the way letting go of other teachers who may have misguided me, or were just missing parts of the puzzle. There is a big difference between the teacher who knows something at an intellectual level, and the master who embodies the teachings. I cannot convince you that the guru I am connected to is enlightened, or that he is the right one for you, it is something that you experience yourself if you feel the call.
Fears that remain unhealed are percolating up within the consciousness of humanity at this time in greater amplitude, and if the fear is bought into, it paralyses the mind and the heart from taking loving action. It is through choosing to feel peaceful and calm that we are able to listen to the wisdom of our intuition, and act in alignment with this higher source of wisdom. Kriya Yoga brings me a peace that no mental exercise has the power to duplicate. Mental exercises such as affirmations are powerful exercises and I continue to do them, but it is in the stillness of meditation that awareness presents itself with which I am able to do watch miracles unfold.
It takes practice, because the monkey mind wants to hold on to its previous conditioning, and create obstructions to the divinity within us, but it is like the lifting of weights for fitness. The concentration and discipline we create pays off in the end. It appears I have a journey ahead of me, but the Holy Grail is within reach, and I have faith in Kriya Yoga. For you it may begin with quiet moments of meditation and heartfelt questioning, and I know that you will be guided along your own unique path in this life, to follow a particular teacher or master, or not. But at all times, choose the calm inner spaces and you will know the path you yourself are being called to walk.
“Humanity Our Uniting Religion,
Breath our uniting prayer,
Consciousness, our uniting God”
If you are called to learn more about Kriya Yoga and tap in to the guidance and wisdom of a true master, then I encourage you to check out the upcoming NorthWest Retreat being facilitated by Master Yogiraj Gurunath Siddhanath. There are just a few weeks remaining, but I can assure you that if you want it enough, and it is the correct time for you, you will find yourself being guided to the means to make this possible.