The Yoga of Christianity, An Easter Contemplation

The unity of the human race dictated by the global village we anxiously inhabit –
while still looking for a safer place to settle – is a unity that far transcends the sexual attraction of opposites. It is rather a unity that issues from a profound identity that needs urgently to be understood.
~ Marion Woodman, eminent Jungian therapist

If Jesus preached that the Kingdom of Heaven lies within each of us, how is it that two thousand years later many Christians are still searching for an external Messiah? We arrive into this world replete with bodies harboring an enormous drive for knowledge and creativity. Denying these innate impulses over time renders us impotent to inspiration and we languish, afraid we have lost our connection to the divine. What might be the genesis of this belief?

In The Four Agreements, Miguel Ruiz reflects on how our childhood need for acceptance from parents, authority figures and peers tends to overshadow our dreams. Once we realize this is fairly endemic to all children, however, we can utilize these agreements to move us through fear of non-acceptance into a world of possibilities, grounding us into an inner sanctum of authenticity:

1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.

As we throw off layer upon layer of familial and cultural conditioning, we evoke new depths of awareness. We transcend much of the background mental chatter, the voices in our head that keep us small and self doubting. The more we practice, the further we downshift into our bodies and away from feelings of alienation.

When Jesus was crucified and resurrected, scriptures note that he revealed himself to his disciples eating, of all things, fish and honey. In pre-Christian times, fish was only allowed to be eaten by priests during rituals devoted to the goddess Atargatis, in the belief that they represented her body (Wikipedia). Wouldn’t this seemingly bizarre act by their Master (and later to be replicated as sacrament in many churches) represent that holy teachings or wisdom needed to be internalized, that spirit required ingestion, digestion and embodiment, just so? 

To understand concepts in the mind is profound. To make manifest in flesh allows one to trust, to walk the talk, to encounter life on its own terms in this wondrous physical universe. Most of all perhaps, it helps us manage the quaking fear of existence, itself.

Identity would seem to be the garment with which one covers the nakedness
of the self; in which case, it is best that the garment be loose, a little like the
robes of the desert, through which one’s nakedness can always be felt,
and sometimes discerned. This trust in one’s nakedness is all that gives
one the power to change one’s robes.
– James Baldwin

bj image: Keokea trestle

24 thoughts on “The Yoga of Christianity, An Easter Contemplation

  1. Such an interesting reflection on identity, Bela. Religion and all that in history has its place in society but each and every day all of us are changing and so our identity changes. I like your suggestion of not taking things too personally, especially when it comes to others questioning what we do.

    Having lived Asian in Australia, I’ve always been told I should be more Asian over Aussie and so on. That I should take Easter and Christmas more seriously. I don’t follow each celebration or Christianity but I like wishing each other well and partaking in the celebrations around these moments. No matter how different, we can all be a part of something if we all just accept each other.

    Happy Easter, Bela 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mabel, as usual you have very astute observations, for which I thank you. You would do well in Hawaii for sure, a place where Aloha prevails, and the focus on INclusion is innate to the mix of cultures living and growing up here. Live and let live. Share and share, alike. Even the fundamentalist kinds of churches are far more open here because they know Hawaiians wouldn’t have it any other way and their pews would be empty of parishioners otherwise. We, of course, love it here.
      And I’m totally with you as pertains to acceptance of others’ differences. What a blessed state humanity would be in if more thought as you do. Aloha, and peace ❤


      1. “INclusion” Love how you say it, Bela. So clever too. Such an open place over there in Hawaii, and sounds like a place that anyone can call home. One day, as I always say, I will visit 🙂 Take care and stay safe ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I write as I would speak the word – where we cannot utilize italics in our comments here … got to do what I can to emphasize my meaning 😉 Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for the well wishes. We need them with the lunatic sin the White House drawing threats from North Korea. Hawaii is poised just so in the Pacific – we make a good target for bomb practice. So your wishes for safety are real. Thanks for those ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Mahalo, BN. This is the kind of writing I did for publication on the mainland US for many years. So I needed to write lots of poetry before I could feel good about coming around to this again 😉 Blessings on the advent of Spring! 😀 Aloha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful reflections!
    Whatever grain of religion I have in me, I have never understood it. Probably because I was raised in a liberal family and when I grew up I was glad no such diktats were ever imposed on me and therefore I could evolve my own perspective. While I respect all those who have conservative beliefs of ancient times embedded in their souls, the doubts prevail around the left side of my brain though most of the times the right side tries to dominate the way I choose to live my life.
    ‘New depths of awareness’ have always kept me enlightened and influenced. Inclusiveness is a wonderful term only if more people around us accept it, chew upon it and let it transcend all the boundaries. Happy Easter dear Bela.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mahalo, Balroop – glad you enjoyed the post. I left ‘church’ when I was 14, not because I had liberal parents, but because they were caught in their own snarled web of deceptions and eventual divorce. They weren’t churchgoers anyway – just mandated it for their 7 kids – and I ducked out. It just didn’t make sense to me that God was that secular. And more.

      Like you, I respect the need for others to gather with like minded souls in prayer or for whatever they can glean from the teachings provided, albeit heavily colored by the Patriarchy. We are women, after all 😉

      And maybe I took the ‘seek and ye shall find’ literally, but I’m glad I did: thinking for myself, feeling, connecting.

      As for inclusiveness, we are indeed blessed to live in Hawaii where Aloha covers that very well. Although if the lunatics running the asylum have their way, provoking world powers with their foolish bombs and posturing, we are well poised to be a target of North Korea, as was pointed out in today’s newspaper headlines. Still, I take Hawaii over any other alternative I can think of.

      Cheers and love,Balroop. Happy Springtime! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I love that expression “heavily colored by the Patriarchy”…who could understand it better than me! Stay blessed dear friend and keep the hope alive…goodness has always prevailed and so it shall.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Having been integrated into a church environment at a young age .Yet not having religious parents.. ( It was a means for a Sunday of relief from their brood of 5 as I and my siblings went to Sunday School 🙂 )

    I grew up with the stories of Jesus.. And went to Bible study… I left age 15 🙂 It wasn’t until I was an adult.. When I was still ‘Seeking’ that I reached deeper into the meaning of ‘Faith’. And sort to find that missing link within my Inner self.. And connect with the Universal Love which has no restrictions.. is available to all.. And I am so freer for the finding.. 🙂

    What I could never understand as a child, and now as an adult.. Is that we still kill, murder and maim in the name of Religion..

    You are so right in our indoctrinated thoughts And for most its nothing to do with love.. On the contrary it’s all about fear and control.

    I came to see that so much is distorted by man. And rules are altered..
    All anyone needs is the theme in which runs through ALL Religions, Yet so often is lacking..

    We all need to embrace LOVE in our hearts, Kindness, Sharing, Caring..

    A very enlightening read Bela.. And a Happy Easter to you..

    May we all rise up to care more and live and love in harmony within our communities..

    Love and Blessings.
    Sue ❤ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Sue, we Do have much in common, you and I! Yes, the sentiment that was floating around inside an acronym for awhile in the US was WWJD or What Would Jesus Do? But I think it’s still lost on too many. Teachers abound throughout humanity’s short duration on this beloved planet. Confucius, Buddha, Christ, more. Love. Love. Love. Yet humans are always quick to twist meaning to their own ends … and many of those ends are truly deplorable if not diabolical. The abuse of their fellows, the torture or eradication of extraordinary creatures that frighten or enchant. The list is endless, and since I know you feel acutely for these kinds of things as do I, we’ll leave it at that.
      We know the answer lies within the self, that endless probing into what is most difficult, plowing through the hurt and pain prompted by others, the apparent senselessness of it all. But we also know it’s the only work there is. To love what is most difficult is, in the end, redemptive.
      And so on we go, triggering, getting triggered, reclaiming our inner ground, while the earth spins away and day moves into night, over and over again.
      So we sink hands into soil or dishwater and carry on. Sometimes I wonder, as must you, but in the end, perhaps we shall know. Meanwhile, we enjoy the beauty and wonder as willing tradeoffs for the ugliness we witness.
      Sending you a big bear hug and the love that transcends all perceived boundaries. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes.. we are very alike Bela.. As hard as it is.. and I have lost the count of tears I shed for Humanity.. I have to have my own inner faith, that we are only a blink within this time frame of experience.. Seeing Beyond is what keeps me going.. And understanding something so so deep within me.. I could not ever really find the words to put them on paper.. For the words would never make sense to the feelings I know we both share.
        For we know Humans may still have a long way yet to travel..But each phase and this is but another.. Is all part of the steps within our evolution.. I often weep that there are no short cuts.. That it seems we never learn..
        But I am hopeful that as the energies increase.. Humanity will shift within its higher consciousness of thought and embrace compassion.. Turning Anger into tolerance. and Fear into Love..
        We have a long way to go… But like any garden.. The world has to uproot some weeds along the way and bring it back into order out of chaos..
        Loved your big bear Hug dearest Bela.. I know many of us are working silently within our creative gardens as we share our thoughts in poems and words..
        Each thought adds to the whole.. And I believe oneday the whole will come to understand it has never been separate.. ❤ xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoy how you have woven different elements here – especially The Four Agreements, WWJD (Never came across this in the UK) and putting it in the framework of Yoga. Yes – its how we live our lives that matters.
    I had such a crush on Jesus when I was little. I thought he was such a wonderful human being… and I still do. I never understood where all the dogma and rules came from, as it felt so controlling rather than caring. It got in the way of being a kind and loving person who embraced inclusion and oneness.
    Aloha dear Bela 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aloha, Val, and yes, I suspected the WWJD was strictly an American ‘thing.’ Rubber bracelets and all 😉

      I, too had a deep connection to Jesus when I was young. I credit the Divine with saving my life, in fact. Things were so dire at home that I never thought I’d see the day I could leave it all behind and make my own life. But my conversations with the unseen kept me going. And when I finally Did leave home, it was years of trying on this or that religion which finally broke the bonds of my fundamentalist upbringing. I could then trust my feelings and be free. All of life has for me been a journey into liberating more and more of my own innate essence, which resonates so well with the benevolence of that original Master. So though I do not consider myself secular, that fondness remains.

      Wishing you many blessings on this beautiful day! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What a journey at such a tender age Bela. You have done so well to be where you are today – with an open heart and curious mind- and a big dose of chutzpah ❤️
        I have a thing about patriarchy too … it never felt kind!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks, Val – you are sweet. Well, we’re not called ‘survivors’ for nothing, I suppose. The greater tragedy would be to mislabel this fast track to waking up, proclaiming victimhood for a lifetime. So I am most grateful I chose the higher ground of seeking my own redemption.

        One of my longer chosen units in college was Women’s Studies; in particular, the advent of patriarchy, fairly easily overwhelming and wresting ‘power’ from the matriarchs who, by and large, held the welfare of the group far above petty (or large scale) warmongering. I don’t think kindness was then or is now on Patriarchy’s agenda, sadly.

        Big hugs ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I hadn’t heard of those Four Agreements, but they seem sound indeed. The most difficult, I think, is, “Don’t make assumptions.” Frankly Bela, I feel it’s an almost impossible task not do so at some level, as thought is always one step ahead of its backward reflection on itself (as one’s checking memory, or mindfulness). Assumption operates at an incredibly fast rate, of course, and it’s so easy to miss noticing it as we build upon the very thing we’ve missed. I actually think it’s the ultimate mindfulness test, to see if we can operate in thought free of all assumptions, even for just a few minutes. I suspect Ruiz is not referencing assumption in its very subtlest sense as I am here, but if he is then I take my hat off to those that can keep that particular agreement. Don’t mean to sound picky, it’s just that I’m quite fascinated by this business of making assumptions, and how incredibly difficult it was for me to learn that I was doing that unwittingly. H ❤


    1. Aloha Hariod, and no, I don’t think Ruiz’ interpretation of his Toltec medicine roots splits down to the fine points you are making. He wrote The Four Agreements and subsequent books for mass consumption and likely the hope of awakening some formerly unaware segment of society. But your points, dear H, are worth noting for anyone wishing to deeply observe the workings of the human mind. Agreed that assumptions are almost automatic, certainly they are for me, though my challenge has ever been not to repeatedly thump myself over the head for [having done so] in the first place. We all have our strange and convoluted or incisive ways of penetrating ego’s clever props, do we not? And the ‘unwitting’ part – well, isn’t that universal? That you realize you have [said, done, thought] whatever unwittingly is the crux of mindfulness, wouldn’t you say? Thanks as always for adding your valuable voice to this discussion. Much love!

      Liked by 1 person

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