Yoga is Union With God

Like everyone else in this town, I am waiting for another batch of snow that will begin falling shortly. And like many others, I ventured forth in the small window of time we have, in search of supplies, only to be confronted with empty shelves and treacherous roads.

And now, I am content to be home again, in my inner sanctum, where I meditate, surrounded by the beautiful energies of my sacred space...

Once more I turn to Paramahansa Yogananda, and my heart is warmed by this one paragraph that I found myself reading and re-reading, over and over again these last couple of days.

What is yoga? Every teacher tries to answer this question more or less succinctly to every new student she or he encounters in a class. Often the answer given is that yoga is an ancient discipline - that the word yoga itself is translated as "yoke" and that it is a practice that unites or recognizes that the body, mind, and spirit are all one...

But right now, I am drawn to Yogananda's simple explanation: Yoga is union with God. That is, for all intent and purposes, the goal of our lives. The "Royal Path of Yoga" is the path and practice of meditation - and its culmination is very simply, attaining - and maintaining - oneness with the Divine at all times. And this, takes dedicated practice. Yogananda taught, that one should meditate at least one hour a day. After all, does God not deserve at least 1/24th of our day and attention?

"It is alright to enjoy life; the secret of happiness is to not become attached to anything. Enjoy the smell of the flower, but see God in it. I have kept the consciousness of the senses only that in using them I may always perceive and think of God. Mine eyes were made to behold Thy beauty everywhere. My ears were made to hear Thine omnipresent voice. That is Yoga, union with God.

It is not necessary to go to the forest to find Him. Worldly habits will hold us fast wherever we may be until we free ourselves from them.

The yogi learns to find God in the cave of his heart. Wherever he goes, he carries with him the blissful consciousness of God's presence."

Yoga is union with God. In everything that we do. In everything that we say. In everything that we are. Every moment is sacred. And so is every opportunity we receive. And every encounter with one another. Yoga is life...

As I wait for the snow, I am reminded that mindful waiting is also yoga. How I shovel the snow, and prepare meals, and spend my time with a spouse who is frustrated by being cooped inside, is also yoga.

The Divine is in every snow flake that falls, and in every task and action I undertake. I offer them all up. As the Bhagavad Gita teaches, a yogi or yogini freely offers his or her actions without any attachment to the fruit of those actions, for they belong only to God. This is the heart of the true inner renunciant. And this also constitutes true union with God.

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