So of course the point of the practice of yoga is to discipline the mind, body and spirit so that one can reach "samadhi," which is "Union with the Divine."
I read this story in Yoga Journal this week by Sally Kempton that really struck home with me. If you haven't read any of her stuff, you really must. Yoga Journal has regular wisdom features by her. I read every one because she's just so NORMAL!
Oh, so back to the point: the story. It's called "Seeing is Believing." You can read it here. She talks about basically pretending enlightenment in order to live it. Kempton tells about the tantric tradition called bhavana, which is "a practice in which you use your mind and imagination to create an inner experience of oneness, or to contemplate an enlightened reaction to an object of desire, say, or to an enemy." Her article reassuringly points out that enlightenment is available to everyone. Not just extra-spiritual people or monks or stuff like that. We all experience moments of connectedness with God. And with people. And she is saying essentially we can "fake it til we make it."
So what did I take away from this? I struggle with feeling like everyone is judging me, disliking me, disapproving of me. And that makes me feel like I'm surrounded by adversaries. After reading this story, I decided to just live as though that is not true. Just go on pretending everyone is a close friend of mine. I stumbled upon this quote the other day:
“Doubt yourself and doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above and see forever.” –Nancy Kerrigan
And I found that is true. When I felt doubtful about myself, I felt everyone else was doubting me. So I'm practicing connectedness with everyone around me. I'm practicing believing that everyone around me wants me to succeed in whatever I'm doing. I do feel better. I do feel more connected with God and His people, and I'm not a spiritual giant!