Many people all over the world have by now experienced the “feel good” power of yoga, though for the most part what they have experienced is mainly the power of asana practice, and maybe a little breathwork, meditation, chanting, etc. Yoga, however, wants to take us deeper. It wants to give us everything, and it is just waiting until we are ready to receive that from it. In fact, I have a saying that I have found gets the message across succinctly: “Yoga gives you what you want… and waits patiently for you to truly want what it truly has to give.”
And what does it have to give? Well, itself. Yoga means “union” or “oneness.” The goal of yoga is to finally wake up and realize that we are one with everything, and that we have always been and will forever be just that. This is what is called “moksha” in Sanskrit. Anything short of that goal is yoga trying to get to Yoga.
The thing is, the way that yoga is taught and perceived these days, this basic, fundamental message is getting lost. Don’t get me wrong: Feeling good in one’s body and experiencing greater health and well-being is not a small gift. And yet, it is ultimately not enough. For that, we need stronger medicine than merely physical practice. As Einstein said, a problem cannot be solved at the level at which it was created. He also said, by the way, that the world of separation is a mass delusion of consciousness, and that our real work is to free ourselves from this delusion/illusion.
This is exactly what Yoga is getting at. And to understand this better, it is really helpful to dig into the traditional sources of the Hindu yoga tradition, sources such as the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and the Yoga Sutras. It is also helpful to explore other scriptures from sister traditions like Buddhism and Taoism. And I have found one more recent “scripture” to be very helpful in my practice and teaching, one that has been growing in popularity the world over: A Course in Miracles (ACIM).
The Course, as it is commonly referred to, is slowly being understood to be one of the best resources for those seeking spiritual liberation/enlightenment. In many ways, it is not only simpler than many traditional yogic paths, but also quicker. I feel that in combination with yogic wisdom (eastern philosophy), it can work wonders—or maybe rather, miracles. Some have questioned why I have seemed to have suddenly changed “course” and been bringing awareness to ACIM (I am even about to release a CD of original songs based on the Course). I can only say that I have been looking all of my life for something like this. Why would I not share it?
Again, though, the Course really does not say anything too much different than what the highest Yogic wisdom is also getting at. The only difference is that it’s in english and has a way of getting its message across in a way that seems to be a little more accessible for many today. As regards its validity, some of the top spiritual figures today have endorsed it, including Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, and Alan Cohen.
I have already been bringing ACIM in to my classes, retreats, and trainings. I am only now just more officially announcing the intention to bring ACIM teachings more into the yoga world via my offerings. And also I feel sure that this will be a trend that we will be seeing more and more in the wide world of yoga.