Scripture ~ “Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what.” Philippians 2:5 The Message
Spiritual Focus ~ “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” The words call us up short as to what we are actually supposed to be doing on this path: not just admiring Jesus but acquiring his consciousness. –Rev Cynthia Bourgeault, Episcopal priest, author, wisdom and contemplative prayer teacher
Breath Prayer ~ Inhale, Every breath, Exhale, a new beginning.
Devotion ~ We began our current devotional series exploring the good gifts at the intersection of yoga and faith. Today we consider the gift of a path to Christ consciousness that both scripture and yoga address. Christ consciousness may be an unfamiliar term, but simply put, it is an awareness of a higher self and unity with the Divine. While Christ consciousness is found in many religious and spiritual paths, for many Christians, Jesus Christ is the reference point for this idea. We begin to navigate the path of Christ consciousness as we move from admiring Jesus to acquiring his consciousness by looking carefully at our ego. Our ego, simply defined, is the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. While “ego” may have negative connotations, the ego, in and of itself, is not negative. However, an attachment to the ego or our story, can be problematic. When framing our story, the ego often operates in a dualistic way by creating separation, or an “either/or” narrative. Shifting the narrative to “both/and” is the first step on the path. Evolving our story to a both/and worldview opens us to the idea that at some higher level of consciousness, we are not separate from God nor from each other.
Our scripture and spiritual focus today are commonly known as the Christ Hymn. The Christ Hymn takes Jesus’ teachings about how to live in the flow of God’s love and invites us to let go of our ego story and step into that flow where we realize we are united with God. God is not “out there somewhere” but rather already within us. When our story about ourselves shifts from either/or to both/and, to a non-dualistic story, we step into the Christ consciousness.
When we look to the philosophy of the yoga sutras, the sage Patanjali writes about separation and detachment in ways that parallel Jesus’ teachings. The ego, by its nature, creates separation, but as we strive to detach from the ego, we acquire a state of consciousness and true union with God, known as samahdi. Rumi describes the ego as “the veil between humans and God.” That veil was torn apart by the gift of Jesus’ complete union with God in his death and resurrection. As we walk the path of acquiring Christ consciousness, we can let go of our ego and join Jesus in the flow of love.