The Scripture ~ Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—in peace because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
The Spiritual Focus ~“Through the portals of silence, the healing sun of wisdom and peace will shine upon you.” – P. Yogananda
The Breath Prayer ~ Inhale ~ Silence in me, Exhale ~ Peace surrounds me
The Devotion ~
We often cannot choose the situations we find ourselves in, but we can choose how we respond to them. Some situations of everyday living, such as picking the wrong line to stand in at the store, being detoured when late for an appointment, or getting to a class and finding the door locked, can push us over the edge. Sometimes it is just that one voice that is too loud or abrasive that makes us want to run away from community and into a silent, sacred space. But running away isn’t always possible nor the best strategy for living in community in a healthy, harmonious way. A better strategy is to create habits to lean on before we find ourselves in those situations. Habits that we can employ readily when we are faced with chaotic community situations. Finding quiet in community, drawing on the silence and calm from within ourselves, will guide us during those times of community chaos. We learn some of these life affirming habits in yoga.
Slow, deep, relaxed breathing is something that biology, psychology and theology agree is healthy and healing. This kind of breathing, known as pranayama, is something practiced in yoga, but that is not the only thing we learn from yoga philosophy. We learn how to be grounded, how to observe our thoughts without judgement or attachment, we learn to be present without spending energy on what we can’t control. While we may still wish to drop into a forward fold to calm our nervous system or run into the quiet of nature to escape the chaos of community, the skills that we learn in yoga are skills that tap into our God-given nature of silence, so that, we may be surrounded by healing peace, anywhere and anytime.
Jesus employed many strategies for managing community chaos. Sometimes he retreated, sometimes he jumped into a boat to rest while his disciples navigated, and sometimes he simply sat down in the middle of the chaos on a hillside to listen or teach. Most of all he trusted God to be present and guide any situation toward peace and healing. This is the kind of trust we develop when we practice our faith, when we trust God and use the tools of yoga philosophy to develop life affirming habits for living in community.