Off The Mat

The Value of a Spiritual Life

Apr 5, 2014 Michelle Dorer
Ashtanga Yoga Outer Banks / Spirituality

What is life without knowledge of the Soul, without knowledge of yourself beyond your body?

In today’s world there is so much emphasis on the material, on the seen, on the outer image.  Does this really feed you?  Do these things satisfy your yearnings?

And so we are a world full of people searching endlessly for happiness, endlessly for contentment.  What is it you really want?  Who is it you really are?  What gives meaning to your life?

I love yoga because it helps me penetrate deeper into understanding in a safe and productive way.  I feel very grateful that I wake up in the morning and get to work on my Soul and develop further my inner self.

There seems to be mass confusion in the world. What drives you in this life? For many people the answer is different; we are not all wired the same.  For me, this time, I do not see anything else but the enriching experience of Soul.

What keeps life in perspective is death.  Death is as natural as birth. It is the most natural experience we know. Without death, we lack perspective about life.

Life and death are all around us. We see it in nature throughout the year, we experience the death of our loved ones, our pets, etc…We know it is there, yet we do not want to really be with it.

Be with it for a while and you will realize there is so much more living to be done.  Life is a gift and we should make the best of it.

When we die, it is certain the body does not go with us.  We know this for sure.

What may go with us perhaps, is the Soul, is our awareness, is our conscious experience….

Do not place all the importance in your life on the upkeep of your physical being.  Devote yourself to being aware of your inner knowing, feel yourself from within, listen to your heart’s yearnings.  It will tell you how to live.  In Eastern thought, it is believed the Heart is the seat of the Mind.  The Heart is the deepest seat of your intelligence.  When you live against your heart, you suffer.  Do not ignore this inner voice.  This inner voice is wise and will not lead you astray.

I am not suggesting abandoning your worldly responsibilities.  In fact, your worldly responsibilities keep you grounded.  I have found them to be a positive force in my life. Tend to your responsibilities with a connection to your inner world and let them be a practice of being present.  Every moment is a gift, and you do not want to miss it.

I do not think that living a spiritual life means that your life has to radically look different than it does, although it might.  Instead, the difference is in your perception and connection to life.

With diligence and practice, you become more able to embrace and truly experience the nuances of life.  Gratitude is extended to the minute things.  Contentment is felt, a feeling of satisfaction achieved. You can step off the hamster wheel. Every moment is perfect, if you could just be there and this entails constant training.

A spiritual practice is such a priceless tool for helping us maintain this clarity amongst a world pushing us the opposite way.  Recently, in a quiet moment, I had a flash of clarity that recently brought me back to the root essence of this.

Even in the most dedicated practitioner’s life, those times come when you must slow down practice.  For example, I was sick and then Ladies’ Holiday came and I was weak from being ill. I maintained a light and modified practice. Eventually, I saw myself slipping, I saw my perceptions changing, I saw my inner strength waning.

In this moment, I was reminded of the difference practice makes in one’s quality of life.  It came to me in such acute clarity that I sat in my studio alone in silence and realized for one moment how much the practice of yoga affects people’s lives and thus affects the world in a positive way.

I was reminded of how valuable living a spiritual life has been and how fulfilling teaching it to others is.

My gratitude, as always, is extended to the many teachers and students of yoga, past, present, and future….

Love to All Beings.
Michelle Dorer
Owner, Director, Teacher – Ashtanga Yoga Center, Outer Banks, NC

Categories: Off the Mat