Belur is beautiful!





Above are a few pictures taken of Shravanabelagola. An over 80 km trek outside Mysore, India, it is one of the most important Jain pilgrim sites. After climbing all 1008 steps to the very top there is definitely a sense of accomplishment, in addition to the beauty and history of the place. If you every find yourself in Mysore; making a stop to Shravanabelagola is well worth the trip.



So, I'm in the mist of finally buckling down and learning Sanskrit, and I must say I'm really enjoying it. Actually, my favorite part is writing the letters, and formulating words on paper. There is something extremely meditative about it. I can't say I really have any particular goal in learning this ancient language, except to say it is fascinating in many ways. One being, that it is vibrational in nature. The sounds we formulate in Sanskrit reverberate in our being if used over time.  Obviously, I am only at the very basic level of learning, and I can see the value in building my understanding slowly through time. Good stuff, indeed.

Faith is Everything


"Love says "I am everything". Wisdom says "I am nothing". Between the two, my life flows. Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both."    - Nisargadatta Maharaj

Faith is everything.

When practicing with faith we explore a whole new territory within ourselves. We come into limitlessness, if only for a moment. Sharath has brought up faith quite a bit during our weekly conferences at KPJAYI. It's good to be reminded of faith. It forces us to reevaluate why we practice. A question that should be continually revisited during the course of our lives.

So what are we putting are faith in? Good question. All I know is a revealing happens through continuous practice, and it's THAT, that I continue to put faith in. A nameless force, or whatever you want to call it.  As the practice evolves the unseen forces come alive, and in essence, become more real than what is seen with the naked eye. This is true. Sometimes it frightens me, but at the same time, I am forced to rely on it. That is faith.

With faith, I have everything. It's about more than having meaning in my life. It's about surrendering to the overall good that emanates all around. It's about trusting the underlying process that yoga practice brings to light. Often it seems as if nothing is happening, never fearing, when letting go, just like Pattabhi Jois said ... "Practice, and all is coming". 

"Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof."  - Kahlil Gibran

I feel my moments of doubt have grown into faith, and I've definitely had my share. I guess there are the rare few who come into this world filled with faith. For me, I've had to live through periods of darkness to experience faith as being the only thing that could pull me through. Meeting grace, when something, or someone, was available to catch my fall through times of uncertainty, often at the very last moment.

I think in our practices we're often tested. Through injury, openings, and a myriad of emotions exploding out of us it is through the trails, not the bliss, where we are lead through the doorway of transformation. If anything, it is the very beginning of the journey when we are met with challenge. There have been instances when I felt I had nothing, nothing at all, not even my own self-respect, all the while holding on to a tiny thread of faith, being all I possessed. Through that tiny thread, everything of true value has been born. Love. Trust. Openness. Awareness. Surrender to the unknown. A zest for life.

Letting go to allow the practice to do the work, not trying to make something happen, takes a huge leap of faith. When we come to this place, then we come into faith. It's more than where we are, but how deep we are going.

"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible."     - St. Thomas Aquinas 

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