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Lesson 98 -
Yoga and Marriage (Audio)
98.1 - Self-Pacing Our Practice for Spouse and Children (Audio)
Date: Wed Jan 28, 2004 0:35pm
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: Can a person get married and still practice meditation and attain the
'goal'? How does marriage help/disturb the spiritual growth of a person?
A: Marriage is not necessarily incompatible with spiritual practice.
Marriage can be an important part of spiritual practice, for it can help us
grow into a life of loving service. The sexual aspect need not be a
deterrent either. It all depends on how you approach it. The previous lesson
on tantra begins the discussion on this subject.
I am married with grown children, and deeper into practices than ever,
finding life filled with joy. The greatest challenge that marriage and
raising a family places on spiritual practices is the need to provide for
everyone and then make the time for practices too. It takes a strong
commitment, a lot of bhakti. There are many rewards if one can manage to do
it all. Some may prefer to focus only on their spiritual life. This is not
so simple either. Renunciates can become ingrown and narrow in their
outlook, with little regard for others, and stunted in their spiritual
progress even while doing many yoga practices. Service to "a family" of some
sort is necessary to keep the heart and spiritual progress growing. The
family may be our neighbor who needs help, our spouse and children, our
community, or all of humanity. A joining of some sort that connects us to
others in service is important. If it is marriage, that is great. If it is
not that, then something that puts us in a position of having some
responsibility to help someone other than ourselves.
If we are helping others, we are helping ourselves. It is the oldest wisdom
in the scriptures.
Ultimately, spiritual progress is less dependent on our external environment
than on our internal environment. This is why meditation is first. It goes
right to the source and immediately begins building the right internal
environment -- pure silent bliss consciousness. Then we should go and do
something with this inner silent quality. We will be wise to take our pure
bliss consciousness and give it to the world in some form of service. Then
we are like a channel, and the pure bliss consciousness and divine ecstasy
come up through us going out to others.
With a commitment to developing the internal environment, all external
environments become natural fields of service, which is also practice. It is
called karma yoga, the yoga of action in loving service. Karma yoga isn't
something that can be forced into happening. It just happens as the spirit
expands inside. All of yoga is connected like that. All of life is connected
like that. We are One, expressing as many.
So, let's do advanced yoga practices and come out of our meditation room and
consider how to help someone. We will be helping ourselves.
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed discussion on the
positive evolution of tantric relationships, see the
AYP Tantra book,
and AYP Plus.
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