Hi I’m Kaye and I’m a Mormon. I was born into a Mormon family. I have pioneer ancestors who crossed the plains in covered wagons and hand carts. I am a member of the Daughter’s of the Utah Pioneers. Yes Mormons are Christians, and no I don’t have sister wives.
Growing up in a small town in Utah I didn’t have a non-Mormon friend until I was in 5th grade, in the summer we played church softball, one of the classes we took in high school was seminary where we studied the Bible and the Book of Mormon . I went to church until I was 17. You would think that after all that I would get religious. But, when I left my parent’s house, I stopped going to church. I didn’t have a desire or need at that time for religion. Then, after getting married and having kids (this definitely changes things) I found that I did want something spiritual in my life, I needed a foundation, so I went back to my Mormon roots. This time around I found spirituality, I found the teachings of Jesus Christ. It had been there all along I just didn’t pay attention.
Going back to the church after being away for some time was a difficult choice, it was hard, I had to overcome and when I did I became little “self-righteous”. I had found the way and I wanted everyone else to find the way too. I have to admit that perhaps I had tunnel vision, thinking that there is only one way to be spiritual.
And then I found Yoga.
I’m still the same person I just think differently.
I’ve been sharing thoughts from a book in several of my posts and today I read the last chapter in the book entitled, “Worship”. I love how the author describes worship.
“Worship is sometimes a loaded word for modern practitioners of yoga. However, a famous verse in the Bhagavad Gita teaches about a specific type of worship, and it is not one that is confined to a special day, to a particular ritual, or a certain place, such as a church, temple, or mosque. The teaching in this verse interprets worship as broadly as is possible. ‘Whatever thou do, whatever thou eat, whatever thou offer, whatever thou give away, whatever austerities thou practice, do as an offering to me.'”
I read similar phrases as I study the scriptures: that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them, to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places. What I’m finding is that there is more that is similar than different when it comes to spiritual matters, at least in my interpretation. And I love what is opens up for me.
“When we do this remembering, we talk differently, we act differently and we treat self and others differently. To worship is to remember the sacred, however we conceive of it. We can worship in a quiet forest glen, silently sitting and appreciating the beauty and wonder and resilience of the natural world around us.” (Living Your Yoga, finding the spiritual path in everyday life”, by Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., P.T.).
Unfortunately when I was young I thought it was a requirement to be in church on Sunday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, that was my “church” that was my religion. It was very much a place not a way of being. I was so involved in the things I thought I had to do and not do, that I really didn’t pay attention to the true teachings like, do unto others, love your neighbor, mourn with those who mourn. I’m not saying that they weren’t teaching about love, I just wasn’t listening.
With yoga I’m learning to take a larger view of my world. “We can worship as we spend a few moments looking, really looking, in wonder and delight at the sunflowers or daffodils on our table. We can worship as we silently chant an ancient verse.” (Living Your Yoga, finding the spiritual path in everyday life”, by Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., P.T.). If you’ve read previous posts you know how I feel about chanting. In the beginning because of my limited understanding I worried how this fit in to my beliefs. Was I doing something “outside the lines”? Something “wrong”? I got over it because, now, I am the person that defines how I worship and when it brings me closer to the spirit, as chanting does, I know I have nothing to fear. It’s okay to be me.
“You could say that to worship is to invite the sacred to fill our body, mind, and soul, to surrender to the great mystery, however we experience it and whatever name we give it.” (Living Your Yoga, finding the spiritual path in everyday life”, by Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., P.T.). A problem I faced recently was a confrontation I had with someone who has different religious views than my own. I started the confrontation because I wanted to be right. He also wanted to be right. There was no winner. That is what I believe the problem with the world is, sometimes we think, my religion is better than your, is more right than yours, I have the truth, yours is not the truth. Does it matter? Is it worth causing confrontations in life? For that matter is worth causing war? That conversation needs to be covered in another blog, but I think you know what I mean.
I’m learning, ” To worship is to assume a new relationship with yourself and all creation – with God. To worship is to be willing to be unsure, unresolved, to admit how much we don’t know….” (Living Your Yoga, finding the spiritual path in everyday life”, by Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., P.T.).
I know I don’t know everything, I don’t even know what I don’t know. It is not my job to be an expert, to claim that I know it all.
I know that God is real, he is in charge, he has a plan. Our job is to learn the plan, that is why we have teachings, we aren’t on the earth without guidance. We always have a choice to follow the plan or not. I tried following and not following. I’m much happier choosing to follow.
Yama – Niyama v. The Ten Commandments
Personally I like the Yamas and Niyamas, they feel kind and compassionate, it is more about what we can do instead of what we can’t do. That’s just me, I don’t like to be told what not to do. And really don’t they serve the same purpose?
I have incorporated worship into my life with a daily practice of study, prayer and meditation, to include chanting. I go to church every Sunday from 11:00 to 2:00, because I choose to not because I have to. I thank God when I’m outside and I see something beautiful. I am free to worship how, when and whatever I choose and I believe that everyone has the same choice. It’s okay to be me.
Mantra: Today I will worship by living life fully with an open heart and forgiving mind.