Gravity and Grace
"being is what we work with; non-being is what we use"
- Lao Tzu
My fundamental approach to yoga is balancing two universal realities: gravity and grace.
Gravity is the force that governs the material world - even the subtlest elements are affected by gravity and because of this life is held together without flying apart in space.
Too much gravity and we become inert - we lose the connection to the subtle energies of life, lack motivation and fall into a state called tamas in sanskrit. This depletes our mental, emotional and physical health, leaving us uninspired and unable to make use of the gift of life.
Too little gravity and we become flaky - we take a flippant approach to life, moving through the world with a sense of uncertainty and are unable to hold true to our commitments. This diminishes our capacity to manifest our desires and destabilizes the foundations of our physical body.
Grace is the force that governs the spiritual world. It cannot be manipulated in the way that gravity can, yet it can be invited through receptivity...and it does respond. The transformation we seek in our deepest layers of consciousness is the gift of grace - it lifts us up beyond the burdens and limitations of our habitual life, or karma in sanskrit, and takes us towards our hearts true desire.
While we cannot receive too much grace, becoming too receptive before we are grounded and striving to be lifted before we've found our center of gravity will create imbalance in our lives. This creates a sense of personal chaos, delusion and fantasy which form obstacles to living our true purpose, what in sanskrit is called our dharma.
Too little grace and we become ego-centric - believing ourselves to be the center of existence and the cause of all things in our life. We lack the foundations of faith and are unable to trust in the flow of giving and receiving that balances all of life. This cuts us off from our heart, affecting our ability to relate and can lead to problems in our muscles and organs.
Through the knowledge and practices of yoga we can learn how to live with a dynamic blend of gravity and grace. This allows us to "be in this world but not of it", meaning we can have what we want in our life without being controlled by external conditions. The natural result of this is living a life of service for the good of the whole.
This is a yogic apporach to freedom in our modern world.