Awhile back my pastor identified Bethel as a place where Jacob received Divine Guidance. He then asked people to identify their own personal Bethels.
If truth be told, my body is my Bethel. While we are spiritual beings, the reality is we live in physical bodies. Thus, my body is the conduit for hearing from and receiving God. It is the place where I meet God daily, provided I am in touch with it. For this reason, I think being in tune with the body (in a responsible, conscious way) is a spiritual practice.
I know I am not in touch with my body (or myself, or God for that matter) when I become a human doing rather than a human being. When this occurs, I get so caught up in what I need to accomplish that I function like a robot. Although this mode of operation gets things checked off my to do list, I’m checked out in the process. I lose all awareness of my physical, emotional and spiritual being.
What helps me get back in touch with this is yoga. Yoga creates profound spiritual awareness because with each posture there is a corresponding breath and with each breath, I breathe in God. Like prayer and meditation, it requires that I be still (although occasionally moving) and in that, I come to know Him.
I’ll be honest. A lot of times I don’t want to bother. I don’t think I have the hour and fifteen minutes to be with Him (or me for that matter). And quite frankly, I don’t always want to make Contact. Because if I make contact with my breath, I make contact with my heart and then that in turn leads to contact with my feelings. All requiring me to Surrender which I fight, even if the end result would be the deepest Peace and Grace.
This morning, I woke up stiff as a board. My body filled with tension – God’s way of informing me that things in my work life need some major re-organizing. His way of giving me His Guidance through discomfort. And with this increasing realization, I took the time to be with Him in movement. I found a 7:30 class and let myself go – breath by breath back into the temple.
There is a reason Jesus is pictured in paintings with his heart all aflame. His heart is literally burning. And there is a reason why saints have halos. I think when deeply engaged, the body becomes a vessel for Spirit – for Energy – for God.
I love Walt Whitman’s quote, “I sing the body electric.” After class, the sky seemed more blue, my heart more open, my mind more at ease. I am very grateful for body as Bethel.