Breaking news—we live in the information age! Did you hear? No? You say got distracted by your iPhone? I get it.
It’s hard to pay attention.
It’s ALWAYS been hard to pay attention, even before we had shiny gadgets to distract us.
Which is in part why traditions such as meditation and YOGA came to exist.
As modern seekers, we have so many options. In the yoga world, we can explore many different traditions, sample from each of them and voila! Make our own kind of yoga.
Many 200-hour yoga teacher trainings have this kind of “buffet” approach. A little Yin, and little Restorative, a little Acro, a little Forrest…
The benevolent intent of this kind of sampling is for students to get to know what’s out there, and then make a choice. But, actually, I don’t think it works out that way. I think it just encourages the kind of non-committed, drifting, “don’t you ask me to really care about anything too much” attitude that pervades much of our society at the moment.
Shopping around for the perfect spiritual fit is called “spiritual materialism.”
The goal of a spiritual practice is complete recovery from a fractured sense of self, says Marianne Williamson.
At our fracture points are thing things that hurt us the most.
Any good relationship will put pressure on your fractures. A relationship with a yoga teacher, or a system of yoga, qualifies.
So the problem with our lack of commitment to a teacher, or a system is that we actually miss out on the opportunity to grow.
In The Wisdom of No Escape American Buddhist Monk Pema Chodron talks about this tendency not to commit. She says that the shopping around—the spiritual materialism—is a way of finding security and comfort or trying to feel good about yourself.
Whereas, sticking to one boat means that when the going gets tough and you really start to hurt, instead of “looking for a better fit” you make a warrior’s choice to meet all your dragons. Tremendous, heartfelt growth can come from that.
Forrest Yoga, and the ongoing rite of initiation of becoming and being a Guardian have tested my resolve to stick to one boat. But I’ve learned from this opportunity that what Chodron says true: when you make the choice to stay in relationship and look at the things that hurt you the most, you have set foot on the path of the warrior’s journey.
You don’t become narrow in your views. You become deep.
“It’s best to stick to one thing, and let it put you through the changes.”
Find your boat. Then stick to it.