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That Which Stirs My Soul by Joe Bundy

December 22, 2013 at 10:28 PM

spir·i·tu·al·i·ty: (noun) to feel fully alive and inspired in response to a deep connection to that which stirs your soul

that which stirs my soul

by joe b

JoeEm.jpgPattabhi Jois advises: practice, practice, practice and all is coming. For me, spirituality is a generative practice, an act of doing. Spirituality is an intentional fusion of all my practices synthesized to form a connection. Spirituality is an act of joining, of becoming engaged, and when I am aware of that connection, of being unified, I am alive and ready for the next inspired step. Spirituality for me is a personal blending and mixing of practices, experiences, and inquires that are integrated together to form my path. 

Spirituality for me is a course of action. I am a seeker. A seeker of Union, a seeker of God - God as my higher power, God as Good Orderly Direction, God as Generator/Organizer/Destroyer of my experience. Whether it is running or skiing in the hills, an asana practice, a huge belly laugh, a course in miracles, a twelve step program, mantra,  kirtan, prayer, sitting meditation or reading and writing, spirituality for me is the active development of my witness consciousness. Through the 8 limbs of yoga, of Union, I am able to activity seek my dharmic path. And so, for me, spirituality is a felt sense based in action. Spirituality is a connection to something bigger. 

Spirituality, for me, is the miracle of being present, in noticing and in actively being grateful. Spirituality for me is in the coming back to noticing when I’m not noticing, when I “wake up” to the moment as it speeds by. Spirituality for me is in asking, “How is this happening for me?” rather than, “Why is this happening to me?” I use the tools of Spirituality, puja, pranayama, meditation, prayer and svadhyaya to assimilate my experiences into daily living. I feel my spirituality when I am aligned in my body, breath, and movement. In this alignment life becomes a mediation in motion. This is the “Wow!” of spirituality. 

My spirituality is the “Help!” that supports me when the alignment of ease cycles into the out-of-whack dis-ease, when I seek help from my higher power, when I seek solitude with a run in the woods or having a coffee with a kindred soul. Again, in action or movement, in prayer or meditation, in mantra or song, I seek help to let go of fear and accept the life that is arising. Alan Watts writes, “Faith is a state of openness or trust.” And it is this openness and trust to the path of spirit and connection that restores balance to the experiences of my daily human life.   

My evolving spiritual practices allow me to feel fully alive, inspired, and connected to my ever changing life experience. Like my yoga practice, my spiritual practice has also grown. When I was younger, before going out on a run, I stretched and warmed up my muscles. Now, before I go running I warm up my muscles with asana practice. As a kid I didn’t have the experience, the language, to label what was going on inside of me as a spiritual experience. I didn’t realize at the time that the deep belly breathing of long distance running or folding over my legs in what I now know is Paschimottanasana would ignite my para-sympathetic nervous system and therefore be a spiritual practice. I knew then that I was connected to a deep tradition of long distance runners but I didn’t realize I was also deepening my connection to spirit. I now see that I was laying the foundation for a life of inquiry. To go out and run and breathe and to “space out” was the preliminary practice to now taking an active role in breathing and releasing into space. My spiritual practice is the “Thanks!” for all these blessings of growth and change.

My spirituality is an act of doing. I am drawn to the last few words of Blossom Yoga’s definition of spirituality, the part about stirring the soul. It is the act of stirring that blends, mixes, unifies all the ingredients of intentional practice together to create my spiritual life. 

And so, what do YOU mix together to feel fully alive and inspired in response to a deep connection to that which stirs your soul?