It is easy to become self-absorbed in your practice of Yoga: to infuse your body with the flow of prana, to explore the mystical worlds within your own being, to revel in easeful living, to chant ecstatically, to study scripture and to have enlivening conversations with other seekers, to engage in retreats. You may have extraordinary experiences or become adept with inner vision. But the question arises: have you really ripened into a powerful vessel of God’s love that uplifts humanity, or are you just going through the motions?  Have your attainments been put to the test? And in the end, what difference have you made in the world? Is your practice of Yoga anything more than selfish gratification?

It has been stated “Yoga is love in action”. It is not enough to simply love something; you must serve it. As such, to be a true devotee, it is not enough to simply love God or love your Guru: you must serve God, serve your Guru. To be true to Yoga, you must use your attainments to act in this world, utilizing all of your skills and energy to serve, to bring your passion to bear for the benefit of others. There is something unique about acting, working, doing with your body and mind. There is a wisdom in your body and there is a level of realness that is experienced when you engage it. When you act out of love, your action becomes service; it is no longer performed for your own gratification, but is an expression of your highest. The same law applies to marriage. To be a superior husband, it is not enough to simply love your wife; you must serve your wife. To fully be a wife, it is not enough to just love your husband; you must serve your husband. Marriage, like Yoga, is a powerful vehicle for personal growth and attainment, but unless you take your love and your attainment and use them to serve, it does not root in your being, nor does it magnify and reverberate out into the world around you.

Next essay: Deep Listening

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