The Value of Shifts in Perspective

:: I believe this digital art is by Ryan Bliss. It came in a series of wallpapers John downloaded via a membership to Ryan's website.

One of the things I've always loved about science fiction and fantasy as genres is that when you spend time in worlds different to your own, you see your world slightly differently when you return. It often gives insight.

I learned some things from spending time in Sahaja Yoga...

We are spirit walking around in physical bodies and we need to care for our spirit. Dr. Gillham used to call the body an "earthsuit" for our spirit. It's been awhile since I thought like that and seeing myself (and others) like that makes a difference. Sitting in meditation and focusing on the connection of your spirit to the spirit of God is a beautiful thing. It is powerful and it is healing.

We are made in the image of God. Innocence, creativity, peace, love/compassion, relationships, forgiveness and communion... Checking on our "imago dei" on a daily basis is healthy and allows us to deeply appreciate that imprint in others.

Imago dei isn't something you do. It is who you are. I love it that Sahaja Yoga never talked about "what to do" in terms of dogma or morality. It was always about spending time in connection to God to allow Him to deepen the connection and bring out those things in your spirit that are like Him. Your only "job" was to focus your attention on Him. (And attention and love are close in nature.)

Love and security are connected. Fear, criticism and a host of other things make us insecure--which oddly cuts us off from love. The more we genuinely love, the safer we are. (As opposed to walling up to protect our hearts, opening them is actually key.)

Each of us belong. God created us as part of a whole. I think the attack on this idea starts in elementary school. Kids and teenagers--and sadly often adults--create "belonging" by deciding who doesn't. It is a powerful thing to remember that none of us are "big as a mountain or small as a mouse." We each have a place in God's creation. He designed it just that way.

I was reminded that God is love. Children in Sunday School are taught this, but with all the pressure that comes with religious training, I think we forget. At least I know I forget. Somewhere along the line God becomes "expectation." I think if each of us knew at a soul level that we are truly and deeply loved that it would change the world. And if God loves us in such a way, how could we possibly give less than that to each other?

Life in the world takes a toll on us, so we need to spend time daily refreshing our spirits in connection with our Creator. The list of things above aren't new for Christians. It is core theology for us. The part I think we are lacking is that we've equated spending time with God to studying or praying. (The kind of prayer where you ask for stuff for others or yourself.) Both are things that we "do." There is beauty in simply "being" with God. It isn't as easy as you might think. Our minds are full of random thoughts. Our attention is fleeting. The discipline of focusing attention on God even for just 15 minutes is well worth attempting and building into your daily life.

There are other things I learned. Things I am still assimilating. I love it that the people in Sahaja Yoga spend their time teaching this practice. But maybe more importantly that there was abundant evidence in their words and in their faces that they practiced it. It is who they are.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall