Faith is the New Black

As you attempt to get your minds and hearts around our crazy, complicated global situation, and your role in it, consider adding a staple to your spiritual ‘wardrobe’. It goes with everything and is an essential element for the ‘well turned out’. That element? Faith, baby. In Sanskrit, it’s called Shraddha, “that which is placed in the Heart”. The Gita says “a person is what his shraddha is”. The Bible says,” as a man thinketh in his Heart, so is he”. Faith is part of our very substance…

Faith, baby. In Sanskrit, it’s called Shraddha, “that which is placed in the Heart”. The Gita says “a person is what his shraddha is”.

Those of you who know me even a little might agree that I dance an unapologetic line between feisty pragmatism and overflowing bhakti (faith, love for and service to the Divine ). I’m not saying that this need be your dance. I will divulge though, that huge challenges define my life right now, and I have the capacity to meet them, due in large part, to my deep well of shraddha, faith. Recently I read that Faith is a state where “we almost believe that it’s true”. I don’t mean to imply that living in Faith is a guarantee that everything will come up roses. In my experience, faith goes hand in hand with self-reliance, the inner strength it takes to take on the complex, messy stuff, and to know that the other side will reveal its wisdom.

yoga faith

How many powerful things have you manifested because you ‘almost believed that it was true’, and acted upon that belief? Consider the opposite: think about how doubt and cynicism engender fear, loneliness, even paralysis. Instead of a vicious circle, Faith draws us into its propitious circle.

How many powerful things have you manifested because you ‘almost believed that it was true’, and acted upon that belief?

And the cool thing is, you do not need to be anywhere or in the company of anyone special to engender this quality. Hair shirts, endless genuflecting, and renouncement of worldly pleasures are not required!

Here I offer some handy hints for building Shraddha:

  • Keep what inspires you in front of you
  • Know that it’s impossible to feel faith and fear at the same time -Kate S.
  • Stop being a spoiled brat – Panditji
  • Examine the validity of your fears – Hanya B
  • Spend time in silence, and include deep rest in your day- Yogarupa
  • Remember, you are always resting in the lap of the Divine
  • Give up your need to always be right or get it right- Judith Lasater
  • When the going gets tough, get on your mat, or cushion, preferably both
  • Increase your capacity to love
  • Be grateful, even when it hurts. You might just learn something. “Ouch, thank you”…-Yogarupa
  • Don’t get trapped by your own intellect. Apply your knowledge…Yes, read about it, talk about it, but LIVE IT.- Yoga Sutras

Faith. Try it on for size. It will look good on you.

Lauren Toolin

Saumya Lauren Toolin, founder and director of Yoga Vidya, a yoga academy in upstate NY, has been practicing yoga since the '70's and has been teaching for more than 25 years. Her teaching combines Tantra, Ayurveda and classical hatha yoga. She holds advanced certifications in two yoga traditions and is an internationally certified Yoga Therapist. She offers workshops, teacher trainings, retreats and private yoga therapy in the Capitol Region and beyond. You can practice with her online through YogaInternational.com and find her Meditation series available through PranaMaya.com. www.laurenjaytoolin.com

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