Last year Soulstretch.org gave me the opportunity to teach a series of yoga classes based upon the I Ams of God found in the book of John. I gave myself to the flow of this teaching and was amazed by the way the edges of my life brought this together. The essential message was there... in everything.
At times popular culture sells us yoga as a cure all, like finding the ultimate detangling, smoothing/curling, de-frizzing, thickening, hair conditioner. Great body, calm mind and beautiful soul if you do this. Those who love Jesus and this practice of yoga have found something a bit deeper than projecting a persona of personal perfection. The practice teaches us that we are in the process of redeeming our mind, physicality and soul from being a product produced by bad internal voices, personal pain and a propensity for vanity in accepting who we are in Christ. We know that it begins with getting still to do nothing and knowing:
And so we begin with breath, the most unconscious and crucial thing about us. Ruach was the word the Hebrews used for what God did when he breathed life into Adam, the same breath that flows in and out of us today. The yogis know this life force as prana. When Moses noticed and felt drawn to the burning bush in the wilderness, God made His main point to Moses in the the conversation, "I AM." YahWeh.
Listen closely when you say this to yourself.
In your breath is the name of God: I Am.
Breath is the secret language of prayer. Spirit flows in and out of us creating quantum ripples in the structure of time, space and intention. It links all to the source an reaches further than our hands and hearts can understand. It is the gateway to wisdom, self acceptance and transformation.
In the book of John, Jesus makes eight statements:
I am the bread of life (John 6:35, 48) I am the light of the world (John 8:12, 9:5) Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58) I am the door ( John 10:9) I am the good shepherd (John 10:11) I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25) I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)
I am the true vine (John 15:1)
Jesus conveyed that absolute being of 'I Am,' the mystery and fulfillment of all that is found on our breath. And more. He is dwelling place of what the yogis call samadhi or bliss.
Over the next several weeks during this series I suggest you read through the book of John or, at the very least, contemplate these eight statements Jesus made. The author Alexander Shaia states, "Jesus in the Gospel of John is this magnificence of the cosmos. It is like Jesus the Christ is the royal presence of all time, of all people, of every stardust to planet. He is the great truth that has always endured and Jesus moves through this text ordaining everything. Nothing happens in John except in the moment Jesus says it can happen. We have the great honor to be brother and sister to this reality."
Join me on this journey. My prayer is that you find yourself dwelling deeper in all that is I AM.
(Enjoy this mind-blowing sermon in a song by Rob Bell in Sunday by The Liturgists.)