I read a lot of fiction, a bit of history, memoir, and various spiritual oriented books. But it isn’t only the spiritual books that offer teachings. In each and every book I’ve ever picked up there is a lesson or a teaching in there. If you are looking for a message it will present itself. So if you’re looking to see that change is the only constant in the world and impermanence is your new best friend it doesn’t really matter if you read The Secret Life of Bees or the Yoga Sutras. If you’re searching the answers will come in whatever form is present. A customer at the store asked me to suggest some yoga books last week. One of my favorite ones is Rolf Gates and Katherine Kenison’s Meditations from the Mat. There is a teaching for each day of the year and they use sources from the Bhagavad Gita, spiritual practitioners, writers, famous politicians, and the Bible. On day 292 he quotes from Shakespeare and gives an explanation with it.
And this our life exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
We live our lives hovering above the source, just out of reach of the ocean of wisdom that inspired artists and scholars, leaders and parents over the ages. Mediation takes us right into this ocean. Pratyahara, the process of turning inward, is our walk across the beach and our will to jump in. My experience of even fifteen minutes a day of meditation is as Shakespeare describes it. Whether or not I feel as though I had a good meditation, the world just opens before me. My heart and my mind become calm, and in that calm I become a channel of grace.