"Merely having an open mind is nothing; the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid." - G.K. Chesterton
"Simply learning to be 'spiritual' will not heal anybody's soul. It simply helps numb them to the pain in their minds. Christianity is about the only one who can heal us; the only way to God: Jesus. It is therefore the opposite of any worldly religious system of doing the right thing until God accepts you, and also the opposite of awakening you 'spiritual side' until you are at peace with yourself. Any gospel presentation that begins with learning to be okay with yourself without Jesus, and then offers Jesus as an optional religious study second, isn't the gospel...offering a a spiritual fix grounded in anything other than Jesus is the type of deception and soul-destruction that hell was made for." - R.W.K.
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My first yoga instructor, Clara, would often shoot me disapproving looks in the mirror during the final relaxation portion of our practice/class. While we sprawled on the floor in the corpse pose, Clara would instruct the class in a sleepy, musical whisper to "Empty your minds. Feel yourself floating...drifting away to some favorite place or memory...Soften your brains..."
Back in those days, my brain seemed to always be pretty "soft." The thought of deliberately softening it even more...well, I could picture my brain turning into gray goo and dribbling out my ears onto the polished hardwood floor of the yoga studio.
So, Clara's exhortation to soften my brain usually made me snort or giggle, which, of course, broke the hypnotic tranquility of the atmosphere Clara was trying to create with our relaxation poses and her buttery smooth voice.
Thankfully, Clara never kicked me out of her studio. I guess she thought that maybe, over time, she'd reform me.
Some people think Christians should not do yoga. (Click HERE to see my thoughts about that.) I agree, in the strictest yogi sense of the word. Emptying one's mind may be a great way to step away from the concerns and stresses of the day, but, eventually, we all have to bring our minds back into the present and into reality.
I think of the relaxation part of yoga as a great yawn, an opening wide of the jaws of my mind in preparation for biting down firmly on solid truth and doctrine. The apostle Paul exhorts believers to continually engage our minds. Much sounder advice than Clara's instruction to float out of our bodies to our mystic happy places.
Today's post is prompted by this video clip that a friend sent me:
Yeah, I'm a little messed up, too. And releasing thoughts of that negative truth might make me feel temporarily better, freer, but it doesn't do me any lasting good. When I leave yoga class, the truth is: I'm still a little messed up. (A LOT messed up, actually.)
Thankfully, there is Jesus.
No, Clara, I am not going to empty my mind. I am going to endeavor to be continually filling my mind with Him.