Reading is probably my favorite thing to do in the entire world. The story in a book can take you into a different dimension. The words can exercise your imagination like nothing else. My kale life includes lots of reading of all different kinds of books. Old, new, fiction, non-fiction, romance, memoir…. I love it all! So here is my first review.
I’m definitely not a pro book reviewer, my plan is just to give a little background and share what I loved or didn’t about the book. This book review will be mostly made up of quotes that I love.
In the Christian world there is a controversy about what practices are deemed “acceptable”. I’ve been told that as a Christian, I shouldn’t practice yoga or meditation because they come from different religions and can open you up to evil.
Well I have a problem with this. I have a personal belief that all paths lead to God. How can we all be made differently yet be expected to only have one true path?
Russill Paul shares in his book his personal experience of interspirituality. He was called to a monastery where he became a benedictine monk and was taught under Bede Griffiths. There, he was taught and practiced elements of Hinduism and Buddhism. He feels that including practices such as yoga can be beneficial to a Christ followers practice. The book gives another side to the debate of Christian yoga as well as giving a look into the experiences of a man within the monastery.
I figured a great way to give the book the justice it deserves is by sharing some of the quotes that really spoke to me.
“Both viewpoints — Eastern and Western — have value. While the Bible shows how one can engage with the world while transforming the ego, the Eastern scriptures teach how to disengage with the world and awaken to spiritual reality beyond the ego. The individual who can embrace the two and hold these seemingly paradoxical perspectives in balance may be the prototype for the future.”
“…While Yogis may know intellectually that God is love, within Christianity there is a palpable sense of love by grace, a love that transcends karma and reaches out despite it, and this can offer a refreshing balance to, even respite from, the emphasis on effort characteristic of the East.”
“The Yoga of Jesus is to love, despite the other’s ego, despite their karma, despite their ignorance, for the power of love can transform their ego and their karma and their ignorance.”
“Most important, in marriage one does not quit the relationship on a whim, but stays the course because each partner is aware of the other’s shadow even while remaining committed to the other’s life, liberty, and right to happiness. This is the kind of relationship that the spiritual traditions of the world must commit to, and the success of such relationships lies not only in the hands of religious leaders but also in the hands of individuals.”
Again, these quotes really spoke to me as a lifelong Christian. Russill speaks much more on different spiritual traditions as well in this book. If you’d like to check it out I found it on Amazon.
Personally I highly recommend it for anyone who is curious about how yoga and/or meditation can further your relationship with Christ.