But now, for the first time in my life, I can see that I'm starting to lose some flexibility. I can see that what always came naturally is now something I'll have to work at. Therefore, I am now committed to doing yoga every other day, alternating with weight lifting (which I already do). I also ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes every day in the summer, since it's too hot to go mountain biking. I'd like to work out in the pool, but I'm a little freaked out that my blood sugar might go low while I'm in there, and that would be the end of Bob. It's a real, if remote, possibility, since I keep my blood sugar so low, and swimming brings it down very rapidly.
Why do I bring this up? First of all, because all Raccoons must integrate physical fitness into their spiritual routine. This is something emphasized by Ken Wilber, and in this regard, he's absolutely correct. We are compound beings, so in a truly integral approach, we must deal with body, mind, spirit, and "shadow" (or what I would call "mind parasites"). Wilber throws "nature" into the mix, which was also something Schuon always emphasized. There is something about communing with virgin nature that is critical to our soul's well-being.
This also came up because I was going through the arkive and found these early, very preliminary posts here and here about a possible union of eastern and western approaches to spirituality, in particular, yoga and Christianity. It's something I never explicitly followed up on, even though I suppose it's implicit in a lot of my writing.
Yesterday while doing yoga, I fantasized about what I'd really like to do, which is to open a Christian Yoga studio. I wonder if there would be any market for that? I quickly searched "Christian Yoga" on amazon, but most of the books that came up seem pretty lame. I'm talking about real yoga and real Christianity; or yoga for the purposes of facilitating an experiential understanding of Christianity.
I guess I first started taking yoga classes in about 1983. I was hoping that the exercise would be ancillary to the spirituality, but was disappointed that there was almost no spiritual content at all, or at least it was pretty vapid. The next class that I took in about 1985 was even worse. It was all about high-intensity aerobics, with no spiritual emphasis at all. But I'm guessing that even if you were to find a class with a more spiritual emphasis, it would probably be of the worthless new age, Deepak Chopra variety.
I think about this in part because I certainly never intended to be a psychologist, nor am I really cut out for the job. As I have mentioned before, I only ended up being a psychologist because my curiosity got out of hand. I guarantee you that if you just stay in school long enough, you'll end up with a Ph.D. Anyone can do it. It would be nice if "Ph.D." equated to wisdom, but that is so far from the case that it's a joke. I would guess that the percentage of fools -- I mean the really pernicious kind -- with Ph.D.s is probably much higher than the general population.
So anyway, yesterday I was fantasizing about what it might be like to open a Christian Yoga studio with a genuine emphasis on mature spirituality. Music, incense, a little lecture to set the tone, yoga, meditation/prayer.... That would be the life. But I wonder if anyone would be interested? How would you avoid attracting people you don't want to attract, the fundies on one side, the new agers on the other?
I'm just thinking out loud here....
One thing I think I will do in the coming weeks is delve back into the connection between yoga and Christianity, and show how it would work out both in theory and in practice.... In a way, it's something I've been intending to do since I finished my book, if only to try to reconcile the two halves of my own soul.