Sunday, 3 April 2011

The GOD Experience....

It's not quite LYM Challenge time (starts tomorrow) so I figured I'd just continue rambling and see what happens!

So I'm not sure how this post will go over...I guess, that's the whole point of a blog though right, to voice an opinion.

I'm an Atheist.  Well, let me state this a little clearer...I was a born and raised Roman Catholic, DECIDED Atheist :)

Anyone who is or has had a religion forced on them (by the most loving and positive parents in the world, I owe them more than I could ever repay!) and then grows into the person you are, with the non-beliefs you have, tend to have strong feelings about said prior religion.  Likewise, anyone who has had bad life experiences, which undoubtably shape who you are in adulthood, tend to question a religion that was not of your choosing, but is so strict it TELLS you how you MUST live your life, while in and of itself seems very hypocritical.

Needless to say, for me, the word God has a negative connotation.  It is a word that is synonomous with Catholicism and in turn, not my cup o' tea.  The word God leaves a queezy feeling in my stomach, to say the least. 

I have, in my life most recently, been able to separate Spirit, from that of religion and reclaim it as my own.  My Spirit.  My Lifeforce.  My Energy.  That which is connected to the earth around me and the Spirits of the people surrounding me. 

When I search around on the internet looking for reading material on yoga, meditation, spiritualism, the word God comes up a lot.  So does my queeze...  I am doing my best to open my heart and mind to allow the love and peace that I can feel from my practice fill me, but that word....

Let me put it to you this way.  An alcoholic ATHEIST joins AA and is told they must follow the steps in order to atone and be at peace in their disease.  SIX of the 12 steps involve God....what does that person then do?!? 

Some of you reading this may think this is a horrible comparison because alcoholism is a disease and shouldn't be compared to me searching for peace through yoga...without including someone else's God, but it was an example, and a relevant one in my still learning and growing state of being....

How do you keep with the practice without letting go of your belief...or non-belief as the case may be?  Do I continue to open myself up to Spirit (in my definition of word)?  Maybe those of you who have taken their practice off the mat and into meditation or buddism or some other form of spirituality could help me on my quest?


  1. You might as well have read my mind with regards to this post! I know exactly what you mean and how the word "god" makes you feel...I too was raised roman catholic and am an Atheist and very much struggle with the word "god" and personally do not believe in religion. I too am learning how to separate "my spirit" from anything to do with religion but it is a challenge to remain open.

  2. Thank you for your comment :) I appreciate knowing I am not alone in my struggle with spirituality v. religion

  3. hey there!

    really interesting blog post, thanks for sharing! i am also doing the LYM challenge and am a moksha instructor. i can relate to what you are saying in many ways...also raised roman catholic (by UBER catholic parents) and they are not always understanding/supportive of my yogic lifestyle! i also have been in a 12-step program, so i do not at all find your comparison to AA and searching for peace through yoga offensive whatsoever -- in fact you answered your own conundrum, they are intricately linked together! i hope i can shed some light on this for you and others who have trouble with the whole God and yoga thing!

    first off i just want to point out to you that searching for peace through yoga and trying to help yourself control an addiction require the same thing - SURRENDER! as addicts, we must accept that we have a problem, and we must also accept/surrender to the fact that we cannot overcome it alone. we have tried to do this in our own way and failed. i'm not sure if your group has ever talked about this, but if you have trouble with the whole "God" concept that's okay - try to "act as if". like we say in our moksha teacher training, "fake it till you make it!"

    this brings me to the yoga part. if you ever get a chance to read the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (a really old book on yoga, one of the first ever, written in BC times!) even Patanjali states that as yogis we must "surrender to Ishvara". Ishvara is just a word for a "higher power". we must believe that there is something greater and beyond ourselves. whether that is "God" (a common understanding of that word for many people) or as you put it "Your Spirit" or maybe even just the concept of Universal Love, whatever it is that allows you to understand Ishvara then use that! Even in your AA meetings, just replace the word God with Ishvara/insert-your-word-for-your-higher-power-here then you will start to see that what you think are 2 seperate paths are actually the same road. try not to get too hopped up on the semantics of it all ;)

    i hope that what i wrote makes some sense to you and that you found it a bit helpful!! i think all that i was trying to say can be summarized into something like this,

    there are many paths that lead to the top of the mountain, and in the end we're all looking at the same moon.

    all the best with the LYM challenge!!!!!

    love and light to you,


  4. Thank you T for your wonderful response! I am still struggling with the concept of surrendering to a higher power. I hear higher power and I think, as a roman catholic, guy sitting up in the clouds having all control of everything...haha!

    I am a work in progress, and I appreciate your words. Please keep commenting, I love to read them :)

  5. haha i totally understand how the word conjures up that mental image for you...keep working on your yoga and your yoga will continue to work on you, i have no doubt about that!!

    good luck with week 1, seems you're off to a good start already ;)