Are You a Sinner?

    Christianity emphasizes that we are born sinners. That God made a mistake in creation.

    Perhaps I’m more attracted to eastern philosophies because they adopt a perspective that God knows exactly what He/She is doing and we can trust that we are experiencing exactly what we are supposed to be experiencing in the right place, at the right time. God must have a sense of humor! Remembering this helps me let go and relax into this life.

    And when I think of God, I don’t see it so much as one powerful being. More just the forces of the Universe at play.

    One of my favorite practices I learned at Yoga Thailand during my first teacher training in 2009 with Paul Dallaghan, was to meditate on 3 words:

    Gratitude
    Forgiveness
    Guidance

    Meditating on the words separately, my relationship to them, as well as understanding has evolved.

    Gratitude:
    Have ou ever sat down, closed your eyes, and considered all the blessings in you life? Your dog, partner, family, friends? People who taught you what you know and support you unconditionally? The roof over your head, the sun, your fresh food? Sometimes feeling this kind of intense love brings me to tears.

    Forgiveness:
    When I first started concentrating on this word, it was most powerful in terms of self-forgiveness. Until somebody from outside myself showed me self-forgiveness, I didn’t realize the depths of self-loathing I allowed myself to experience. I used to punish myself by depriving or overindulging in other ways. It has been important for me to forgive myself in order to forgive others and experience love!

    So going back to being a sinner. When I hear snippets on the radio as I flick through the stations telling me that I’m a sinner because I haven’t accepted Jesus Christ into my life I get a little frustrated– even defensive! I realize that some people resonate with Jesus to help them find peace as I have through other philosophies. Respect.

    I’m reading a book, “Secrets of the Talking Jaguar” by Martin Pretchel, about a man from the US who becomes a shaman in a Mayan tribe in Guatemala. He explains how Mayans believe there are 4 other experiences of reality humans go through before they are born into the 5th. And when they are born, they forget the other 4 layers of existence. Shamans are people who understand the other 4 layers and spend their lives helping ordinary people remember as well.

    So perhaps “forgetting” is like “sinning”. We spend our lives trying to remember what is true. If I can look at it this way, it softens the word “sin” for me and makes me feel less defensive about being labeled a sinner! I prefer “forgetful” please!

    And finally Guidance:
    We all want in this life and seem constantly to be seeking the next thing, the better thing. I found it transformationally powerful to try to nail down what it is I actually want. And then to ask for it! Yes, this is like praying. This always reminds me of the story of the man who prays everyday that he will win the lottery. After days of this God, exasperated, says, “Please, will you buy a lottery ticket?!” If you don’t know what you want and you don’t as for it, how will the universe know how to deliver?