“Faith begins as an experiment and ends as an experience.”

Via on Aug 13, 2013

Photo by Tim BrumbeloeThis is a quote by William Ralph Inge.

My philosophy on healing is one of treating life as an experiment allows it to unfold as an experience.

This unfolding has provided a sense of freedom no amount of money, alcohol, sexual rendezvous, or title could give. In my experience, freedom comes when labels fall.

It sounds so cliché’ to be that modern girl mocking, “I don’t put myself in a box,” “I’m spiritual, not religious”.. I understand the ad nauseum of sentences like that in this new age world.

What I am contemplating today is nonjudgement, awareness and compassion; the ancient values that are part of every religion—how important it is for us to embody these qualities if we desire to awaken to the full experience our life energy and spirit.

I recently gave an exercise to the students in my 200 hour teacher training as we were studying the Bhagavad Gita. It was to write down all of “their labels” on separate pieces of paper. Anything they have ever considered themselves.. home-owner, neighborhood association member, mother, son, daughter, liar, addict. I had them flip over everything that didn’t line up with our values, that was the easy part. Then we had to flip over the labels we associated with all the “good” that we are and everything we had worked so hard for.

What was left?

I have been in an experiment the past 18 years that I didn’t even realize I was in. It’s called yoga, and it is about relationship. This is the one relationship in my life that I don’t feel like I have to be anything I am not, only show my truth and in doing so I started dropping the labels.

I run some days, but I am no longer a runner.

I play with the guitar, but I am not a musician.

I meditate, but I am not Buddha.

I have children, but I am not a mother (I know this is a hard one).

My heart explodes with joy when my kids call me mommy because I get to feel what it feels like to be a mother. My legs tingle with sensation when I go for a run, my spirit sings with joy when I get to play a melody, and I rest in it all when I sit to meditate.

The Divine needs us to play, love, and serve one another, but do not get caught up in the doing, living, or dying. Let it wash over you leaving you unchanged, uncolored and undone. What is left when we turn over all the labels?

When we do what both the Gita and the Bible ask of us and “do not eat the fruit.”

Experiment with letting go of labels and experience the dance of the world that allows our veils to fall away and discover the truth of our existence.

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Ed: Sara Crolick

{photo: via  Tim Brumbeloe}

About Dani McGuire

Dani McGuire AKA Vani (meaning Saraswati) has practiced yoga since 1995, having studied Integral, Tantra, Ayurveda, Yoga Therapy, Prana Vinyasa, and Ashtanga. Her teaching is an alchemy of eastern philosophy and modern living. Using both life and practice as a way of inspiring self awakening, love, and devotion. She is creator of Sattva Vinyasa and Sattva Therapy. Vani has published 2 DVDs as well as mini online classes for your ayurvedic constitution. She is a columnist for elephantjournal.com, and founder of PranaYoga School of Yoga and Holistic Health, and PranaYoga Foundation. Dani leads teacher trainings, retreats, and workshops around the world as well as offering marriage, birth, and end of life support.

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