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From Glowing to Growing

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Stephen in Goddess Yoga pose with hands bound variation

Here I am in hands bound, forward bend, Goddess Pose variation, from my trip to Fuerteventura. It’s one of those poses that looks like you’ve metamorphised into another creature, although I can’t quite work out which! At first yoga and meditation are about healing, but once we’ve restored our balance, they’re about transformation—becoming someone new. The Christian term for this is to be reborn, and the Buddhist word is awakening or enlightenment. The Hindu word is Self-Realisation, and the Self we realise is both who we’ve always been, but also who is ever new—constantly flowing, like a river, unchanging from a distance, but always changing close at hand. All growth is about letting go of the old and welcoming the new, and we are always shedding old skins, if we want to become all we could be. At first yoga is a focus on something outside of us, then it becomes a flow, which we experience inside of us. Then that flow makes us glow and let go of limited selves we no longer cling to, and so we grow into a bigger person, incorporating more of the abundance of the universe in our character and personality, and more of the quality of our heart and soul in our day-to-day activities. To use sacred terminology, first we practise mindfulness and regain possession of ourselves, then we practise contemplation and take flight, identifying with universal archetypes, like Jesus, Buddha, Muhammed, Siva, Mary, Fatima, and Sakti, then we have mystical breakthroughs, when the light comes down and we identify with being itself, flowing within and beyond everyone and everything. This is a vast vision and is the reason the east says we need many lives, and the west says we need to go somewhere else, before we enter the heavenly state. Life is a mystery, but we know when we’re flowing, and that’s when we’re going in the right direction.

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