>Loving Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti Yoga is the form of yoga dedicated to creating loving devotion for the divine. Expressions of this type of yoga come from song, chanting, prayer, and for some, like Rumi, writing poetry. Listening to my Gift of Love CD with Deepak Chopra and others citing Rumi songs and I can’t help but be turned on.  Below is one of my favorite Rumi poems. Like Rumi, we long for unity with the divine not having tasted it fully and wanting more:

In my hallucination
I saw my beloved’s flower garden
In my vertigo, in my dizziness
In my drunken haze
Whirling and dancing like a spinning wheel

I saw myself as the source of existence
I was there in the beginning
And I was the spirit of love
Now I am sober
There is only the hangover
And the memory of love
And only the sorrow

I yearn for happiness
I ask for help
I want mercy
And my love says:
Look at me and hear me
Because I am here
Just for that

I am your moon and your moonlight too
I am your flower garden and your water too
I have come all this way, eager for you
Without shoes or shawl

I want you to laugh
To kill all your worries
To love you
To nourish you

Oh sweet bitterness
I will soothe you and heal you
I will bring you roses
I, too, have been covered with thorns

This desire for romantic love on a physical level, made of hormones and pheromnes, becomes the telos of life and an illusion on the spiritual level. When my procreation urge becomes strong it’s also signal to turn to my bhakti yoga. Thinking of romantic love as chemicals in the brain isn’t romantic, but it certainly makes  for a nice distraction when I don’t meditate.;) When we are nourished by something larger than our desires we allow the divine to enter and give us exactly what we crave.

Today I’m grateful for Rumi, bhakti yoga, and Coleman Barks.

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