Don’t Talk About Your Practice

A student of mine once told me that her husband has been a martial arts master for many years, but that none of his close friends know about it.

When his friends invited him to spend time with them on weekends, he had often chosen instead to go and practice. His excuse to them was simply that he was unavailable, and he had never mentioned what he was doing instead.
In days gone by, people who were serious about their spiritual path never discussed their practice with anyone but their teacher, and rarely with their loved ones.
In this so-called “new age” of ours, many people wear spirituality as a cool trendy outfit to be shown off. They use their practice as a business card to identify themselves. By contrast, a serious practice helps people discover that which they are not.
Often you can hear “spiritual” people exchanging notes about their practice over cups of coffee. You may hear them discuss the advanced asana (posture) they recently mastered (usually it comes with a demonstration in the middle of Starbucks), or which chakra (energy centre) they opened last week.
You can hear them talk about the degrees of heat they feel in their bum when they do mula bhanda (energy lock), or which of the many goddesses visited them yesterday morning in their meditation.
For most people, spirituality represents self-growth and self-evolvement. But, the higher self cannot go through the process of self-growth, because it is perfect and complete on it own. Discussing one’s practice in small talk feeds the need of the small “self” for constant acknowledgment and recognition.
True practice is like making love to your higher self. In the same way as you do not describe to others the intimacy you share with your beloved (at least I hope not!), it is not appropriate to discuss your practice with others either. In doing so, you disperse the energy of your practice. In other words, you weaken it. You feed your ego and cling to your lower self, the illusion of who you think you are.
Don’t talk your practice.
Practice your talk.

Prana Yoga College

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