The word yoga means union, uniting the higher with the lower self. In meditation, Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore received the word ‘Unity’, which he interpreted to mean union with the One Power and Presence in the Universe: God. As part of our journey in knowing and expressing that oneness, yoga teaches that individuals tend toward one of three paths, based on their personality: The Yoga of Wisdom, Devotion or Service. As part of his series ‘Unity & Yoga’, Justin Epstein explores each of these paths.
In this video: The Yoga of Devotion: Beware The Dangling Carrot
One exercise expressed by the late Donald Walters is (that) at the end of the day, go over your day and imagine a bonfire.
In the hills, or the mountains, these people would do their work amidst brush and they would collect ticks on their bodies and in their clothes. At the end of the day they would take the ticks and throw them in the fire.
At the end of your day you can imagine a great bonfire and go through that and throw all your attachments into that fire. Throw all your desires, your dreams, people, whatever that prevents you from feeling free within yourself, throw it into the fire. And be free.
Seek to know God. Yearn to realize God. And then what happens, all things are added onto us. But they are not the purpose, they are not the focus.
Now, I admit I lose track of that sometimes. You know, it’s easy to lose track of that. We live in a world that dangles carrots all around us. We live in a world and we get impacted by what’s called race consciousness. You know, people (are impacted) on a subconscious level.
On a super conscious level we are all one and there’s a collective unconscious happening and we can be influenced by that. We are influenced by that. We are influenced by what we watch, what we see, other people’s energy, etc… So, it’s easy to follow that carrot and forget all about the ultimate purpose, which is to know union, which is to know oneness.
Love is in the heart but what can happen is the love can go outward and get attached to people. Then, we forget that all love comes from God; that the only love we can ever experience flows from God–through the hearts of others. That’s part of devotion, is to realize that God is the source of all love and people are vehicles through which that love expresses.
You see, many people’s love is limited. They think, “Oh, I’ve got a limited supply of love and you have to deserve my love.” Many people just love the ones close to them; “Us four and no more.” But that’s not how it is, ultimately. The path of devotion is to love everyone, not just those closest to us.
Love everybody. Everybody is a child of God– strangers, people we don’t know. To see God in everyone, that’s the path. How close is the world we are living in to that one? You know, nowadays…well, I won’t go into that… But, that’s the path of devotion, to begin to see God in all people, to look for God in all people.