Class and Taught by Prophets

lotusClass was very small today, only two students.  I figure that the drop in temperature—about 20 degrees Fahrenheit—and the steady rain had a bit to do with it.  Also, today marked the beginning of the Semi-Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that could have had an impact on attendance as well.  I have been playing music in the background for the last few classes.  I think it has been a good addition.  Jr. Jazz basketball started last weekend and it begins at the same time as class does.  That is a bad addition.  Class went well, despite the buzzers and cheers of the parents which occasionally intruded into our space.  One student clearly didn’t feel that we had covered enough poses and as I was wrapping up class, she did a couple of ardha matsyendrasana and baddha konasana.  That was great!  She was listening to her body and she followed through with what she needed.  I had to do something similar last week by practicing with my back to the instructor so I could remain in the balance poses without watching myself in the mirrors.  Watching my reflection, even my shadow, while trying to balance will topple this old tree every time!  Do you modify your practice when in a class or do you follow the instructor as best you can?  Why?

LDSI cherish the first full weekend of April and of October every year for these weekends are respectively the Annual and Semi-Annual General Conferences of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is a grand opportunity to listen to God’s living Prophet, to listen to the living Apostles of Jesus Christ and most importantly, to listen to the Spirit of God as he fits the counsel of these great men and others to me.  I have often wondered why other Christian denominations feel that there is no need for modern prophets, I would honestly feel that God must not love me as much as earlier peoples if I believed that there were no more prophets.  If God loved His children enough to send them prophets in times of old, then why not today?  Anyway, Shanna and I were discussing dress standards yesterday and not exactly seeing eye to eye.  Elder L. Tom Perry, addressed the very subject upon which Shanna and I had disagreed.  Apparently, we are not the only ones wanting some heavenly insight on the topic.  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke during the Priesthood Session and answered a question that has been boiling in the back of my mind for quite some time now.  Stand close together and lift where you stand, was exactly what I needed to hear.

Some want empirical proof that God lives and others say such proof is impossible to obtain, I would disagree with that.  God says pay your tithing and I will protect you and your family.  I have always paid my tithing faithfully and, even when I was unemployed, my family has never wanted for food or shelter.  I have neighbors with similar and even more dramatic examples of this promised blessing being fulfilled.  I have been seeking earnestly for answers and I received them during Conference.  These were not flashes of inspiration that I can claim to have just made up on my own, both Elder Perry and President Uchtdorf specifically asked the questions I had asked and then gave specific answers to those questions.  One answer I already knew but now understood better but the other left me dumbfounded.  That answer also explained something that happened to me nearly twenty years ago, something I had not even connected with more recent events and yet the relation and reasoning was now as clear to me as if someone had opened the blinds in a darkened room to allow the sun to shine through the windows.  These things, however, are merely empirical proofs.  I have the more sure word of prophecy within my heart that proclaims loudly that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ and that He has called a Prophet to reveal his secrets.

OMLDSOddly enough, it is the Yoga community which is best equipped to understand why a feeling is stronger proof than any experiment can ever hope to be.  While practicing pratyahara and dharana, it is not uncommon for a yogi to experience deep and abiding calm.  This is an experience that I deeply enjoy but I found that calm first when I entered a temple of God and to this day I experience that same calm the moment I enter a temple.  As one practices dhyana and approaches samadhi, one feels bliss filling the soul.  This feeling is impossible to adequately describe so that one who has not experienced it can fully comprehend it.  It is happiness, joy, light, life . . . it is bliss that fills one completely from head to foot and yet it continues to grow until it fills the room, the world and the entire universe.  This same bliss consumed me as if in fire long before I began practicing Yoga.  It came in answer to simple questions:  God, are you real?  Is Jesus Christ your Son and the Savior of the World?  Are these men, these prophets and apostles, true messengers from you?  The answer is an overwhelming, undeniable YES! that fills me with such joy and happiness that at times I feel I must burst at the seams.  This is also why I feel so passionately about my personal Yoga practice, this is why I share so much of my religious beliefs here, this is why I am who I am.