Q & A : Ask the Swami | By Gracia Gimse Mckinley

A yoga swami is someone dedicated to their own awakening and helps to awaken others. Their role is similar to that of a minister or priest, though they accept all religious traditions. Swamis provide spiritual guidance and perform rituals such as weddings and memorial services, respecting the beliefs of all participants.

Q: I HEAR THAT WE SHOULD TRY TO CONTROL OR GET RID OFOUR EGOS. WHAT IS AN EGO AND HOW DO WE GET RID OF IT? Erin A. of Redwing

A: In order to talk about ego, we also need to talk about Spirit. The ego and the Spirit are partners in navigating life. Spirit is that which is immortal and everlasting. Spirit recognizes connection between you and others and between you and the cosmos. It is fundamentally good and one with the universe, Source, God, Cosmic Consciousness, whatever else we decide to call it.

At the core of our beings, we are Spirit: good, whole, and complete.Spirit has no clue how to manage as a separate, distinct, and finite entity. So when Spirit comes into embodiment, it takes on a partner—ego.

It is your ego’s job to create separation.

Some say ego is unnecessary or even an obstacle in our spiritual path, but it is ego that establishes healthy boundaries, identifies and meets physical/temporal needs, and maintains our unique personality.

Ego knows where your hand ends and the fire begins, and keeps one out of the other. It knows when the fire will burn you and when it will keep you warm and cook your food. For Spirit, ego is an invaluable partner. Please, do not try to get rid of your ego!

Everything in life is sacred, ego included.

However, we do need to keep an eye on our ego. If ego takes charge, we forget our True Self as Spirit connected to all of life in oneness.

This is why we need to cultivate awareness, to balance Spirit and ego as partners, and remember our True Self as we navigate our everyday lives. As awareness balances Spirit and ego in a sacred union, we make the most of our embodiment.

Some say we’re humans having spiritual experiences—I say we’re Spirit having human experiences in the sacred world of form.The word “Yoga” means “union.”

All of the practices of yoga ultimately aim to expand the horizon of our awareness, which helps us create union between ego and Spirit so we can live happy, authentic, and meaningful lives.

 

GRACIA (pronounced gray-sha) radiates warmth and acceptance. She empowers students to attune to their own inner wisdom. Gracia is an ordained Kriya Yoga swami (minister) and the co-founder of My Spirit Community. She teachesmeditation, yoga therapy, and yogic spirituality. She can be contacted at gracia@myspiritcommunity.org or www.myspiritcommunity.org

 

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