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Sunrise at East Coast Park. Singapore by Andrew Soh

The vagaries of Blog Catalog never cease to amaze me, but occasionally it’s turned up some wonderful gems – people who are now good bloggy friends of mine.

Recently in another happy accident, I found myself receiving a message via BC from Ben Ralston, a yogi in the Sivananda tradition (sort of a sister school to mine!). Ben’s based in Slovenia, which sounds terribly exotic to me!

One of his recent posts is on the topic of Grounded Spirituality.

This is something a few of us blogging yogi types have discussed before, and I totally dig what Ben has to say.

My spirituality and my yoga are not this airy-fairy-love-and-light-always-perfect kind of experience.

Instead, it’s a very real and gritty path which encompasses my faults and everyone else’s –  such as getting outrageously angry, making mistakes, having my heart broken, saying the wrong things and all sorts of other human foibles… every bit as much as the so-called “good stuff”.

It also includes the realities of physical and mental health.

When I was first assaulted, I truly felt like I was losing my spiritual self. I questioned how any of those things could happen to me. I felt very, very separate from my yoga practices and studies.

But guess what? None of it separate. All of us are innately spiritual beings, even if we don’t realise it. Even if we don’t care and don’t want to know – too bad, it’s just part of the stuff of this world.

What we need to understand is that spirituality does not equate with living in some kind of fantasy land where everything is always WONDERFUL.

I’ve met people with that view of yoga and the world, and while I’d never tell them to get real (coz I think that where we’re at is all relative anyway) it’s a state my Guru refers to as the god realm (note: must do a post on the different realms sometime!), where life is always easy, beautiful and wonderful. And some people live in the god realm almost permanently. True!

But all we have to do is go to a third world country, or even the poorest part of our own country, and spend some time in the streets (instead of a fancy hotel) with our eyes wide open… to realise that that’s simply not everyone’s experience of life.

And if we try to cut out all of the “negative/bad” things in our experience, then we are not fully integrating with the world.

I also believe we can find spirituality in almost any experience – no matter how grim. No matter how hopeless or sad or horrific it is.

On that note, you should really read this story if you haven’t already: On Blistered Feet

Grounded spirituality is going through the world with open eyes and an open heart, and somehow finding a way to accept everything as it is anyway. It’s the path of deep, compassionate love for all beings.

And that’s what I’m working on, that is my path…


~Svasti xo