Removing the Border Between Spiritual and Material Life

cermaic heart hanging from twine reads 'open'

Written by: Roshan

Where does our material life end and our spiritual life begin? In fact, can they really ever be separated or are they intrinsically connected? People often think that being on the spiritual path means having harsh borders between these two worlds.  It’s like saying, I will sit to meditate in the morning for a fixed time, once I’ve finished I will move on to my work, then in the evening I will attend to my family duties and at the end of the day if I still have time, I will meditate again.  

But in Atma Kriya Yoga there are no distinct borders.  In fact, Atma Kiya Yoga allows us to dissolve the differences between our material and spiritual life. That means our whole life and not just a part of it can be transformed to something much greater. So, it’s not just about your Atma Kriya yoga practice and how you feel afterwards, but how you relate to everything in life and the people around you.  Even the most basic things that we barely take notice of, like waking up, taking a shower, walking, eating etc can be experienced in a different way. In fact, there is nothing that can’t be affected, because the practice itself purifies our imperfections and reveals the love we have inside of us.  This love is the key to dissolving the border between what we perceive to be spiritual and non-spiritual. True love does not selectively choose or judge, it is a force that can stand behind anything we do in life and propel us to do it even better.   

Atma Kriya Yoga deepens our understanding of love and becomes central to everything we do in life. Our relationships with friends, family and colleagues are immediately affected and become founded on something deeper, rather than being superficial or transient. We come to recognise that every person is a unique expression of God. How can you say you really love God if you have not yet learned to love the people around you and life itself!

Love can move and transform every aspect of our life, even where there was previously stagnation.  When love becomes so strong that you can no longer confine it inside of you and you need to express it in everything you do, everything does become spiritual. Life is spiritual; it’s the ultimate gift that God has given us!

Love is experience. It is the utmost experience of life. Because that is who you are and that is who you will always be.

Paramahamsa Vishwananda 

Relationships

Atma Kriya Yoga changes your relationship with yourself. We all have this internal relationship which is the source of our relationships with others. This is why we gravitate to certain types of people, situations and avoid others. By awakening acceptance, patience and compassion (which are all symptoms of love) it helps us improve the relationship you have with yourself. Whilst it is really beautiful to desire, to have patience and compassion for others, it is impossible to do so if first you do not give it to yourself.  When you have found this beauty inside of you, you will naturally give it to others.

Family and Friends

As you become more loving  with yourself, you will naturally be this way with others. So, Atma Kriya Yoga, especially in marriages, close relationships with parents or children, brings a new depth to the relationship. There is even more appreciation and love between you and others. This is why when Atma Kriya Yoga is practiced as a couple, with family members or friends, it becomes one of the greatest tools to deepen your relationship with them, because each person is changing their natural relationship inside, which then automatically reflects to those around them.

Facing Life’s Challenges

We are all challenged by difficulty moments and decisions we have to take in life. When a problem stands before us, we often don’t see the bigger picture, we just focus on the negativity and the problem. But Atma Kriya Yoga, through the nine forms of bhakti, awakens love in the truest sense. It lifts your consciousness and stills the mind to another level so that you can perceive life in a new light. You can perceive the bigger picture and even embrace parts of yourself or a situation which before you avoided or disliked. Now when being challenged and seeing the difficulties of life or having to make an important decision, you can stand back and see the whole, with less judgement. When you can do that, you will also see the hand of God in everything. Where you feel His presence, you will also see His blessing and how He is helping you grow and develop.

To love one's self is to accept oneself. If you learn also to accept all your negativity and positivity, you will also learn to go above it. 

Paramahamsa Vishwananda

Happiness and Selflessness

When you can truly have a relationship which is not based on something selfish, such as ‘I am here because I want something’, to ‘I am here with you because I love you, or I want to share myself with you, or I want to see your happiness, I enjoy your happiness’, then it is no longer about just getting your own happiness. And when two people come together with this true friendship and love for one another, these are the deepest and most beautiful relationships. Atma Kriya Yoga brings you out of a selfish way of relating to other people and life, so that your approach becomes increasingly selfless.  To be selfless is to also see God in others. For example, you are eating your favourite food and only a little bit is left and your friend or spouse is sitting there and they haven’t had any. When you love them, you have more happiness if they eat it, than if you were to eat. This is the selfless quality of love.

Work and Career

In the same way that we have talked about relationships, the same also goes for work, your co-workers and boss. Atma Kriya Yoga positively affects you so you can go into work with a new attitude and enthusiasm.  Atma Kriya Yoga awakens your deeper Self and your creativity, which you may have been scared to express previously or avoided. It brings out the best in you and that creativity and enthusiasm can even result in people finding themselves doing things that they never dreamt of before and being extremely satisfied in that. For example, leaving their current job, setting-up a business and doing things that are not just work, but something they really love doing.

So where is the limit in life? There is no limit.  Where do we divide up our life and put boundaries between what is spiritual and material? It only happens when we see life in a very limited way. But Atma Kriya Yoga is unlimited, love is unlimited, God is unlimited. The more you practice Atma Kriya Yoga, the more you will experience the unlimited in everything and without boundaries. The daily experience of life can now be much deeper. This should be the goal of an Atma Kriya Yoga practitioner, because Atma Kriya Yoga is about attaining a much deeper level of awareness of our actions, where the flow of love and joy is uninterrupted, and where ultimately you see God in everything and everyone.