It is possible that nobody is asking the question above which I use as an entrée to this article. But to be an informed student or teacher of yoga, it is important to recognize it grew from a spiritual environment that included scriptural components, ethics and a cultural imprint, a devotional aspect, and a governing religious goal. Anyone who has been to India, the seedbed of yoga, quickly notices its spirituality is deeply embedded in the cultural fabric, one could accurately call India’s spirituality its fascia holding everything together.
In my trips there, I noticed the country’s intense spiritual nature and I remembered something I had read from the American Author Flannery O’Connor when she wrote of the American South. “Its not ghost-haunted,” she wrote, “but Christ haunted.” India is spiritually haunted too, but it’s a spiritual haunting I’d identify as complex and inclusive, not bad or scary. Christ is there, and so is Krishna, Allah, and Buddha. It’s a pan-en-theist culture, which I will write of later.
Christian Spirituality and Religion
I’m a former clergy of the Lutheran Church in America. I’ve been keenly aware of spirit, and it’s part of the reason my first trip to India happened when I was 22 years old. I went there as leader of a music and ministry team on a four-month tour sponsored by members of the Lutheran churches in the United States and Canada. For many years afterward, ministry was my career, and I was employed by the church as a clergy and worked in campus ministry.
Campus pastors are well-versed in the Christian faith and its theology, but also in current events and other religions.