To be a well-informed yogi, it’s important to recognize how yoga grew from a spiritual environment that included scriptural components, ethics, 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. “It’s 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 are 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 current events, and other religions. Campuses are highly diverse settings, populated by intelligent people from all corners of the Earth; therefore, if I as a campus chaplain and voice of social conscience were to engage this population meaningfully and with integrity I needed a thorough understanding of religions and world events, geopolitics, science, art, history, and its biases.