Sat Nam, Yogi Amandeep! How important is it that my family support my spiritual practice? They often poke fun at me and call me crazy for waking early in the morning to chant and practice yoga. They do not understand why I bow to mountains and star gates. How do I move through this awkward situation?
Keep your spiritual practice all to yourself.
Quietly wake early without disturbing anyone and carry on with your practice in secret. Dedicate your practice to those around you who do not understand the practice, but you do not need to tell anyone that you are doing this, not even your closest loved ones.
Keep your inner life inside you. That is why it is referred to as an inner life.
Often I have observed people describing their kundalini awakening to their friends only to feel disappointed after they have shared their experience. If you tell people about your inner experiences, language and story will put a limit on your experience. Blabbing about a profound inner event will instantly render that experience impotent. If you want to maintain the sacredness and potency of your spiritual practice and your awakening, keep it a secret.
People will know you are spiritually evolved simply through your presence. The light in your eyes will heal others. The awareness with which you walk, talk, sit, breathe, eat, and play will inspire others. Your tears and laughter, and the ways you sing and dance through your life, will touch others and create connection.
There is never any reason to share openly what you are doing to make yourself so radiant. Let your practice serve to encourage others to feel warm and peaceful inside their own skin, but never let on what is causing this cozy feeling. Others will know you are awake simply through the way your presence brings a subtle illumination to the room. You will only uplift others through your presence, never through your proclamations.
That which is sacred is always a secret.
If your family and friends do happen to learn your secret, and they start to spit meanness and ridicule in your direction, consider yourself lucky. You are in good company. Every spiritual teacher since the beginning of Time has had some challenge of dealing with persecution and ridicule.
When someone spit on the Buddha, he said, “You are welcome; you are my friend.”
See those who give you the most difficulty as your dearest friends.
When Rumi and Shams started to spend lots of time together, Rumi’s community ridiculed him for befriending a crazy recluse. Rumi did not even hear this ridicule because he had fallen so deeply in love with his master.
Fall so deeply in love with your practice that you feel only this love in every moment; even when people ridicule you, you shall feel that as love.
When Yogi Bhajan returned to India after teaching in the West, someone wanted to kill him for sharing sacred teachings with the secular West. But he had built up such a strong magnetic field through his trust in the Divine that he was able to stave off an assassination attempt.
Remain so steadfast in total trust of your inner journey that no matter what kind of outside energy tries to sabotage your efforts, you shall keep up your journey.
Keeping your inner journey a secret does not mean you cannot practice with others. We regularly gather together to practice because being in the company of other yogis is an essential part of the journey. All this suggests is that you keep your inner life a secret from others, even from those closest to you. Keeping your practice a secret will increase its potency and its benefits.
Be in awareness that all beings, moments, and circumstances are perfect as they are. You do not need to change anything. Your family and friends are perfect. Eventually, in one lifetime or another, we all walk the path of Dharma. Every path leads to the One.