Apr 30, 2006

Jesus Jargon, Yoga Jargon

I’ve made a stink about how Christians can talk and write so … Christiany: mission statements filled with buzz words and clichés, engaging the culture, unpack … Jesus Jargon. If you remove the Jesus Jargon, you’re left with writing that doesn’t really mean anything.

It’s also artists. We're plagued with this magnificent obsession to create, use art make sense of the world, to make a difference to others. Everyone wants to matter, but artists want to matter more.

So take the artist's obsession, add the religious burden, and you’ve got a recipe for either (A): profound and redeeming art; or (B) grandiose, narcissistic, megalomaniac, mediocre art. Jesus Junk, Jesus Jargon.

So why do Christians have to get so churchy about everything? I ask, self-satisfied and evolved. Well, it's not just artists, and it's not just Christians. Every group religious or not, has its own agenda -- I mean, vision. And they have their own jargon.

Take the yoga studio where I "practice." The people are nice, it’s pay by donation, and most people are there because they’re on a spiritual search.

However, Yoga people have their own Jargon. Spiritual practice, spiritual path, journey, evolve, set your intention, bliss, equanimity. I love equanimity, especially when my teacher trips over it. Yoga, he purrs, is about achieving equaninnim ... equanit... balance. Yoga is about balance.

A Buddha head rests on the side counter. I don’t park my mat near him. At the end of class, we say "Namaste" to the teacher. Namaste (nah-mah-STAY) means the god in me salutes the god in you. At the end of class, I look at the Buddha and say, Namaste: The God in me CRUSHES the god in you. No, not really. When they say Namaste, I say God bless you. if they say Ohhhhhhhm," I say "OhAAAhhhhhhhmen.

I stay away from the classes that get too Hindu. There’s this one really young yoga chick teacher who irks me -- not because she goes all Big Sur on me. It's because she gets smug. She sashays around, dispensing her 31-year old wisdom ... her voice all velvety smooth and blissed out -- from the triple nonfat latte with six Splendas I watched her drink at the Starbucks across the street. First time I went to her class she purred: Unlike Western religions, Yoga is rooted in the pagan tradition, which sees ALL life as sacred. WHAAAT? Hindus are very religious. They’ve got like 300,000 gods. And Christianity believes creation is sacred; matter actually matters. (Not that you'd know, the way the current "evangelical" administration is raping the environment.

I never returned to Yoga Chick's class. My other yoga teacher, however, is loving, humble, and open. She knows I'm a Christian. She wants there to be room for everyone. I like that. So, I stick with the yogis whose jargon I can handle. After all, I’m spiritually evolved enough to affirm them in their spiritual search, maintain healthy boundaries, and guarding my heart from psychos.


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