Besting Yourself in God
By Nayaswami Narayan
October 24, 2017
I grew up playing football, or soccer as most people know it in America. But to the rest of the world it is known as football or more aptly, “the beautiful game.” I love football, soccer, footie, whatever you want to call it. For me, playing is a transcendental experience. Meditative. No, it doesn’t replace my formal meditation practice, but it’s a fun reflection of God’s beauty, harmony, and joy in nature. Spirit and nature dance together on a football field. It is both an individual game and a team game. Soccer is fluid and has rhythms. Slow, slow-fast! And, like the spiritual path, it takes tremendous effort to score a goal.
One of the beautiful things about the game is it crosses virtually all cultures, classes, and creeds. And like the spiritual path, it’s a simple game. You pass the ball. You shoot it. You defend your goal. And ultimately, you try to win the match.
As an aside but still related to football, I’m not sure if you heard what happened recently to the US Men’s National Team. They lost to Trinidad and Tobago and failed to qualify for the upcoming World Cup. This was an absolute shock for US soccer fans. The last time the US did not qualify was 1986. It was a debacle. The head coach resigned, and people were crying – both players and fans. Sports commentators were angry and talked about needing fundamental change in the way the US approaches soccer.
Why am I bringing this up? Well, if we could apply the energy, will power, and devotion that nations, players, and sports commentators apply to football, we all certainly will find God! God is our one and only true goal. Why not best yourself in Him?!
Defend yourself from greed, desire, and anger. Keep your back line of self-control strong! And get stuck in! Like soccer, the spiritual path is a contact sport. As Paramhansa Yogananda said, go for “God contact.”
Of course, the best defense is a good offense (we might as well go all the way with our sports analogies!). Strike the ball with energy! That is, offer your heart, mind, soul, and strength to the point between the eyebrows–the seat of the infinite. Babaji is playing Goaltender there. He won’t let you in until you pour out your heart’s complete and perfect love to Him.
Volley the ball again and again. Bombard God, Christ, and the Masters with your constant calling! Shoot your prayer demands again and again with increased fervor until you break through God’s silence!
Then you will score the best goal of all. You will best yourself in oneness with God, and all the angels in the universe will be cheering, “Goaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllll!!”