What Is the Sacred Marriage?

Kristin Swenson delivers this week's inspiration on the Spirituality page.

May 21, 2010 — -- "The body is an ocean, rich with hidden treasures. Open its innermost chamber and light its lamp." -- Mirabai

In our busy and stressful lives, many of us can feel disconnected from remembering what's deeply true for us. We're moving so fast that we often don't have time to care for our bodies and spirits in a tender and loving way.

Many of us are now searching for new ways of deepening the body's experience of spirit. We sense that an experience of the dynamic unity of body and spirit will inspire, encourage and strengthen us to meet the many challenges of our time. This moment in history demands not only spiritual knowledge but also embodied strength and a capacity for compassionate action. Many people are turning toward sacred practices such as yoga as a way of discovering the new grounding inspiration that we need.

Heart Yoga is born from a deep belief that the healing revelation for our time is that of the Sacred Marriage.

In most of the world's mystical traditions the universe is conceived as a dynamic dance of opposites, for example: masculine and feminine; heaven and earth; light and dark; spirit and body. Their unity leads to a new level of both mystical knowledge and embodied physical energy. This is essential for the most empowered evolution of the human race. The Sacred Marriage is the living unity of heaven and earth, heart and mind, body and soul.

The inner experience of this marriage births a transformed human being, one who is simultaneously open to the transcendent and able to create and work for radical change in the present.

The most crucial aspect of the Sacred Marriage for our time is what we call sacred activism. We believe that only intense and deep mystical love, strength and passion, combined with a commitment to sustained transformative action, can now preserve the planet. This fusion of body and soul enables people to find the luminous energy, calm, and power that we all will need in order to become sacred activists and give birth to a new world.

We believe that this unity of spirit, body, heart and mind that all human beings are longing for can be powerfully achieved through the union of simple yoga asanas with simple spiritual practices from many traditions. This union creates an ecstatic and passionate experience of the Divine, inspiring people to directly experience their true spiritual nature and to embody its power in the authenticity of their humanity.

The Sacred Marriage of the essence of yoga traditions with mystical traditions is especially designed in Heart Yoga for our challenging times. We feel that the most profound way of staying awake, passionate and grounded comes from the unity of body and soul. It provides the continuous energy and stable strength needed to sustain loving action in the world.

We pray that all those who are inspired by this innovative and exciting blend of ancient teachings will become radiant with a renewed commitment to spiritual growth and service to all beings, empowered with the practices they need to sustain their lives in the marriage of love, peace, and sacred passion.

"The spirit has made itself matter in order to place itself there as an instrument for the well-being, and joy, of created beings, for a self-offering of universal physical service." -- Sri Aurobindo

Andrew Harvey is an internationally acclaimed author of more than 30 books and the director of the Institute for Sacred Activism. He can be reached through www.andrewharvey.net. Karuna Erickson has been a psychotherapist and devoted yoga teacher for more than 40 years and is the director of Heart Yoga Center. She can be contacted at www.yogakaruna.com. Andrew Harvey and Karuna Erickson have recently co-authored "Heart Yoga: the Sacred Marriage of Yoga and Mysticism," available through Amazon or Random House.