Making Consecration a Consistent Practice

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Making Consecration a Consistent Practice

By Jessica Soares

Hiking as a Doorway to God 

“For God. With God. Through God. As God.” I repeated these words over and over again as I found myself hiking back up a very steep and long path after a particularly potent water purification ritual. The sun was high in the sky, I had no drinking water, and the trek seemed particularly daunting. And yet, I knew I had to make my way back to the parking lot. I paused intentionally, consecrating the moment to the Divine, and these words arose naturally in response. Before I knew it, I was exiting the trekking path and emerging into the parking lot, and I was not exhausted. There was no frustration. There was not even a massive sense of relief. I was just there. At the end of the path. 

Soon after, these words became a personal rallying cry of sorts, a reminder that every moment can be consecrated. I repeated them within my heart when accomplishing other tasks and challenges that elicited resistance within me. I closed my eyes and whispered them aloud before diving into the ocean or taking a lick of a delicious fresh coconut ice cream cone—an easy way to practice consecration.

At Hridaya, we are guided to consecrate every Hatha Yoga practice, every meditation, and every meal. We offer up the fruits of labor. Willingly and enthusiastically, we release our attachment to the results of our actions and give it all up as a gift to the Supreme Reality. Beyond the walls of the yoga hall, we are encouraged to consecrate every moment; an action as simple as brushing your teeth or taking your dog for a walk on the beach can be consecrated and offered to God. This is a practice I have found incredibly helpful when facing the stressors of day-to-day life. It has also been one of the most powerful ways I have found to bring my life into my spiritual practice. 

Finding Peace and Relief through Consecration

Many of us lives that can be easily described as containing a lot of “hustle and bustle.” We juggle multiple things at once, the focus of our minds stretched thin, and our bodies often not even fully online and connected. And when we do have downtime, we are frequently plagued with that vague and persistent sense of something needing our attention or problem-solving. The quest for inner peace and freedom from anxiety has become a central concern for many, and a multi-billion dollar industry, selling us pills and powders, once-in-a-lifetime vacations, and an endless parade of retreats, routines, mindfulness “hacks,” and an ever-expanding self-help section at the bookstore. It seems everyone is desperate to find the solution to a more serene and balanced existence. 

However frustratingly, there is no one singular solution. The journey to freedom and relief from the constant hamster wheel of thoughts and emotions is a unique and ever-changing one for each of us. Historically, society has found this peace in religion and spirituality, in connecting to faith and a sense of something larger and greater. In our modern-day, secular times, this is less common. Often, as a response to feeling repressed and experiencing anxiety due to religious ties, many members of the past few generations have rejected the ephemeral and invisible dimensions of life. But for those who find their way back to the spiritual path, in whatever way they do, there is often a rediscovery and a reclamation of this peace offered by Grace. There is so much that happens that is out of our control. There is so much available to distract us from the present moment as it is. And then there are the tendencies of our very own minds and psyches. All of these, in some way, keep us from being present, content, and still. When we open up and relinquish these pains back to Grace, we often find that what we are seeking is very much available to us. Here and now, in this moment. 

Consecration is a tool found in various spiritual traditions. It is the practice of making something sacred. This is done by dedicating something—a moment, an action, your very own being—to a higher purpose or divine force. It is a practice of surrender and a relinquishing of ego. In releasing personal attachments and desires, space for a deeper connection with the Divine is created. For myself, I discovered that bringing in a regular and, in fact, constant practice of consecration into my daily life helped me cultivate non-attachment and provided great relief from any anxious sensations. 

Embodied Non-Attachment

In the yogic tradition, vairagya, non-attachment, is considered a key component on the path to Self-realization. This non-attachment doesn’t imply a detachment from life but a freedom from the emotional rollercoaster often accompanying worldly cares. It’s a way of honoring our desires without being beholden to their realization. By consecrating our actions, thoughts, and even material possessions to a higher purpose, we learn how to navigate life with more equanimity, making every moment sacred. In this way, we bring our daily life into our spiritual practice. 

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali affirms that through Ishvarapranidhana, the last of the five niyamas, samadhi, or ecstatic union, is attained. Ishvarapranidhana is total devotion to God and the “surrender of one’s life to the Divine.” So central is Ishvarapranidhana to Patanjali’s teachings that he even mentions it as one of the key components of Kriya Yoga, along with svadhyaya (self-study) and tapas (austerity). He defines this at the beginning of Chapter 2, before even outlining the eight limbs of Raja Yoga. Ishvarapranidhana encourages people to release the illusion of control and entrust their lives to a higher power. There are many ways to cultivate Ishvarapranidhana, consecration being one of them. Dedicating ourselves and our actions, thoughts, and moments to the Divine is a tangible way to embody the spirit of Ishvarapranidhana. By releasing the grip we have around these thoughts and actions and dedicating our worries to the divinity, we can begin to find solace in knowing that there is always a greater force walking ahead of us on the journey. Thus, we are rewarded with a deep sense of acceptance, surrender, and peace. 

Bringing Life into the Practice

“For God. With God. Through God. As God.” I repeat these words to myself as I climb the seemingly endless staircase carrying far too many bags. In that moment, I offer up the strain, the effort, and the aversion to the Divine. My limitations become so much smaller. I remember that this is all a journey, and I offer my being to something greater. All of a sudden, the bags become lighter, the climb becomes joyful, and the resentment dissipates. There is nothing to resist. There is simply this moment, in its perfection. 

Consecration has become one of my go-to tools in returning to my heart and re-contextualizing myself in relation to the Supreme Reality. Every act becomes imbued with joy and beauty because every act becomes a gift and an offering. It’s not about me. It’s about God. And this remembrance will always be the most direct route to coming closer to God. It is this act of love and devotion that most allows me to know God. 

“For God. With God. Through God. As God.” Onwards on the path I go. 

Jessica is a Hridaya student and a frequent contributor to our blog.

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