Myron emails: Hi Luke,
I too practice Kundalini Yoga (since February 2009) and think about it in relationship to Judaism…I guess doing this in Jerusalem where we do make connections with Holidays, Birkat HaChama..might be different than what you are experiencing.
I think I have more trouble with Guru Ram Das (treated sort of like a the messianic version of the Lubavitcher Rebbe) than with "G~d and I are One"..
I try to reinterpret his appearance in the texts as not being about him personally..but how being Servant of the D~ivine is our foundation.
But you are right.."G~d and I are one" is a challenge..Like you point out..values of ethics, community, etc seem to be arrived at from the other direction (an outgrowth of love and awareness, rather than command and deed)…(i wonder if this deep connection with Hashem doesn’t find some expression in kabbalistic stuff..I should try to understand Kegavnah..:-)
I have been reading Levinas at the same time..going into the self and beyond the self…seem to contradict..but the issue may be what does a yogi really mean by that deep inner self..there is a certain Bitul atzmi..What is it that we love in our self..and how does this effect our relations to our fellow human and the world..
I notice that I have brought the breathing into shul..(and my bowing is now done with more kavannah and connection with breathing..it is not only "kol atzmotai" now..but also neshima.
Anyway..one other thing happened.. I now wear a huge kippa (during Yoga)…so
We are what we are..and it seems only to be doing G~~D!..(i think you exaggerate about Bitul Zman..remember how the early Hassidim spent so much time before prayer in preparation…Kundalini can be seen as that and as a form of Avodat Hashem.)