Let's talk about God.
But first, a disclaimer. For many years, I identified as an atheist. Then I realized it wasn't atheism that I gravitated towards, it was more that I couldn't accept the God that was often portrayed. I couldn't accept an angry, wrathful, judgmental God who would place hierarchies on different groups of beings. I realized since then that that portrayal is not the limitation of God, but our limitation as fallible beings. I no longer see myself as an atheist, and I don't have a particular label I identify with. I've come to see God as something more than how he/she/it is unjustly portrayed. I have come to see God as having many different names and forms and shapes, or that it can be formless and shapeless and just be the collective of all of life.
So, let's talk about God.
The August focus of the month in Jivamukti is devotion to Krishna. If the name Krishna does not resonate with us, then let's think of it as devotion to God. If the concept of God still doesn't resonate with us, then let's think of it as devotion to good. What is the highest good that we aspire to? Compassion? Peace? Equality? Then every time that we practice yoga asana and bring our hands in prayer in namaskar, let's start to see that highest good in ourselves. Let's start to see that goodness is not separate from us. Let's start to see the God in us.
How do we then devote to God? By committing to do the good that we aspire to. For some, going to a church or temple or mosque may help, but total devotion must go beyond gestures. Devotion must be present in everything that we do, all the time. That means devoting to God (or good) translates to us treating other beings with kindness, speaking in behalf of those who are oppressed, doing what we can to make the world a better place for all of its inhabitants.
The poet Hafiz said "I am in love with every church and every mosque and every temple, and any kind of shrine, because I know it is there that they say the different names of the one God." One's devotion can be through prayer or poetry, charity or activism, art or action. Different names, one God. Different paths, one God. Different expressions, one God. And it is only logical that if God is everything, that everything would also have the element of God in them.