Book Report: Yoga’s Devotional Light by Julian Lynn (2017)

Book coverIt seems like it took me a lot longer to read this book than it did. As you might remember, gentle reader, I bought this book along with two others (Divine Fruit and Four Gates to Health: Eastern Ideas and Techniques for Vital Living) last May at an ABC Books book signing. I read the collection of poetry soon after I bought the books, and I am pretty sure that I started this book in the beginning of June last year.

It has the word devotional right in the title, and that’s what it is: A Hindic yoga-based devotional with 365 entries ranging from a couple sentences to a couple of pages. Each is designed to make you think, to let go, and perhaps, if you’re an active yoga practitioner, something to think about when you’re sitting. Although in Buddhism, you’re supposed to try to empty your mind as you sit, perhaps you’re allowed to think in yoga. Or maybe these are things to think about at other times.

The daily bits range from stories about people she meets and how they inspire her to simple little aphorisms about recognizing beauty around you in everyday things. Some are a bit twee, and some of the stories seem a bit self-congratulating about helping others.

At any rate, as I mentioned, it took me a while to read it. Partly because it’s typeset in an italic font, which slows one down when it comes to reading. Perhaps that’s the intent. The other was that I was not doing it in a steady day-by-day fashion–I would go in read a couple of days’ worth of these devotions to end a night of reading fiction for a couple days, and then I would set it aside for a while, and then I would read a couple more.

I enjoyed it and grokked it a bit more last year when I started it. Looking back, I really haven’t steeped myself in Buddhist and Hindu thought much this year–maybe they haven’t spoken to me following a year of losses. As I finished it over the last couple of weeks, though, the message did not speak to me as much.

So I probably enjoyed it overall more than the poetry and probably more than I’ll enjoy the nutrition book when I get to it. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it and gotten more out of it in a more receptive frame of mind.