The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books-
Teachers today often speak, lament – painfully about adjusting their techniques to a student’s learning style. Yet, very few have evolved to assist students who seek enlightenment, to learn about their essential ätman. The true identity of their soul …
Yet another kind of student, another kind of teacher … A kind of teacher who prefers to approach this enlightenment “thing” through work, and for me there is Karma Yoga.
I would like to share my fave passage from the Bhagavad Gita with you this morning:
Who dares to see action in inaction, and inaction in action,
he is wise, he is a yogi,
he is the man who knows what is work.
And if he works selflessly,
if his actions are made pure in the fire of knowledge,
he will be called wise by the learned.
He abandons greed; he is content;
he is self-sufficient;
he works, yet such a man cannot be said to work.
If he forsakes hope, restrains his mind, and relinquishes reward -
he works yet he does not work.
If you thought this post was about yoga? You would be dead wrong! Cycling, running, being a parent? Warmer. Being you, being authentic, being vulnerable … The individual, who wishes to attain enlightenment – union through work, must cultivate a particular view of his or hers endeavors … Let’s read the last line one more time, together.
Dreams and restless thoughts came flowing to him from the river, from the twinkling stars at night, from the sun’s melting rays. Dreams and a restlessness of the soul came to him-
During my studies with Rolf Sovik, PsyD this past weekend, I started to-day dream. I could cast blame on the beautifully clear class ceiling, allowing my eyes to wander the crisp blue sky. A handful of doves flying about carelessly to stay warm. To provide further context for this post, we were discussing teaching and learning – What follows are the notes I took detailing my little day dreaming field trip.
We are all subject to the voices in our head, I should know, seeing that I am an expert in this field of study. These inner “voices” tend to amplify our programmed lives, dial cranked to 11 – The old mix tapes that keep us stuck in a consistent loop, playing back the conscious and unconscious sides of our lives.
In the Bhagavad Gita, a conversation between Arjuna and Krishna is narrated by Sanjaya, who is charioteer to the blind king Dhritarashtra and gifted with clairaudience; which is the ability to see and hear the occurrence of events at an immense distance. Sanjaya, to me, represents our inner intuition. Sanjaya is the voice that informs the metaphorical blind of the truth, as it is, rather than as it might be interpreted or distorted.
By listening to our true-selves, rather than reading from a tired distorted script, an old mix tape … or worse yet, a “best of the 80′s” power ballads mix tape gifted to you long ago. By listening to our true-selves we experience the authentic “sides” of our lives.
A dove alighting on a tin chimney prompted me to learn myself, anew.
I will survive: if the hell rejects me, there is always the paradise-
You’ve done it again. Woke up late, head swirling around like the foam on top of your favorite latte, which you won’t be able to enjoy this morning. The shower, still cold as you dash off to clear the newly formed frost on your car. Hair still wet and your wallet left inside on the counter … Learning of this whilst stuck in traffic of course. Here we find ourselves in a bad mood of epic proportions!
Take a moment to pause, loosen your grip on the steering wheel and set the gadget down next to you. Ask yourself in this precious moment, “What is my attitude toward myself right now? Am I relating to myself with judgment, with mindfulness, warmth, and respect?”
The way of healing begins with kindness.
The gesture of kindness may include saying “Yes” … “This is what’s happening right now, I can handle this.“
Through practicing offering ourselves and others the gesture of kindness, we gradually discover that our response to life becomes increasingly spontaneous and natural. In time, we recognize it as the most authentic expression of who we really are. Who would have ever thought that being kind would be a “cool” thing to do?
Like gravity, karma is so basic we often don’t even notice it-
What do five random posts:
Plus an outrageously random video about a Dude and his Toyota Supra:
Have anything to do with Karma?
I hope you stick around a little bit longer than normal to find out!
What is karma exactly? We often think about karma in terms of “Black” and “White” – “Good Karma” and “Bad Karma“. You do something good in the course of your day, or your life and good will come bouncing right back to you; you do something bad, and bad “things” will come roaring back with a vengeance. The little known fact about karma? Karma is neither good or bad, black nor white … Karma is truly about our action, non-action(s), responsibility, accountability and consequence. Karma is an action that has no change in state. Karma simply is.
How do we interweave this “new” definition of karma into our day-to-day lives, without over thinking it and trying to be a modern-day zen master? For the sake of our conversation this morning, Karma translates into: There are no bad decisions you can make.
“You guys still with me here?!? Anyone, hello … “
What in the world do I mean, there are no bad decisions you can make? Exactly that, there are no bad decisions, there are only consequences to our decisions. You can go out and purchase all the latest and greatest running gear, brag and boast about all your accomplishments in the yoga studio to your friends on Facetube, punish and abuse your body by over training, drink too much and party even harder. None of these fine examples are a bad decision …
What you have done is potentially propagate consequences for which you need to be responsible and ultimately accountable for in the future. This Dear Reader, is karma, plain and simple.
Discovering how karma works for us personally, means taking and owning responsibility for the choices we make and being accountable to these choices. Because every choice, as you can imagine and probably know … Has a consequence.
*If you skipped watching the video? Dude has a sweet ride and an even better message about life!*
The understanding of what you actually are is far more important than the pursuit of what you should be. Why? Because in understanding what you are there begins a spontaneous process of transformation-
(We should stop here in all actuality. The quote above is tremendously poignant in today’s world.)
Consider this if you may, what if your approach to contributing to the world was based around helping others rather than helping yourself? Let’s use yoga as an example, cool?!?
Pull up your Google Machine this morning and search away: Om Yoga, YogaFit, Zen Yoga and even the patently ridiculous CrossFit Yoga. Sadly we (more times than naught) associate these forms of Yoga as pure Yoga, hardly the case.
There is only one Yoga. Yoga is a 5,000 year old spiritual discipline. Yoga is a powerful contemplative vehicle meant for each one of us who are interested in furthering our personal and spiritual journey(s). Spiritual, not physical.
Yoga is a tremendous system for helping us to reach our true potential as individuals, however, lost amongst the $$$ signs and intertwined craftily with vanity. Yoga as we know it now, is purely a physical practice that just happens (quite coincidentally) to bring spiritual awakening, while picking out arm warmers at Lululemon.
We are off to light a simple candle, chill a bit, sweat a bit … All the while exploring our true potential.
We are spiritual beings who just so happen to have physical experiences, here and there … Daily, maybe?!?