There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up-
What is the secret formula that can provide us with a long and fulfilling life? Most of the nauseating advice we are bombarded with is formulated around living a “healthy lifestyle” (<- whatever this is), leading to assumptions that center primarily on the physical aspects of this thing called life.
“Eat your cauliflower!” “Drink your coconut water!” “Run, walk, cycle, sex, yoga and drink red wine!” Say the experts, and you wonder why our culture is brimming with anxiety! Gotta do this, and we gotta do that if we want to live a long prosperous life! Gotta browse LivingSocial for the best yoga deals, shop organic and eat gluten-free – even if we don’t have Celiac disease. Most of our effort is done with variable success and the predictable stress is eagerly awaiting us around each corner.
How can we feel better about ourselves, boost our confidence naturally and build true inner peace? :Generosity: The quality of being kind, practicing selflessness and understanding, the willingness to give to those in our lives “things” that have value. Generosity is a spiritual principle that provides us with the key to leading a happy and healthy life.
Generosity is a natural (organic – ha!) confidence builder. Generosity acts as a shield against self-hatred and anxiety. By focusing on what we are giving, rather than what we are receiving, we cultivate and nurture a more outward orientation toward the world, shifting the focus away from our physical selves, onto something deeper, something that has a far greater impact on our daily lives.
Each beautiful morning life presents us with a handful of opportunities to be generous; through embracing generosity (not cauliflower, not coconut water, not even gluten-free bread), we can do ourselves and those around us a world of good.
I am deeply grateful to each of you reading today – Take care and be well.
Even chance meetings are the result of karma… Things in life are fated by our previous lives. That even in the smallest events there’s no such thing as coincidence-
Its a beautiful morning and the perfect time to discuss karma.
I often hear from different folks (I personally contemplate these thoughts as well) who want to know why they are struggling, when others are not (running specific this morning). The vast majority of them think their training/performance is some sort of “karmic retribution” for a fleeting, bad action in the past – Heaven forbid we eat three pieces of wedding cake the day before a race! Fast forward to limping across the finish line, emotional and sick because “bad karma” doomed them to suffer from the very start.
This next bit is a memo to myself: The simple truth about Karma? Karma is about the nature of our intentions, our intentions in this very moment.
When we respond to our intention and action(s), with kindness, compassion, and generosity? We are planting the seeds of change, slowly blossoming into someone who is kind, compassionate, and generous. We are defining our character, which in turn has a pretty cool effect on the world around us.
The teachings of Buddha in regards to karma can be life changing. Each one of us posses the ability to change ourselves no matter how ingrained our habits may be, even blaming a poor performance on wedding cake. As some wise dude once said: “Intending, one does karma.”
I know you’re tired but come, this is the way-
Moment of unfettered honesty: Writing and discussing the concepts of Seva, Karma Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation are seemingly tedious and self-serving. I acknowledged and respect, that I have ‘turned off’ and alienated many of you taking the time to read today, talking about “New Age” voodoo bullsh!t.
It occurred to me recently, standing in line at Whole Foods, scanning the trendy magazines, as I placed a pound and a half of ground buffalo on the conveyor … How I noticeably cringe at the idea of sounding -New Age- Spiritual – Holistic – Whatever. I noticed how hard I work not to be seen as “Whatever” in any way.
The “thing” is, I know what I dislike about the “Whatever” stereotype(s) – it’s not the practice or the flavor of the month yoga asanas that are being taught – but how they are being presented to us. Take a look around you at the natural foods store.
Why is our culture obsessed with outward actions instead of using “Whatever” as a framework of inward exploration? I recall a conversation before yoga class and hearing a fellow class member saying, “I always wanted to learn how to meditate and now that “society” thinks it’s okay – I’m going to do it.“
These twenty words made me pause and think, how the setting within which we are exposed to “something” can be both deterring and supportive, and the way in which we are exposed plays an important role.
There is “Whatever” for everyone.
Seva, Karma Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation provide a means for myself to investigate my mind, maybe “Whatever” then, is perhaps, something each one of us can benefit from in this “vanity clad” oriented culture we marinate ourselves in.
When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him. When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points-
Seva, (service) has come to define my true self while walking along this spiritual path “thing“. Embracing Seva allowed me to tap into my personal growth and creativity, or lack there of at certain times – I can’t possibly be the only person in the world who forgets their right from their left?!?.
During each step of my journey, I believe I need to be sharing in some shape or form, whether it’s with a close friend in need of comfort, writing – blogging or the willingness to help a complete stranger. I sincerely believe it’s important that we take notice of the tiniest actions in our lives, realizing that we are all in this world – together. Life is not about acquiring as many “things” as we can … Life is about actively contributing to the whole thing.
This thing being Gaia.
When we take time to give openly, to listen with an open heart, to love equally, to heal kindly, to teach passionately, to be compassionate in daily life? We are expressing mindful love through Seva. That’s about as simple as it gets folks.
Take care and be well!
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.