In Manhattan, I learned a public kindness
was a triumph
over the push of money, the constrictions
of fear. If it occurred it came
from some deep
primal memory, almost entirely lost—
Here, let me help you, then you me,
otherwise we’ll die.
Which is why I love the weather
in Minnesota, every winter kindness
to obvious self-interest,
thus so many kindnesses
when you need them;
praise blizzards, praise the cold.
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!