Sunday is Community Day at the kids’ school, and I must admit –I’m feeling a bit blah about it. Once the weekend rolls around– hanging shelves and hammering hooks into the wall doesn’t really appeal.
But I’ll go.
And I’ll bring the kids with me.
As a yogi I should probably be more into the whole selfless service thing. After all, karma is inscribed allover the practice. But it’s never come easy to me. I remember during my teacher training when I had to cleanup the studio, I felt the same kind of blah.
See–the thought of hanging shelves and hammering hooks gives me the blahs. But clearly that’s not what Community day is all about. I get stuck at that thought. So the solution is to stop thinking about it. Just do it. I know once I’m there — chatting with the other moms and helping with the hooks, it’ll be fine. It could even be fun.
The law of karma says this:
Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind . . . what we sow is what we reap. And when we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success.
So yes, I’m going because it’s good karma.
But mostly I’m going because it’s good for the soul.
How do you feel about selfless service and karma?
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Beautiful topic this morning! I have found it easy to come up with reasons and excuses to delay doing something selfless. When I finally “just did it”…….what amazing enlightenment happened to me! It’s true that you get no points on the “be a good person chart” nor do you get an award ceremony. But as you said, “It’s good for the soul”. I second that.
GGW, I think when something is good for the soul, we often hesitate or get caught in the thoughts around it…it’s part of the growing process to work through all that. The benefits of just doing it go way deeper than a star on the “be a good person chart”, don’t you think? Thank YOU, for such a refreshing comment!
When I attended my Transcendental Meditation teacher training course, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi explained karma yoga as follows: when we meditate we experience the quietest state of the mind, Pure Consciousness, which is the Self alone, by itself, a state of Pure Awareness which contains the potential for all thoughts just as the depth of the ocean has the potential for all the waves on the surface of the ocean. When we come out of meditation and into our daily activity of work, family, whatever we do, that activity begins to develop our ability to maintain the experience of Pure Consciousness while we participate in our usual activities. Going from Pure Consciousness to activity, 20 minutes of Pure Consciousness alternated with a full day of activity, day after day, allows us to live Pure Consciousness while engaged in activity.
Maharishi’s understanding of Karma Yoga is this alternation of deep rest in meditation with dynamic activity for the purpose of gaining higher consciousness. This, in no way, reduces the social value of charitable work which Maharishi promoted for its value to society.
Oh, I think lots of things!
I used to think I was quite good at selfless work or karma yoga – after all, motherhood is nothing but, and I like to volunteer in my community. However my mother reminded me that I do prefer prominent positions – you know, organiser, secretary etc – which is not quite invisible work is it? Her task that she set me was when I was asked to do something, to say “yes, I Iwould love to”. With no other thoughts. That’s karma yoga, and yes I fail at that often. Have you had your volunteer day yet? How did it go?
Yehuda, Thank you for sharing this here! I can see how Maharishi’s understanding of Karma Yoga makes perfect sense. Because isn’t higher consciousness inexorably connected to service?
Sara, I love the task that your mom set you to–I try to have this attitude. Sometimes I’ll say yes, but inside I’m feeling UGH. I’m still working on this 🙂 Community Day is tomorrow. And it’s already become a scheduling fiasco with other stuff going on…But I’ve committed (to myself) to go!
Yes, Elysha, according to Maharishi’s teaching, Pure Consciousness is the home of “all the laws of nature.” So when Pure Consciousness is maintained throughout one’s active day, the mind is projecting thoughts from a level of harmony and fulfillment. One’s thoughts, speech, and actions are fully life-supporting and successful.
Thanks, Yehuda! Hope you’re having a good day.