Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Karma Project

Starting today, I am embarking on a 30 day project which I'll be calling the Karma Project.  My dear and beautiful mother will also be joining me.  Before I go into the project, I would like to explain what has led me to this idea for practice.

Yoga has been quite a savior for me.  The transformation, growth, sheer grace, humbling beauty and love it has given me is tremendous.  I want to thank each and every yoga teacher I've ever had for each and every class I've ever taken.  I have inched, and leaped closer to the ultimate freedom, light, joy, wisdom and love I've always yearned for.  The graciousness and spaciousness I have experienced, transferred from one yogi to another, melts my heart.

Karma Yoga is the art of selfless service (also known as Seva).  It is doing something kind for someone else or doing the right thing without expecting anything in return, such as applause or reward.  The belief is if you do something good for the benefit of someone else, even a small gesture like opening the door or helping an elderly person across the street, and you are not attached to the fruits of that action, you will experience true freedom and purity of heart.  However, if your ego is tied to that action and you are doing it for other selfish motivations, you are bound to the fruits (results) of that action and you are not experiencing pure freedom and joy.

shared from Spiritual Bliss facebook page

Better put from yogawiz:
"The individual who acts as an instrument in the hands of the Lord, as a participant in the cosmic activity of Nature, devoid of any expectation of fruits, his/her Karma will not bind that person.  In that case, the individual's actions become Karma Yoga.  So in the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna exhorts Arjuna to work unselfishly.  Believe you are merely an instrument with the Supreme working through you.  The password is surrender.  Yield all the fruits of your actions to the Supreme.  IT is then and only then, that the individual is freed from bondage of Karma.  Then we start to enjoy peace.  The practice of Karma Yoga, further, prepares the individual to receive knowledge of the Supreme Self."

One important thing I've learned through my yoga practice is that gratitude is an infinitely growing and exponential process.  It positively affects everything it touches, even in the smallest, subtlest way. It's the ripple effect.  It has the power to heal not just our self but what's around us.  It's deeply transformative in nature.  I am beginning to wonder if giving (selflessly) is not the other side of the coin to gratitude? Like the chicken and the egg, if a person begins to practice feeling gratitude for life and everything she has, wont' she also feel more inclined to give for the sake of giving (and vice versa)?

As yogis we are given the gifts of fire and water (as well as earth, air and space).  The fire or heat we create in yoga brings about transformation and stirs something deep within us - be it courage, love, etc.  The water we create, when we cry tears of pain or joy, is such a needed release of emotion.  It moistens the grounds of our heart in preparation for spiritual growth.  We can plant seeds in this new soil and it can grow exponentially.  Grounded in truth and rooted in love, we protect our seeds and slowly we watch them grow up toward the sky, toward the light, toward heaven.  The amount of growth is infinite and it's these early elemental gifts of fire and water (and earth, air and space) we receive in yoga, that makes our own transformation possible.  Picture a caterpillar in her cocoon emerging as a butterfly or a seed planted and growing into a tree.  Through our transformation a veil is lifted from our eyes, and we catch a glimpse of our true and full God given capability.  We begin to see how we can be of service to the world.

My mom shared her idea with me, that if each person was to really use (and enjoy) their unique gifts, and selflessly give these gifts to others, imagine how much that would positively change the world.  One person sharing their gifts even in the smallest way, might not sound like a lot, but imagine if the whole masses were doing it? How huge would that be?

Here is what I plan to do.  Starting today, for the next 30 days, I will be doing at least one selfless act of service each day with the intention of doing something for another with no interest or expectation of receiving anything in return.  It doesn't matter how small or large it is, what matters is the intention; the motivation to make someone else a little happier, their day a little easier. I intend to focus on that yogic wisdom to "yield my fruits of action to the Supreme," being like an "instrument in the hands of the Lord."

Thanks for reading!  I am excited, inspired and curious to see what develops over the next month.  I'll be sharing as much of my experience as possible here!

shared from Spiritual Bliss facebook page


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