Blog entry

karma yoga

song of the day: Sari / Nellie Mckay
word of the day: sinistrorse / turned or spiralling upwards towards the left
monk of the day: Nichole Fromm (the bomb! wooooooooooo!!!!!!!)

i spent the weekend attending with the integral institute gang, attending Roger Walsh's two day work shop. day one was on Karma Yoga, day two was devoted to ethics.

day one we went through the nine points of karma yoga, what i have from my notes (these are not Roger's words or phrasings):

Karma Yoga is work, action, service in the World. Daily life activities as contemplative, mystical practice. it includes:

1.stopping (halting the monkey mind, the habitual, unconscious engine of distraction)
2.Reflecting (what is the meaning, point of what i'm doing)
3. Conscious Intention / Choice (what is the higher purpose, context i undertake this activity as part of? activity is for the highest and deepest good of All)
4. Impeccability (striving for total integrity and impeccability in whatever is engaged)
5. Awareness (abiding in the witness of that which arises and engaging fully as its agent)
6. Working With What Comes Up (oh yeah, i'm still fucked up)
7. Reduce Addictions (to expectations, how you think / wish things would turn out, no attachment to results)
8. Reflect and Learn (wisdom cannot be acquired or acheived, but recognized and inhabited)
9. Give The Benefits Away (we do this work in the mystery for the sake of all beings everywhere in the universe, so that all may be free)

Roger is a very elegant human being. his vibe is bright, twinkly, he's very erudite but so humble. i had always wanted to hang out with this dude, and i finally got to spend two full days with him and i was even priveleged to play some music as part of the event. some of my favorite points from the weekend:

*suffering = Experience X's Resistance (suffering is experience multiplied by our resistance to it)
*if you're suffering, you are indeed addicted. suffering is the result of attachment (addiction). our suffering occurs as a result of our addictions, be the concrete and gross, or subtle and invisible.
*there are two kinds of suffering, 1, suffering that leads to more suffering, and 2, sufering that leads to the dissolving of suffering (yours and all other beings). the 2nd is a kind of intimacy / communion in depth of connection, unity of being on the way toward stabilized, full awareness.

at one point we broke off into pairs and did an excercise, walking through all nine of these. we had to pick one of the specific places in our life where Karma Yoga would be applied and practiced, and work through the nine steps with that example. the nine points were augmented with other questions too. i immediately recognized my Karma Yoga as being my role as a father. we were told to pick one particular event that occured regularly in our daily life, and make that our "bell", or reminder to awaken in that moment and come back to practice fully. this could be something as simple as opening a door (so each time you open or close a door, each time you're about to touch a door, you stop and fully engage it as awakened activity, the nine steps, etc), or the phone ringing, etc. i chose my daughter's crying as the Bell or reminder (her middle name is Bell, and very much along those lines in definition, but more of a global sense). each time Ara cries it is my reminder to fully surrunder to the teaching, to my commitment and PRIVELEGE as a practitioner. and it is an unbelievable privelege- not only to be a father, but to be able to practice the way that we can in this country, with these favorable conditions. it's a very rare, fortunate alignment of factors which has provided us with the space and vehicles to be of service. if we neglect to practice, we're really abandoning our brothers and sisters, our family of sentient beings all throughtout the universe.

so, my daughter (and wife) are my primary teachers and reminders, helping me to remember and express my devotion to Love, to the Mystery, to practice in each and every moment fully for the sake of all beings. this is not a chore, or an obligation at all, but an immense gift, an extraordinary opportunity to spontaneously express compassion (not idiot compassion, but authentic compassion) in each moment, to play the Game in what are useful, auspicious conditions.

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