Sunday, August 10, 2014

karma yoga adventure

summer flowers

Last week I mentioned going to hear a talk by Lama Marut, after having read his wonderful book Be Nobody. In the past it would have been very likely that I would have gone to the talk, enjoyed it, possibly overextended myself to go hear his other "deeper" teachings over the weekend, and by Tuesday be on to the next thing. I don't know if it's getting older, the summer inclination to slow down and savor, or just the right thing at the right time phenomenon, but I only went to the Friday night "light" talk, which seemed plenty deep to me, and have been putting it into practice ever since. The big message for me was that of karma yoga, or doing an action for its own sake, without thought of what I think I'll get out of it. This translates for me as putting myself 100% into what I'm doing without the extra mind chatter of the implications of the action or without thinking about the next thing I need to do.

Lama Marut also encouraged decreasing our time online and at least starting the day by not turning any electronic gadget on, checking email, etc. for the first hour of the day. I had already been noticing how much I LOVE starting my day with a cup of tea, writing for half an hour, exercising while listening to some kind of wisdom (these days talks by Lama Marut, but it can also be Debra Silverman's hilarious and awesome radio show, Eckhart Tolle, or Pema Chodron), and a splash of poetry and meditation. I find that I don't check my email until I'm on the bus, which is a good 3.5 hours after I wake up - I know, I get up before the crack of dawn, but I like it that way. I also find that I avoid email and the internet in the evening after getting home and I've even cut down on lurking on my school discussion board.

I'm certainly not saying everyone should live like this, but I am finding that I'm much more relaxed and happy in my life and that's a good thing. It didn't happen overnight. The word "weaned" popped into my head when I was thinking about these changes recently and that makes me think of something you do with piglets, which means that perhaps the last time I thought about weaning from something might have been when I read Charlotte's Web. But I think in this day and age of instant everything and going cold turkey, etc., it is nice to remember that we can be more gentle. Anyway, that's what's on my mind these days. Hope you're having a beautiful weekend!