Showing posts with label Karma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Karma. Show all posts

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ask Parvati 31: Relationship Complications - Part 2, Faith And The Unfaithful


PART TWO: FAITH AND THE UNFAITHFUL
(Continued from Jealousy and the Ego)

Question: What relation is there between unfaithful and cheated on past experiences? 

My answer: I am not sure what you mean. If you mean what is the relationship between us cheating and then being cheated on, then I would say, you can call it instant karma. But I think you mean, why do we experience being cheated on? Is that some past karma of ours? I think we need to ask that question. That which happens in our life is a result of our karmas. This is a good thing. If we are willing to see life as a mirror, we will find life teaches us all we need to know.

I have had to go deeply into that question myself as I too have experienced that, as I am sure many have as well. Even recently, I experienced one of my closest friends deeply betraying me in a public setting. It was like being cheated on because we had had a sacred contract of love and trust as super close friends. In any intimate relationship, we have faith in the contract and bonds we have made. But not all people have the same relationship to their word.

People will do what they feel they must do. What they choose is not about us at all. My friend did what she felt she needed to do. At that level, her choice to be adharmic, to act in an unrighteous manner, had absolutely nothing to do with me. In fact, before she did what she did, I had asked her to reconsider, that what she was about to do was not in alignment with love. But she made her choice.

In the midst of my healing, my heart wounded, raw and cracked open, I had to ask myself, what is this experience teaching me? What is life mirroring back to me to witness, to learn and to let go? I realized that at some level, there was a play of ego I had with this friend, that was not balanced. She was in a lot of pain, and I realized that I was subtly trying to "help" her, do the work for her. I had unconsciously taken on some of her job of healing herself. That was subtly stroking my ego. She loved it. When I started to catch on that this was at play, I shared it with her. But she did not want to make the shift. She chose instead to feel victimized by my call for rebalance and personal responsibility. She did what she felt she needed to do. Again, I had nothing to do with that. 

Deeper still, I had to see that her betrayal of our bond was ultimately a gift to me to see the subtle ways I still betray myself. I was brought face to face with the questions: "Am I truly, fully, wholeheartedly in service to my soul voice?" I had to answer no, that I still sabotage myself. I still get in the way. I still betray my own magnificence. I wanted to say that the problem was all hers, but it was not. Her choice to betray our friendship was totally hers. But the gift in the experience was for me to see part of my own shadow and ultimately move beyond it. 

In the end, I feel grateful to her for being a catalyst in my growth. Sometimes life has big explosions to blow open parts of our ego that are in resistance, so we can see parts of our shadow that are in our blind spot. In that way, I feel the situation was Grace, a purification process, helping me be far more discerning with whom I share so deeply and teaching me to honour with much deeper reverence the voice of my soul.

To explore more deeply the ins and outs of relationships and how we can grow from them, I think you may find my blog entry Finding Balance In Relationships very helpful. 

(Continued tomorrow with Transcending Anger and Low Self-Esteem)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ask Parvati 18: TO DO OR NOT TO DO, THAT IS THE QUESTION. PART 4: KARMA YOGA: ACTION AS A MEANS TO SELF-REALIZATION


PART 4: KARMA YOGA: ACTION AS A MEANS TO SELF-REALIZATION

We habitually think of tasks to be done like objects outside ourselves to be conquered and cleared. We see errands to be removed from our to do lists, so that we may eventually find freedom and ease. And yet all that is, is an expression of pure consciousness. And all that has form, all that is before us, around us, within us, is the result of an eternal love affair between matter and consciousness. The Hindus call this Lila, the Divine Play unfolding, of which we are a part.

There are many different kinds of yogas. The most commonly known physical practice of yoga, Hatha yoga, is only one aspect of a broad life science. In karma yoga, the aspiring yogi is asked to practice seeing action as a means to self-liberation. He learns to see the tasks that are before him as an opportunity to serve and realize God. In this practice, serving is not seen as something done to another, to one who is believed to be separate from oneself. All that is, is seen as a reflection of oneself and of the divine. To serve another is to serve God.

The revered humanitarian, spiritual master and modern saint known as Amma (Mother) or The Hugging Saint speaks of our inherent interconnection: “The sun shines down. Its image reflects in a thousand different pots filled with water. The reflections are many, but they are each reflecting the same sun. Similarly, when we come to know who we truly are, we will see ourselves in all people."

She teaches spiritual aspirants to “fill your hearts with love and express it in all you do”. She goes on to say, "Do your work and perform your duties with all your heart. Try to work selflessly with love. Pour yourself into whatever you do. Then you will feel and experience beauty and love in every field of work. Love and beauty are within you. Try to express them through your actions and you will definitely touch the very source of bliss."

The word karma is derived from the Sanskrit word “kri”, meaning “to do”. In its most basic sense, “karma” means action and “yoga” means union. Karma Yoga then is the path of union through action. Karma yoga is described as a way of acting and thinking without thought of personal gratification, or one’s desires, likes or dislikes. One acts without being attached to the fruits of one's actions.

In the sacred Hindu text The Bhagavad Gita, Krishna, the manifestation of God, teaches karma yoga. Krishna explains that by working without attachment one attains the Supreme. He teaches us to surrender all our works to Him, “without desires for profit, with no claims to proprietorship, and free from lethargy and fight.”

Krishna explains that work done without expectations, motives, or anticipation of its outcome purifies one's mind and gradually makes us fit to experience the divine in all things. He states that it is not necessary to become a hermit, or be without action, in order to practice a spiritual life. We don’t need to run off to an ashram, or lock ourselves away from our busy lives. We need to act with consciousness. It is precisely through action, through non-resisting what is, through meeting what is with openness, alertness and ease, that we meet the divine.

Take a moment and consider this: What if we shifted our perspective and saw all the tasks in our lives as an expression of pure consciousness arising, as an expression of divine play, a call from God bringing us back to God? What would life be like? What if we were not separate from all those tasks? What if that task that we resist is actually our teacher, guiding us to wholeness? What if by learning to act lovingly, with integrity and kindness, action is leading us to live each moment in the divine?