Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Karma in Your Sails

Early summer bay, off the dock. Look closely & you'll see a sailboat

My obsession with the Bhagavad Gita continues, and I'm now reading this translation that happens to have a kick-ass introduction.

And my micro-obsession, if you will, is the idea of karma and the Tao idea of wu-wei.

This idea that we can take action from a pure and flowing place, that we can be free of attachment to outcomes, that only actions that are free from selfish desire (selfish is the key word; desire is not bad)...only actions free from selfish desire will feed and grow our dharma without creating karma, dharma -- our life's purpose, the essence with which we were sent to this existence, or in African terms, the "medicine" with which we were born.

That medicine was not just given to us to save the world but to save ourselves. And it's the same with our dharma -- the saving of the world is inextricably tied to the saving of ourselves.

In this awesome translation's introduction, the author writes: 

"Karma is sometimes considered punitive...but it is much more illuminating to consider karma an educative force whose purpose is to teach the individual to act in harmony with dharma..."

Ahhh...though karma can feel/seem/appear punitive, it's really here to teach us.

Further, it's here to course correct us when we get off our path.

It's here to say, "Nope...that action was not fitting of your purpose. Try something else."

As I try to wrap my mind around the idea of taking action without being attached to the fruit of that action, this idea of course correction helps.

How do I, for example, NOT feel attached to people showing up for my classes? How do I NOT feel attached to people loving dance that I create? How do I NOT see material success as some sort of indicator that I am doing something "right?"

That's where I always get stuck.

But...what if my (your) dharma is so big, so deep, so vast that I, a mere human, cannot always SEE it for what it actually is?

How do I know then if I am working with my dharma?

I know by the response of the universe, by the karmic outcome of my actions.

I cannot see the whole ocean as I travel upon it, but I can see where the sun is or what constellations appear in the night sky.

I can feel the wind or notice if my sails are full.

All I can do is keep making course corrections, seeking flow and naturalness, seeking unity and transcendence both.

And keeping in mind that the wind is never really about me.  All I can do is try to catch a bit of it.

You can now learn how to teach dance as a spiritual practice! My first teacher training is coming at the end of September! Just visit the "Teacher Training" tab at the top of this page.

If you want to explore more deeply how to create an at-home dance sadhana (spiritual path) practice, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.