All posts tagged Service

Karma Yoga: Spiritual Pride and Selfless Service

SHANTI OM: Living and Acting in Peace, Part 2 I saw a fabulous post on Facebook today. It read: “You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” A beautiful sentiment, to which my friend wisely added: “and they never know who you are.” She, a dedicated karma yogi, continued to write, “Nothing as dangerous as ‘spiritual’ pride!” This made me think about the many shadows along the spiritual path, especially when our spiritual lives inspire us to act in selfless service, or along the path of karma yoga. Our ego is a tricky thing. We ceaselessly – driven by our ego – consciously or unconsciously look for opportunities to feed our wanting self, until we wake up to who we really are. When we become enlightened, that is, when we are permanently established in the reality of divine love, we no longer identify with separateness and no longer maintain a separate sense of self. But until such time, for the sincere spiritual seeker, vigilance is required so that we may witness our ego’s tendency to feed, so that we may choose otherwise. Not that far removed from addicts who believe that a drink of alcohol will solve their problems, our ego habitually fools us into feeling fulfilled…

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Shanti Om: Living and Acting in Peace – Part 2: Karma Yoga: Spiritual Pride and Selfless Service

SHANTI OM: Living and Acting in Peace, Part 2 (Part 1: Is Peace Passive?) I saw a fabulous post on Facebook today. It read: “You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” A beautiful sentiment, to which my friend wisely added: “and they never know who you are.” She, a dedicated karma yogi, continued to write, “Nothing as dangerous as ‘spiritual’ pride!” This made me think about the many shadows along the spiritual path, especially when our spiritual lives inspire us to act in selfless service, or along the path of karma yoga. Our ego is a tricky thing. We ceaselessly – driven by our ego – consciously or unconsciously look for opportunities to feed our wanting self, until we wake up to who we really are. When we become enlightened, that is, when we are permanently established in the reality of divine love, we no longer identify with separateness and no longer maintain a separate sense of self. But until such time, for the sincere spiritual seeker, vigilance is required so that we may witness our ego’s tendency to feed, so that we may choose otherwise. Not that far removed from addicts who believe that a drink of alcohol will solve their problems, our ego habitually…

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Ask Parvati 29: Art As Soul Food – Part 3: The Source of Creativity – Ego or Selflessness

PART 3: THE SOURCE OF CREATIVITY: EGO OR SELFLESSNESS (Continued from The Power of Intention) Some people create art through pain and tension. Some thrive on tight deadlines and panic. Others need relaxed quiet in which to create. Though I can meet a painful situation and create, I tend to use the creative force to move through the pain towards expansion. Though some artists rest in pain and seem to need it to create, pain to me is passing. At best, it is a catalyst to propel me towards healing. It is not an end in itself.When I wrote the song for 9/11, the pain I witnessed and the compassion I felt cracked open a well of goodness and interconnection. I could have written about injustice and anger, but more sincerely for me, more powerful for me was the call to rest in the field of interconnection. I have written angry songs, judgmental songs, indignant songs, sad songs and happy songs, but if they do not come from a place of sincerity and honesty, they never make it past my song book and into a recording. I am very picky that way. For me, art is a spiritual practice, a way to challenge my ego and grind it down, so that it dissolves back to the…

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North Pole Journey: Day Five

Day Five: Monday, September 27, 2010 One Earth Family Far from feeling rested after the immensity of the work we did yesterday at the North Pole, we meet this day knowing that today will be just as full as the day before. Lisa and Louisa meet us at the Inns North where we are staying in Resolute Bay, soon after breakfast. Sunanda, Rishi and I meet these wise Inuit healers once again to reaffirm the need for all people of all races and creeds around the world to understand one another at this time more so than ever. How easy it is for people to focus on differences, forgetting the richness of our true human nature and our brotherly interconnection. In a world that is to a great extent fueled by greed and suffering perpetuated through misunderstanding, we see the ravages of short-term vision tearing at the fabric of Nature Herself. Language can so easily divide. Yet the heart unites. We share with both of these beautiful women a connection that feels timeless and universal. Sam The Inuit Hunter Satish soon joins us to let us know that he has made arrangements with Lisa’s brother Sam for us to board his hunting boat. We are to go by boat to an iceberg, where we will showcase…

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North Pole Journey – Day Four, Part Two

EUREKA Around midday, we land to refuel in the Canadian weather station Eureka, official population seven. As the plane lowers to the ground, I notice unusual animals in the distance that look like prehistoric woolly mammoths. As we deplane, the pilots tell us that we have landed near a heard of wild muskox. We are encouraged to take a closer look, so Sunanda, Rishi and I walk cautiously towards the heard. Their long, furry dark brown coats are layered with clusters of ice. A couple of beasts shake their heads, steam escaping from their nostrils in the rush of an exhale. They know they have onlookers. As though these creatures are the dark, rocky mountains that surround us come to life, a wild, untouched force feels clear in their presence. Soon a truck pulls up to the plane. Two inhabitants of the weather station have arrived to greet us, offering us the use of the washrooms there if need be, while the pilots refuel. The three of us go quickly to be back in the sky about 20 minutes later. We still have another couple of hours until we reach our final destination. THE ANGELS ARE WITH US As the hours pass, the kilometers of vast, expansive scenery out the plane window is breathtaking. Throughout the…

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Listening to the Call

LISTENING TO THE CALL Unseen Saints Many people throughout the world each day perform miracles, unseen, unheard, unnoticed and often unappreciated. The more I mature, the more I feel anyone who is a mother or parent is somewhat of a saint, faced with the immense challenges of rearing a child in a hurried, demanding world. The continual call for patience and ever deepening love when faced with the many challenges that one would never have imagined pre-parenting, may seem beyond one’s ability. When in front of a screaming, needing child, a mother or parent is asked to transcend their limited perceptions of the moment and go beyond the immediate sense of me and mine to a place of interconnection, shared compassion and fluid, selfless service. And there are other people who quietly help someone cross the street or without hesitation jump into action when they come suddenly upon a crisis. The basic goodness of the human soul thrives, despite our collective history laced with brutality and immense tragedy. What is it that calls us to action, when perhaps few understand or when we feel challenged to move beyond our sense of personal limit? What speaks to us within our heart that provides unseen energy to overcome immense obstacles and adversity? Poverty in Body, Spirit and Love…

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