All posts tagged Seva

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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Introducing “Ask Parvati”

Sunday February 20, 2011 THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT Thank you to all those who have followed my North Pole journey on this blog page and through the video blogs. This blog would not be active without you taking the time and care to read it. I very much value connecting with you! I also want to again thank Sunanda and Rishi for being so steadfast along the journey; the Earth Team (ET) for being an essential group of volunteers who wholeheartedly supported the journey from afar; Satish Sikha for his drive and determination to gather the Earth messages on his fabric and go to the Arctic to showcase it and for suggesting I join him to sing at the top of the world. The journey was for our Earth, the mother to us all. It was possible only because of the efforts of many. We are all connected. I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU Over the years, I’ve received many questions privately (email, phone, Skype, etc) asking for guidance on handling various life challenges. Much of the advice I wished I had published. It contained valuable insights that would have benefited more than one person. So I have an idea. I want to hear from you! I open this blog page to you as a forum…

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North Pole Journey: Epilogue

A week after my return: Friday, October 7, 2010 COMING TO OUR SENSES It has been about a week since I have been back from the North Pole. Though I’ve slept well these past days, I feel very tired and strangely, I think I feel something like culture shock. My heart is heavy having seen even more clearly and palpably the effect of human ignorance. Yet there is new life being born in me beneath the undeniable process of grieving I am experiencing. Perhaps that baby Inuit I felt wiggling in my soul while in the Arctic is shape-shifting into a wiser, more compassionate self. Though my eyes these days are continual fountains that do not run dry, my chest feels like a chrysalis bursting into freedom. The force moving through me feels like the power of Life itself. As I evolve, I am charged with an even stronger pull to wake up and inspire positive growth for all. I know that when my heart breaks, I have a choice. It can either break to close down or it can break open. I feel my heart is breaking open after seeing a much bigger picture of the ecological crisis than I previously knew existed. This week doing the media circuit, people seem interested in the problem,…

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North Pole Journey: Back in Toronto, a dream of the Goddess

The morning of September 30, 2010 The morning after I arrive back home from the North Pole, I wake up having had a most potent dream: BEING WITH THE GODDESS I was far north. I had no sense of bearing. I was just very north, looking for my spiritual community. I met the Goddess there in a co-op building with food supplies. When I saw Her, I was surprised and overjoyed but I did not lose my breath or feel an energy rush as I have in the past when seeing Her. Instead, I felt equal. She was open, present, looking at me just as I was looking at Her. She embraced me and told me good job, that She was very pleased. She said I must be careful about feeling not enough. This was an impossibilities trickiness tendency and would wear me down to the point of not being able to do this work. I thought of my health and the need to make sure I remain caring of my own physical needs. Then She let me massage Her feet and adore them for a long time. She spoke to me about my next lessons, that which I am to embody. But it was as though She suddenly spoke in another language. I told Her…

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North Pole Journey: Day Four, Part Five – Healing at the Top of the Earth

  Day Four: Sunday September 26, 2010 Part Five HEALING HAPPENS IN THE UNSEEN Healing work happens in the unseen. It is a process of becoming still and surrendered, enough so that we align with a much greater truth, beyond our limited ego or will. In that state, we move from a monochrome, black and white reality to what I call ‘hyper-real’, a tapestry of technicolour possibilities and infinite, co-creative abundance. I have been privy to extraordinary and exceptional grace over the years, witnessing profound beauty emerge and be born from this state. It seems that the breadth of our human potential goes largely untouched. In the compressed, me-me-me centered rush of our busy, self-absorbed lives, we unconsciously play out old stories we developed as children and from times now long gone. Here, in this place of vast Arctic immensity, surrounded in all directions by kilometers of pristine, crisp, absolute white snow and ice, I am acutely aware of what most of us, as a human species, are missing: the magnitude and magnificence of this moment. Everything lies there within, a place of infinite potentiality, void of all wants, the fulfillment of our deepest longings, loves and desires. Faced with this expanse, there is nothing I can do now but bow to the Supreme Consciousness that…

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North Pole Journey: Day Four, Part Four

Day Four: Sunday September 26, 2010 Part Four FROZEN MUSIC VIDEO SHOOT In the wind and -25C weather at the North Pole, Rishi unveils our video camera from beneath its own miniature “snow jacket”, while Sunanda sets up the tripod for the shoot. I take out my props, walk quickly through my routine now on snow, consider my performance flow, and check the lighting. The sun is fading fast but it will have to do. Rishi starts shooting immediately. There is no time to lose. The two pilots told us that we can be on this huge sheet of ice for no more than three hours if we are going to make it back with enough gas and avoid any turns in the unpredictable Arctic weather. That is fine. In this polar cold, batteries don’t last long. Dressed in my gold Natamba costume from head to toe, I position myself on the snowy ice to start my first song of four, when I realize I cannot move my hands. The deep cold has already frozen the acrylic paint on my costume gloves. This means I cannot press “play” on the backing tracks on my iPod, which is attached to me, buried inside my jacket and snuggled in with an additional hot pocket for warmth and battery…

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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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North Pole Journey, Part 1: The Night Before We Leave

I have just returned from a trip to the North Pole to help raise awareness of the melting polar ice caps. The message with which I return was voiced unanimously by everyone I met: the ice is melting; there are fewer animals; the people are suffering; please tell the south to stop polluting. It is timely to post my first blog about this trip on Thanksgiving weekend, as I feel thankful for so very much: I return safely; I feel supported; the journey was a success at so many levels. I am still inwardly processing the depth and breadth of the trip. Luckily, during the trip I took notes of my experiences. So over the next few weeks, I will be posting my journals and video blogs as a way to share the richness of the experiences I had. When I left for the North Pole, though it was my body that was physically going, I felt that we were all somehow going together. I hope that through these journals you feel a closeness with me as the journey unfolds. The essential message I brought to the North, one that runs through all my creative work, is that we are not isolated islands but one family, all from the same mother, our Earth. Any decision I…

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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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