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yogani

USA
4803 Posts

Posted - Oct 12 2007 :  4:48:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hi All:

For some time, there has been the thought to add a forum for discussing spirituality, career and money. This comes in part from the many questions on this subject that have come here over the years, and a realization that AYP has more to contribute beyond the simple (and true) maxim, "Meditate daily and all will come."

There has also been the thought to add a few new titles to the AYP Enlightenment Series, with "Yoga and Money" being one of them, for possible publication in 2008. We'll see.

The same posting guidelines will apply here as for any other AYP forum. No commercial solicitations are permitted. So this is not a place to discuss get rich quick schemes, multi-level marketing, stock recommendations, or things of that nature.

This forum is about fulfilling our Dharma (our most spiritually evolutionary activity in life) while fulfilling our financial responsibilities. Finding harmony between our spiritual practices and what we do for a living is an important part of the path. Indeed, both are essential ingredients that cannot be separated.

The apparent incompatibility we may find between our spiritual aspirations, our career, and money can be resolved over time as we advance in our yoga practices.

As inner silence gradually expands within us, it illuminates all of our outer activity. Our career may or may not change. But our relationship with our work certainly will with an opening heart and ever-increasing peace, creativity and joy, as our attention naturally shifts from identification with external objects (including thoughts, feelings and the objects of the world) to become absorbed in stillness and the flow of outpouring divine love.

Business and money then become a flow of consciousness along with everything else, and regulated in accordance with the principles of divine energy flow. The ancient time-tested methods of good money management embody these principles, just as the methods of yoga embody the principles of human spiritual transformation inherent in everyone. We are the doorway to the infinite, limited only by the temporal obstructions lodged within us. The methods of yoga are for dissolving these obstructions in our neurobiology.

As we continue with our practices and are increasingly able to hear the call of our dharma within and around us, we can clearly see beyond the old limitations to a much fuller expression in all aspects of our life.

Wishing you all the best on your chosen path. Practice wisely, and enjoy!

The guru is in you.

Ricshastra

Spain
2 Posts

Posted - Aug 16 2014 :  08:18:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi, Yogani:
Your thoughts on this subject, as generaly about everithing, fit completely in a question or make a lot of sense about something I'm worrying about.
Can yoy please say a little bit more about Dharma?
Thank you.
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yogani

USA
4803 Posts

Posted - Aug 16 2014 :  1:51:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Ricshastra and All:

Thank you for chiming in here.

It has been nearly 7 years since the above introduction to the then new "Yoga, Career and Money" forum category was written. Since then, there have been many informative and often heart-felt discussions here about the challenges of making a living while on the spiritual path.

As you may have noticed, the aforementioned AYP book on "Yoga and Money" was not written. Instead, the "Bhakti and Karma Yoga" book came out in 2008, which is in line with the focus of the Enlightenment Series on spiritual practices and their practical benefits in daily living. Among other things, it covers our spiritual development in relation to work, family, and whatever role we find ourselves in the world. But it does not address the practical aspects of making money. I'm not sure any yoga book could and still be about yoga, though many have tried.

The mystery and seeming contradiction of making a living while on the spiritual path continues for many. It is as much a mystery to those of financial means (often over-committed in work) as it is for those who are challenged to pay the bills each month. What is the answer?

Yes, "dharma" means our most spiritually evolutionary activity. However, it occurs to me that "what we do for a living" is not primarily what dharma is about. Rather, it is our relation to what we are doing that determines whether our means of making a living is compatible with our spiritual path or not.

If we stand in judgement of our work as being "spiritual" enough or not, it is not likely that we will be in dharma as long as we are identifying with our external circumstances in that way. On the other hand, if we are living in the flow as abiding inner silence, then any sort of work will be in dharma for us, even the same job we may have previously been judging as "non-spiritual." In other words, it is not the work that determines our dharma. It is our relationship to it, in stillness.

This is the whole point of meditation, to bring us to a level of abiding inner silence (witness), so our perception of the world (and our work) will be evolutionary rather than in discord. Simply changing our job or surroundings is not a permanent solution, because we take ourselves wherever we go.

On the other hand, we all have to make practical career decisions, and that we should continue to do for the betterment of our circumstances, and to fulfill our responsibilities to our family. But the yoga (and dharma) of it will always be in us, not in the job.

For example, consider washing dishes. If we wash the dishes after a family meal it can be a chore, or it can be yoga, depending on our point of view. If we do it as an obligation, expecting something in return, it is a chore. If we do it to help our spouse and family, expecting nothing in return, then it is yoga (karma yoga). Same act, different relationship to it. In Zen they would say, "Before enlightenment, wash dishes. After enlightenment, wash dishes."

Either way, the dishes must be done. Likewise, the bills have to be paid.
So it is the same with our job. We can view it as an unpleasant chore, or as a service we are doing. It all depends on our inner condition, and the degree to which we are identified with and judging the job.

Of course there are hundreds of variables in any job. Do our natural abilities fit in? It can be unpleasant if they don't, so it is good to do something we have some ability for. Are we able to have fun doing it? Does it pay enough to support us? Are the hours reasonable, leaving time for practices and other things we like to do? Are there opportunities to grow in the job according to our interests? There are many factors that may keep us on that job, or lead us away from it. All of that is more on the level of practical decision-making. While yoga cannot directly answer all of those questions, it can provide us the inner capacity to navigate through it better. The dharma is in the spiritual navigation, not in the job itself.

So, if we think working for a charity or living in an ashram would be better than working in the current job we have, maybe we should think again. There is no doubt that our path is where we are right now, and giving us exactly the nudges (and pokes) we need. What are we doing in our present situation? Hopefully looking for the next incremental step. Going from our present job and responsibilities straight to the Himalayas, while not impossible, is less likely to be dharma than finding the next incremental career step in stillness right here where we are.

On the other hand, it is normal to be casting about exploring diverse options early in our work career, and also on our spiritual path. Sooner or later we find our groove. Each step we take is a precious opening in dharma. It is all to be honored.

The guru is in you.

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Dogboy

USA
196 Posts

Posted - Aug 16 2014 :  2:48:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
As the stay-home parent of two daughters (one autistic), this resonates on a daily basis:

quote:
For example, consider washing dishes. If we wash the dishes after a family meal it can be a chore, or it can be yoga, depending on our point of view. If we do it as an obligation, expecting something in return, it is a chore. If we do it to help our spouse and family, expecting nothing in return, then it is yoga (karma yoga). Same act, different relationship to it. In Zen they would say, "Before enlightenment, wash dishes. After enlightenment, wash dishes."

Either way, the dishes must be done. Likewise, the bills have to be paid.
So it is the same with our job. We can view it as an unpleasant chore, or as a service we are doing. It all depends on our inner condition, and the degree to which we are identified with and judging the job.


By approaching duties and responsibilities as loving service and yoga has revolutionized my role as householder, handyman, and chauffeur. It has become my tax-free salary for the most important job I will ever have.

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Purohit

India
25 Posts

Posted - Aug 16 2014 :  3:00:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
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Bodhi Tree

USA
1196 Posts

Posted - Aug 16 2014 :  5:49:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by yogani

Yes, "dharma" means our most spiritually evolutionary activity. However, it occurs to me that "what we do for a living" is not primarily what dharma is about. Rather, it is our relation to what we are doing that determines whether our means of making a living is compatible with our spiritual path or not.

Thank you for elaborating further on this crucial topic, Yogani, but I just have a question related to this issue that has been troubling me for a while.

Is bridging the gap between spirituality and career really just a matter of detachment and attitude adjustment? This seems a bit too abstract and not indicative of stillness in action. For instance, if we consider a hit man who is going around killing people for money, is it just a matter of him changing his relationship to the killing, i.e. releasing identification with the act? Is it really of minimal importance that he's earning money by killing? I'm not trying to be clever here--this really has profound implications, and I'm still figuring out how to align my own career with bhakti and serenity.

Isn't the rise of inner silence shaping the nitty-gritty details of everything, including our jobs and the economic paradigm? Doesn't the spiritual reality of divine love have to be reflected in the material reality of the world? Can we expect to see less killing, less war, and less profiteering with the rise of inner silence across the globe...and on that note, can we expect to see more artistry/craftsmanship, more harmonious technology, and more commerce that is reflective of an evolving species?

The way you spin it above sounds like it's just a matter of checking out (into the Abstract Void) without any shaping or influencing of the material realm. Thank you for your insight, as always.
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yogani

USA
4803 Posts

Posted - Aug 16 2014 :  11:17:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Bodhi:

With the rise of inner silence comes the rise of yama and niyama (moral conduct), which have their roots in stillness. So a profession that is built on doing harm to others would become increasingly painful and unattractive to one who is in it. Another way to look at it would be to consider that our sense of self gradually becomes the Self of all, and that harming others is harming ourselves. So, yes, our relationship with a harmful profession would change. It would become increasingly unattractive. The rise of inner silence is also the rise of conscience.

This is beyond the mind's constructs and judgments, and also beyond the logic of business transactions. It is simple cause and effect. If harming another becomes harming ourself, we will be less inclined to do it. We will, in fact, become more inclined to serve others.

So the rise of inner silence is not "checking out" of the reality of everyday living with its many flaws. It is just the opposite -- it is checking into reality and melting the darkness with the radiant light of pure being. Being does not act, but it influences action in unlimited evolutionary ways. We call that "stillness in action."

And, yes, no doubt the rise of inner silence on a global scale can elevate the quality of life across the earth. But it will take many more spiritual practitioners. Not everyone, but many more than we have now to dramatically increase the presence and flow of stillness in everyone. This is the task, and the opportunity. It is worth doing...

The guru is in you.

PS: This process of awakening does not remove the natural functions of competition and self-defense. It elevates them to a higher plane by reducing the darkness on all sides.

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Anima Deorum

USA
309 Posts

Posted - Aug 17 2014 :  01:24:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
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Bodhi Tree

USA
1196 Posts

Posted - Aug 17 2014 :  11:23:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Superb, Yogani! Thank you for the further elaboration. It is very helpful and inspirational.

P.S. For the record, I am not a hit man. Just an aspiring musician who has a day job helping people with organ transplants.
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pkj

USA
96 Posts

Posted - Aug 17 2014 :  5:40:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Bodhi

I was reading your post very intersting it reminded of the opening of the "Kindviolet" where she tells how things change automatically to morally better choices as Yogini says. Here is the excerpts from the discussion.

"Kundalini changed my life totally. This is the most beautiful and precious thing that have ever happened to me. K made me stop using drugs, stop smoking and drink a lot, eat junk food. K showed me new life full of meaning and love to the whole world."

Enjoy

PKJ
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Bodhi Tree

USA
1196 Posts

Posted - Aug 18 2014 :  11:09:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, I love that post by kindiviolet, PKJ. It's very inspiring and good to find people with a similar trajectory. Thank you for drawing the connection.
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Ricshastra

Spain
2 Posts

Posted - Aug 18 2014 :  6:19:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, Yogani, for your thoughts.
It's very interesting what you say in a PS, about the competition and self defense. In spiritual schools, a .lot has been said about "Ego", often not quite good things. I think is a subject rather misanderstood.
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