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 Bhakti and Karma Yoga
 How can I choose my "job"?
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inescapable.kiss

USA
8 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2016 :  02:06:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
I have been reading Swami Sivananda's book on Karma Yoga and it has helped give me some direction yet I still feel debilitated in choosing how to spend my time professionally.

From my understanding, one's work should be in alignment with yamas and niyamas; rooted in virtuous, God-loving qualities. This makes sense to me, I appreciate it, and I want this. Using this as a metaphysical (for lack of a better term) platform upon which I can choose a line of work, I am still confused if I should follow my interests or not. Rumi says, 'Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.' Well, I'm definitely feeling hundreds of ways without being able to choose a single one.

For instance, I have always been fascinated with the human body. Kinesiology has been a discipline I have been studying for some time. This way I can help people physically heal. I feel spiritually rewarded by knowing I am helping facilitate the process of healing.

Do you sense any sort of passion in my words, or egoic attachment? Please do tell! I feel like there is a hidden passion (attachment to the fruit of the process, i.e. helping people heal) but I cannot put my finger on it. Then I began wondering if I should choose another professional path because this current one is something I have doubts about. And before I know it everything spirals into something where I will "overthink" the most menial tasks required for my survival; I have to begin justifying things to a deeply intellectual level to decide to do it. It's very debilitating.

I hope I am making some sense. I am currently frustrated as I type this post.



Charliedog

1583 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2016 :  03:04:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi inescapable kiss,

quote:
Do you sense any sort of passion in my words, or egoic attachment? Please do tell! I feel like there is a hidden passion (attachment to the fruit of the process, i.e. helping people heal) but I cannot put my finger on it.


What I read in your words is that you have a lot of Bhakti to 'do what you love and to love what you do'. I do not see ego attachment. What I do see is a little bit overthinking but that is a natural human habit.

There are many ways, and if you have interest in human body, this could be the path for you. Interest and fascination is the fuel to walk the line. You know sometimes we start somewhere and along the path we choose a different direction, we don't have to plan our life.

Taking one step at a time and see how it unfolds is what works in my opinion.

Wishing you the best,

PS One of my teachers said 'if you don't know which way to go', see first if you know 'which way you don't want to go'

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inescapable.kiss

USA
8 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2016 :  05:03:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Charliedog,

Somehow your words are very warm and reassuring to me; like someone massaged my mind. I wish I could do that for people. I think you are right. I am the "thinker" type; I can devise too many grand theories and too little action behind them. PY suggests these people should do more work, or as you said bhakti, yes. What a beautiful thing your teacher said. I will give thought to that (although, not too much!) Thank you =) Peace and blessings
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Charliedog

1583 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2016 :  10:34:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you! Do you have a daily meditation practice?


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sunyata

USA
1411 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2016 :  11:23:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi inescapable.kiss,

Years ago, before kids- my work was my Bhakti. I worked a high stress job- constant phone calls, emails, skipping lunches and all that jazz.

Everything has changed since then. I've had this calling to serve for few years now. But at the same time,raising kids- financial stability is really important to me as well.

I'm self employed now- so recently I let go of some of the projects in order to volunteer. Yes, it did affect my check but the joy I receive from volunteering is priceless.

As Charliedog said one step at a time and that's what I'm doing too. Follow your heart and doors will start opening when you want to serve for the benefit of all.

All the best!

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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1526 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2016 :  4:54:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi inescapable.kiss

quote:
Originally posted by inescapable.kiss
Do you sense any sort of passion in my words, or egoic attachment? Please do tell! I feel like there is a hidden passion (attachment to the fruit of the process, i.e. helping people heal) but I cannot put my finger on it. Then I began wondering if I should choose another professional path because this current one is something I have doubts about.
Going beyond attachment i.e. letting go into silence is a precious fruit of yoga. Since you are on this forum, I guess you are practising towards it, which is a wonderful thing. Think of that whenever you are tempted to beat yourself up for not being there yet. You are on your way there - that is what matters.

How attached you are (or not) to the fruits of your work are not a function of your job. It depends on where you are on your spiritual path.

If possible, choose something you love doing. An activity you enjoy not for the sake of the outcome, but for the shear joy of doing it. If you can be one with your work, to the extent that you forget to even think about its results, that is happiness. If you don't know what sort of work that might be, don't worry. Your progress in yoga will bring you closer and closer to that way of being/working.
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inescapable.kiss

USA
8 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2016 :  5:05:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Charliedog

Thank you! Do you have a daily meditation practice?






Yes I do. I wake up at 4am virtually every morning and practice Kriya Yoga as outlined by Sri Mukherjee. He is (edit) Sri Mahasaya's grand-grand-discipline. http://originalkriya.com/ I am travelling to India next year for initiation. Of all the Kriya "masters" I talked to, even the blood relative of Sri Mahasaya, I did not feel as connected to them as I did with Sri Mukherjee. I feel his humbleness and love. I am so excited to meet him.




Edited by - inescapable.kiss on Dec 08 2016 6:06:01 PM
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inescapable.kiss

USA
8 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2016 :  5:08:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by sunyata

Hi inescapable.kiss,

Years ago, before kids- my work was my Bhakti. I worked a high stress job- constant phone calls, emails, skipping lunches and all that jazz.

Everything has changed since then. I've had this calling to serve for few years now. But at the same time,raising kids- financial stability is really important to me as well.

I'm self employed now- so recently I let go of some of the projects in order to volunteer. Yes, it did affect my check but the joy I receive from volunteering is priceless.

As Charliedog said one step at a time and that's what I'm doing too. Follow your heart and doors will start opening when you want to serve for the benefit of all.

All the best!





Your words are very soothing to me. I feel like by reading about your experience I can also manage the find what wants to be unleashed from deep inside me. Yes you both are so correct when you say one step at a time. I typically plan things out completely before feeling comfortable doing it (except when I race motorcycles, I'm very much "in the moment"!)

May I ask what sort of volunteering you do?
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inescapable.kiss

USA
8 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2016 :  5:26:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by BlueRaincoat

Hi inescapable.kiss

Going beyond attachment i.e. letting go into silence is a precious fruit of yoga...



Hi BlueRaincoat,

Thank you for your input. I like your ideas and it has made me want to ask some questions if I may:

"If possible, choose something you love doing. An activity you enjoy not for the sake of the outcome, but for the shear joy of doing it."

Here is something I am specifically beating myself up over (which btw, you are so right when you say I shouldn't beat myself up. Truly, what valuable purpose has that ever served me?) While I definitely feel connected to the medical/health world, admittedly, I enjoy working on motorcycles, producing music, travelling, writing much more. However, after reading Swami Sivananda's book on Karma Yoga, I thought to myself: If I were to continue working on race bikes, is this the *best* way I can exercise my capacity as a human to help humanity?

My assumption here is that the best way for me to reach liberation is by helping the sick, the poor, the mentally destitute, etc. With this belief I hold, I have difficulties justifying doing other things I love such as working on bikes or travelling with my camera. While I definitely see how one being in their "zone" promotes and upliftings other people to be in whatever their "zone" is, I don't see how it is more helpful to humanity. Perhaps it is! I surely am blind to it if this is the case.

So anyways, with the aforementioned belief as the filtering mechanism through which I choose my path, I feel like I am being selfish and am considering my own joy only, not the joy of others. But am I missing something here? I really feel like I am blind to something. I just don't want to feed something that will strengthen a part of me that I would later have to deal with in life.

"If you can be one with your work, to the extent that you forget to even think about its results, that is happiness. If you don't know what sort of work that might be, don't worry. Your progress in yoga will bring you closer and closer to that way of being/working." - This made me smile. You are all so full of wisdom. This is so true for me...I want this. Sometimes I wonder if I am thinking too much, or too little. Then that wondering itself becomes a chore. Oh what am I doing...
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Bodhi Tree

2972 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2016 :  9:33:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Have you seen Tron Legacy? There's some bad-ass motorcycle action in that film. I love the soundtrack too. Daft Punk at their best.

The best way to reach liberation is to amplify the ecstatic bliss in all directions and to glide through life like a dance, which can include racing bikes and serving people simultaneously.

I just completed massage therapy school. If you had told me ten years ago that I would be delving into this field, I would have said: No way. But, you know how it goes...the trail is winding and sometimes unpredictable in its exactness.

I would be very careful about your assumption that you must seek out the sick, the poor, the mentally destitute, and so forth. That just sounds like you're projecting a clichéd version of altruism, which is understandable. I work with recovering addicts, but that's only because I am one myself. I'm not on a martyr campaign or mission to save people. I just share what's worked for me in the spirit of open-source knowledge transmissions. When I've tried to save people, I've got burned every...single...time. Much better to blaze ahead and leave a trail for anyone who wants to follow.

In AYP, karma yoga is advocated not as some mission to be selfless and full of pain because you're carrying a cross on your back. It's more natural and organic, and not so medieval. However, if you naturally have a skill set to offer to the destitute and those who are suffering dramatically, by all means, go for it. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with serving the average population on a professional level.

Everything in life is done selfishly, because everything is Self. Serving others is serving yourself. Joy is the best barometer to gauge progress, as well as palpable feelings of stillness in action. Therefore, I say, race on. Just keep being genuine and true to your nature. (Maybe you can teach some underprivileged kids how to race, since you're trying to be all Mother Teresa-like. )

P.S. I was in L.A. not too long ago visiting an AYP friend. He was in the Venice Beach area. We went to the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple and meditated in a quiet little chapel. It was lovely.
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lalow33

USA
964 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2016 :  9:46:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
If I were you, I'd just ask your question, let it go and wait for your answer. You'll be pointed in the right direction.
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Bodhi Tree

2972 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2016 :  10:12:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
P.S.S. Be careful about taking a stance of anti-attachment. It sounds all deep and spiritual to say you're letting go of attachment to all results, but on a functional and practical level, it's a very different story. Results are important. Being vigilant about the cause and effect of our actions is necessary and vital along the path.

If I was massaging someone, and they shrieked out in pain, and I responded with: "Sorry, dear client, I've let go of attachment to all outcomes, so your outcome is irrelevant to me," do you see how whacked out that would be?

I practice AYP for the results. If I'm not getting good results, why would I bother? Blind faith? Placebo effect? No thank you.

Fortunately, samyama is working. It's not always crystal clear, but it is verifiable. The results might not be exactly what I envision, but the essence is congruent with my sense of conscience, duty, and devotion to a higher ideal. So, I keep touching the sutras in stillness, and cultivating the stillness through meditation. Magic.
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inescapable.kiss

USA
8 Posts

Posted - Dec 08 2016 :  11:02:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Bodhi Tree,

Lol! Yes I have seen Tron =) They used a Ducati at the opening scene which is the same manufacturer of my bike. Naturally, I had no choice but to fall in love with the movie. Here is my bike: http://i.imgur.com/GClySTN.jpg http://i.imgur.com/3C2qn90.jpg

Oh yes that temple, as I have heard, is very peaceful. I would like to go someday. I frequent the one in Fullerton, which is about 45 minutes south-east from the one you visited. Hey if you're every around here and you wanna hang out do tell. I think it would be fun to meet a fellow AYP'r =) Astral project and stuff together (just kidding, I am unable to do that yet, although I think it would be fun...I think )

I feel like you bring up some great points, especially about my dualistic way of viewing the "ultimate good done through my hands", i.e. helping the poor physically heal, etc. I don't like that I have this belief but I feel useless without a conceptual orientation that is specific enough for me. And yes I totally agree about the reality of being selfish; I suppose what I actually wanted to say is the ego-self, the false type of selfishness.

I really like how you said you're sharing something that has worked for you. I feel like you have healthy balance of exercising spirituality and maintaining a discriminating intellect in the professional path you have chosen; you sound very unattached and happy-go-lucky to me when you speak of both matters.

Maybe what I can do differently now is asking myself at least what I don't want, what truly makes me come alive/"in the zone/element/moment", take one step at at time, stop beating myself up if I don't have "all the answers", and most definitely continue on the Kriya Yoga path.
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Bodhi Tree

2972 Posts

Posted - Dec 09 2016 :  01:14:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice bike! I bet that's exhilarating to ride.

Here's a great lesson on directing emotional energy to one's chosen ideal:
http://www.aypsite.org/340.html

The ego-self is not portrayed as an adversary in AYP. Nor is the mind. The ego and mind are vehicles of enlightenment. No need to shoot the innocent messengers. We just illuminate them.

I surely will drop you a line if I'm in California, which may indeed happen sometime next year. Feel free to let me know if you're in Florida or the South.

I like your imperative to stay "in the zone". Being in the zone is optimal for enlightenment. In fact, what else is needed? All these practices and principles are merely aligning our nervous system so that we can be in the zone, perpetually. Simple enough. I'll take the trip.

Godspeed, Son of Flynn.
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Charliedog

1583 Posts

Posted - Dec 09 2016 :  03:05:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Beautiful replies, I've enjoyed reading them

When you take one step in the direction you love, have faith that the universe helps to accomplish
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joseph

117 Posts

Posted - Dec 09 2016 :  7:31:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by sunyata

I'm self employed now- so recently I let go of some of the projects in order to volunteer. Yes, it did affect my check but the joy I receive from volunteering is priceless.

As Charliedog said one step at a time and that's what I'm doing too. Follow your heart and doors will start opening when you want to serve for the benefit of all.





Great stuff. I really believe in volunteering too. It is the future. Everyone working together. No silly pressures coming from above and stressing people out. People looking out for one another. And enjoying their work (but sharing equally in the jobs that aren't very fun - many hands make light work!)

I enjoy volunteering and hope one day all jobs will be like that and no job will performed 'involuntarily'.

Freedom. Unity. Cohesion.
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sunyata

USA
1411 Posts

Posted - Dec 09 2016 :  8:46:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice,Joseph. We share the same vision. That would be such a beautiful world to live in.

It looks like we are giving but we are receiving tenfold.
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jusmail

India
482 Posts

Posted - Dec 09 2016 :  10:45:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
In the words of Buddha: Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the
aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime
in your life, you will have been all of these.
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BlueRaincoat

United Kingdom
1526 Posts

Posted - Dec 10 2016 :  04:10:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by inescapable.kiss
If I were to continue working on race bikes, is this the *best* way I can exercise my capacity as a human to help humanity?
Why not? Bikes are useful things. If making a contribution to bikes and technology in general is something you have talent and passion for, then you can make a valuable contribution to society in that way.

We all admire Mother Teresa. We should also remember her achievements would not have been possible without the funds she raised from the for-profit sector. The charity sector relies on wealth generated by business. Not only that, but a strong economy gives people jobs and puts food on our table. Some of us are closer to where resources are spent looking after the needy, but society would not work if all of us were employed in those kind of jobs.

We should all go and do things we enjoy and are passionate about. Of course we draw a line at activities that are destructive and harmful (I wouldn't want to work in the tobacco industry, gambling or with Mafia for example). Short of that however, there are plenty of ways to contribute to the well-being of others. My two cents

quote:
Originally posted by Bodhi Tree
Results are important. Being vigilant about the cause and effect of our actions is necessary and vital along the path.
Absolutely. Ends matter and we need to stay attuned to signals that indicate weather we are on the right track or not. That should not stop us being one with our work.
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laakshi

India
2 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2020 :  3:19:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Looks like somebody has already planned a great world to live in. Count me in.
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