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Washing God’s Dishes
Cathy: Hi, Ram. I have just been listening to your Karma Yoga DVD again. There is one thing I don’t quite understand though. When you say “offer your actions to God,” what do you actually mean by that? Could you give me some examples?
Ram: It means that when you do anything you should have an attitude of worship and service. You think that you are doing it as a purification so that you can know and appreciate God, i.e. the self, better. So when you are about to wash the dishes you think, “I am washing your dishes, God, because it washes my mind so you will shine there more brightly. I love you and you should not have dirty dishes to eat off, so I am making them very clean because you deserve it because you have given me everything.” When you talk with someone, you should think you are talking to God. You should see that there is love in your voice and that your attitude shows respect. When you make love with John you should see it as a worship of the God in John and make sure he feels your love. At the beginning of every activity you should dedicate it to God. If you do this you will not do self-insulting actions, because you would not do selfish, stupid things to or for God. So it makes you aware of your motivations. It keeps you from acting unconsciously.
Cathy: Yes, thank you Ram, it certainly does keep one from acting unconsciously. It’s interesting that as I was practising today, I saw my motivations and how this karma yoga attitude pulled me up. I will keep practising. One question though. You say when that “when I talk to someone, I should think I am talking with God.” Okay, but what about when they piss you off? What would be a helpful way to see them? I say to myself, “It’s just vasanas here,” is this right?
Ram: Yes. But it is important to understand that the person would not be a jerk if he or she could help it. Think of your own experience. You do and say things that do not put you in the God category. So this will give you compassion.
Cathy: John says (at least I think he says) that you are just to see you are agitated and put your attention on the feeling of “I,” and you don’t necessarily have to label it. Can you clarify for me please, Ram?
Ram: He’s right because the “I” is free of conflict.