Search & Read
Karma Yoga: The Cat’s Pajamas
Kenny: Hi, James. I’ve been writing you letters in my head every day for the past seven weeks, letters in which I would tell you about how marvelous it is to practice self-inquiry and discrimination. I’ve also realized that I’ve had an ongoing desire for you to acknowledge and validate my experiences and practice, even as I see Vedanta working myself. You’ve already acknowledged my practice, and I was thrilled when you said you liked my description of my karma yoga experiences and would be using it when you taught about karma yoga. Along with the thrill came feelings of solidity and confidence, and the inspiration to practice karma yoga as much as I can remember to, which is pretty often.
My relationship to everything has changed, as I’ve realized that awareness, the self, is the subject of everything, that I am that awareness, that the awareness/self is unchanging, limitless and non-dual, and that everything I sense, feel, think and experience is an object of that awareness. My experience of directing the business was both the same and very different, as I experienced it from the point of view of knowing who I am.
It’s obvious to me why karma yoga works… as I practice giving up the desire for the results of an action, I simply ask the question, “Will the fulfillment of this desire bring lasting satisfaction?” The answer is always no. My back-up questions are, “What are the results of the tension created by continually desiring specific results?,” and, “Am I in control of the results… ever?” I rarely have to use the back-up questions.
For the past few weeks, if I close my eyes, face my palms upward and do the mudra of making a circle with my index fingers and thumbs, I feel intense ecstasy. When I lived in the ashram, I longed to feel this kind of spiritual ecstasy, much the same as that previously longed for in drug-induced euphoria or sexual ecstasy. Now I find I don’t even care about the mudra trick and its accompanying epiphanies, and rarely do it. It feels great, but it’s just another impermanent object of awareness. What a good deal it is to know that!
I also had the experience of moving seamlessly between an epiphany and a business phone call, and feeling dispassionate about both. I was overjoyed to realize neither one affected the awareness that I am. It feels like I’m home at last.
I’m looking forward very much to seeing you in India.
~ With much affection and gratitude, Kenny