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More than Karma Yoga
Kay: My dear James, I was reflecting on the discussion we had while walking in the woods and want to make sure I have it right.
Kay is an object in my awareness. Awareness knows the thoughts and actions that Kay has. But Kay is really awareness. My question is (and I know I asked you but forgot the answer), when does Kay stop feeling like Kay?
Thank you for everything. You’ve had an amazing effect on my husband. He’s less angry and depressed. I wish I could send him to you for a month!
~ Much love, Kay
James: Lovely to hear from you. Short answer: when she stops thinking the thoughts and doing the actions that make her feel bad. Awareness, you, have no connection to Kay and her karma. You simply observe her thoughts and actions. Kay is awareness but awareness is not Kay, so for Kay to feel good she needs to look at her life and see what she is doing that is producing the agitation and then remove it. If you care for her properly you will help her get her life as closely aligned with you, awareness, as possible. This means you will procure more freedom for her.
I don’t know, and it is not really part of my job to say, but I suspect that the problem lies in your attachment to your husband, lifestyle, work, etc. That whole bundle demands a huge sacrifice of time and energy. For what? From what I gathered it is basically centered around financial security – pension, heath care, property, etc. Then there is the intimacy issue, which is producing conflict. When I first arrived I noticed that you two snipe at each other – which indicates unresolved emotional issues. It seems to me that the relationship is more duty-oriented than love-oriented. If that is true, basically it is a rajas problem. You want what you want but the apparent reality is not in line with what you want. Reality is lined up with the security vasana, but do you really need to be more secure in this world? If you do then you should be happy with the actions you are doing to obtain it. Chasing security is a long, hard path.
Again – this is just a guess – but I suspect that you are worn out by the samsaric life. You have been at it a long time and have worked very hard. Sometimes when I looked at you there was exhaustion and sadness in your face. You seem to manage the stress pretty well but it will not go away as long as the circumstances remain the same. See how your husband’s body is breaking down. I doubt that this will happen with you but the longer you persist in the same circumstances the more dissatisfied Kay will become. Please don’t show this to him or it will be hard for you and I to communicate, as he will think that I am sticking my nose in his business.
Karma yoga can help you manage small daily agitations but it will not remove the agitations produced by the global situation, i.e. your long term-relationship and the unexamined values operating in it. If the issue is that Kay is not feeling very free then she is going to have to do what it takes to extricate herself from the situation. This is probably not what Kay wants to hear, and as I pointed out, it is none of my business – but in a way it is because you asked and because I care about you enough to give you lifestyle suggestions. If you share this with him he will cut himself off from me and forego any help I could give. Besides, it should all come from Kay because it is her karma, not mine.
~ Much love, James