"Karma Yoga is a system which develops immunity to the reactive and negative components of an action. This awareness of action leads to a greater ability to manage mental associations in the form of desires, ambitions, ego and other personality complexes. The aim of Karma Yoga is to gain freedom from the bondage of karma which restricts and inhibits dynamic, creative and constructive expression in life... Karma Yoga is a sadhana and not a practice..."
Awareness of my actions and an attempt to understand the meaning behind them make me a better human being. I strive to do this on a daily basis, often multiple times each day. And I still screw up. I can be fearful, jealous, resentful, faithless - the list goes on. Sadhana is a term that can be found in many spiritual disciplines. It is a way of being in the world with the goal often being the sadhana itself (thankfully). Meher Baba, whose writings have been important to me, stated that:
"In the spiritual field, it is not possible to maintain an unbridgeable gulf between sadhana and the end sought through it. This gives rise to the fundamental paradox that, in the spiritual field, the practising of a sadhana in itself amounts to a partial participation in the goal... It aims at bringing about a radical change in the quality of life so that it permanently becomes an expression of the Truth in the eternal NOW..."
I like stories and I like boats. So here's a story about a boat.
Many years ago, my former husband built a small, lovely little sailboat on Virginia's Eastern Shore. Every boat he ever built was a highly functional work of art. Once he built a boat from a refrigerator box and it won a race! He was extremely good at budgeting. Anyway, this small wooden boat was passed on to someone who was desirous of it; he let it languish. More years passed until another friend with good intentions put it on a trailer, drove it across the Chesapeake Bay, and gave it a home in Richmond - where it languished once more. Time marched on, and yet another friend, also a boatbuilder, expressed his interest in a wooden boat project. He was very ill and we thought this little boat could perhaps provide a means of healing while at the same time being healed herself. So, she was once more driven across the bay and came to rest back where she started, this time on the banks of Onancock Creek. Unfortunately, Fred never got around to repairing her before he went on what his wife, Maria, described as his final voyage.
Maria, now widowed, was looking at this lost, lonely little boat idly sitting in her yard. (I realize that boats are probably not capable of loneliness, but it looked lonely. John Steinbeck was known to anthropomorphise boats, so I'm in good company here.) Suggestions were made on how best to dispose of this vessel. I couldn't use it, none of the other players were involved anymore, so it continued to sit until a new character appeared on the scene in the form of young boy. And it was springtime. And he wanted, perhaps needed, a boat.
Plans were made for him to have her along with complete access to all tools, paint, screws, glue, clamps, sandpaper and whatever else he needed from Fred's workshop if he promised to fix the boat a get her sailing. This is the result:
|Miss Maria in all her newfound glory!|
|Free at last|