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service heal wounds

I’ve been trying to think of a way to air out my brain after the past few weeks. There has been so much that I have learned and still need to absorb from my last trip to Lois in Champaign Urbana, such a joyful and liberating experience of how we as teachers can truly be of service to each other and our students, but the background to that experience has to be some of the most brutal and awful public discourse I have ever seen in my lifetime. Both sides of the Atlantic are giving me cause for grief. But surely the women of these United States are seeing one crushing blow after another. And then there are allegations about senior teachers in our system. I’m not going to say anything about them other than IYNAUS has dealt with the immediate issue and has put changes in the organization in the works. I’m happy with what they have decided, mostly.

Arjunas Questions Answered

The battle at Kurukshetra is the setting in which Arjuna received wisdom from Krishna on the fundamental questions of life. For whatever reason the story has been calling on me these past few weeks, asking me tro review the texts again. Maybe because of internal conflict I haven’t put my finger on, questions I have about teaching, my own teaching and how we receive teaching from others. It’s been a troubling time all round and as a being in this time, where those who should be looked up to are falling so short, these texts are shouting at me from the bookcase. I have 3 versions (yes three) of the Gita. Getting like my Dad who is incidentally 10years gone from the planet as of this month, October 2018. I’m glad he cannot see where we are, it would fill him with sadness and rage. He was prone to both as much as he was quick to laugh.

So I opened up Eknath Easwarans version and it fell open at chapter 3 “Selfless Service”. I’ve read the whole chapter again and these few verses stick out;

III:10: At the beginning, mankind & the obligation of selfless service were created together. “ Through selfless service you will always be fruitful and find the fulfillment of your desires” : this is the promise of the Creator

This makes me think of Lois. I feel this when she runs these epic weeks of learning and asana practice. Practical, intellectual, yoga in action in every way & accessible without pretense.

III:13 The spiritual minded, who eat in the spirit of service, are freed from all their sins; but the selfish, who prepare food for their own satisfaction, eat sin.
III:16 All life turns on this law, O Arjuna. Those who violate it, indulging the senses of their own pleasure and ignoring the needs of others, have wasted their life.

This feels like everywhere outside of my practice, home & study. I have felt all these things personally in the past week alone. I’m reminded that we are all experiencing these times and those that are attached are suffering. At the moments where I’m unattached, I’m freed. And I’m grateful for the reminder.

Three versions in the Library at Iyengar Yoga St Pete

Looking forward to delving into these some time in our Monthly Philosophy class.

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