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Thursday, June 01, 2006

midwest musings #1

fresh back from a thoughtful muse by david life (cofounder of jivamukti yoga). he discussed the importance of being virtuous in our acts so that we have what patanjali, author of the yoga sutras, describes as transparent karma--doing things for no other reason than the good. he talked about focusing on what actions we take and what we're thinking when we take such actions. an example he used was donating a large sum of money to a charity to get a wing named after you. is that virtuous or self-serving?

ah, sometimes i wonder if one can ever win. you do a good act but is it really good enough? who defines "good enough?" i recall in teacher training a student asking if she would have to completely alter her lifestyle in order to become a teacher. we all nervously giggled because i knew what she was asking (can i still go out and drink/dance, etc.?). this is something we all must reflect upon when venturing into a more mindful lifestyle.

the first chapter of my upcoming book hip tranquil chick focuses on creating a personalized practice. what is virtuous or defines practice to me may be completely different than what it is to you. is either of us wrong? no, we simply have different perspectives on it all.

david made a great point when he inserted "we're all doing the best we can." i recall a friend saying this to me years ago when i was complaining about something and it has stuck with me. if you think of the rude barrista or the quick-tempered boss or the unruly 4-year-old, they are doing the best they can with what they have at that moment. keeping this in mind, coupled with a focus on being more virtuous and mindful in all you do or say will take you far, girls.

i recall the last night of teacher training referring back to this student's question. she mentioned that her lifestyle had shifted. not out of guilt, but out of growth. i encouraged the teachers-in-training to let this evolution be natural, not forced, and that by god, if they were going to continue swinging from chandeliers, to do so mindfully.

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Anonymous said...

I think it's perfectly fine to donate a large sum of money to a building and to ask to have the building named for you (or in honor of a loved one)! Let's say you are donating that $ to a hospital - you are still improving the hospital, you are still helping the sick, the end result is still wonderful... If you give $ to widen your social circle, network for your business, recognize your family, or even just to make yourself feel good, it's all great. You are performing an act that helps someone else - it's still an act of service - and from the perspective of the RECIPIENT, your motivation doesn't matter!

kimberly wilson said...

i hear you, sweets! i think his point offered a great reminder of reflection, but who really determines what is virtuous or what isn't. it's a personal perspective, and if you're out there doing good acts, kudos to you--another's definition of virtuous or not!