You’ve got to be fricken kidding me.
I had just driven to the Xfinity store to replace my mom’s buggy modem and now I was getting bopped around customer support like a pinball.
What would end up being a lesson in karma yoga was not how I’d envisioned my Monday night.
As you can see by my response to the 3rd support agent I’d been routed to, the whole thing became very triggering.
During this ordeal, I had become unconscious and started to indulge in many of the ego’s petty appetites…
I’m going to tell you, you suck! (Sigh) Okay, glad I got that out.
After a bit more heeing and hawing, I was eventually able to reclaim my awareness.
“Oh, look whose all upset right now.” I was able to separate and come back to peace.
Reflecting on this entire experience, I thought it’d be a great example to explain Karma Yoga.✓
There are many paths spiritual seekers take to advance their consciousness. Some people live in isolation. Others uproot their lives to be in close proximity to a great teacher. And it seems like more and more people are leaving the comforts of western life to spend time with indigenous tribes!
The path of Karma yoga is one that takes the view that your response to everyday life is the teacher. That one need not displace themselves from their daily activities because they represent the richest opportunity to grow spiritually…in fact, every single moment represents an opportunity!
To claim this and embody it are really two different states.
Many spiritual aspirants might hear this idea and say “Yes, the path described in Karma yoga is my definitely path.” But the truth is they have a 20 minute meditation routine and the rest of the day they’re completely immersed in their activities, not really closely paying attention to their inward response to life. This is definitely where I was for a casual 7 years!
If you find yourself here, there’s nothing wrong at all. It probably just means that you’re still in developing your observer skills, may lack proper instruction, or really just see spiritual growth as a nice idea vs. something you’re truly devoted to. In any case, it’s all good. We all gotta start somewhere and possessing the intent is the most important thing.
To embody Karma yoga is to be keenly aware of your response to life as often as you can. It usually starts small with a meditation practice and then snowballs to eventually occupy a greater part of your day. At some point, the observer subsumes the thoughts as your natural state. For me the transition wasn’t sudden like any sort of a lightning flash experience. More a gradual realization that dawns on you…”woah, I guess this is what they’re talking about!”
Unlike most activities, the practice of Karma yoga is entirely inward. No one walking around would be able to point at a stranger and say “look at that guy over there practicing karma yoga there!”
To practice Karma yoga one must become the watcher of their thoughts and emotions (conscious) vs. thinking they are the thoughts and emotions (unconscious). As the watcher, one pays equal, if not more attention, to the thoughts and feelings that arise than the content of life itself.
So what do you do when get there?
My path has been one focused on identify the underlying patterns that are responsible for my reactions so that I can drain them of their energetic stronghold. The draining process results in immediate relief and freedom from future reactions. I will talk more about energy in future writings, but all you need to know is many thoughts, emotions, and beliefs can get stuck in your energetic body vs. flowing through.
My experience has been that as you advance in your practice of Karma yoga, an important paradigm shift occurs. You start to view life event’s as a big lesson plan and see your reactions to it all as your teacher.
All of these people and situations disturbing you represent golden opportunities to uncover what stands between you and complete liberation. What once was seen as a burden and inconvenience, is recontextualized as a gift because it represents growth.
For me, it’s made life feel like a big game in a pleasurable, smooth way. I used to view life as a game of maximizing achievement and experiences, but that game was a roller coaster that oscillated between many high and low grade emotions. Karma yoga is much more consistently enjoyable and has a much higher ceiling.✓
My faceoff with Xfinity is a perfect representation of Karma yoga. By disturbing my peace, it showed me that there were a number of belief systems and patterns that still existed. They might be things like:
- I’m running out of time – Argh, why is this taking so long, I have so much shit to do!
- Self importance – I can’t believe they’re wasting MY time with this. Where’s an assistant when you need one!
- Striving and the need to produce – I could be doing so many more high leverage things right now. This is annoying!!
Though we may think these mindsets serve us on the outside, they create a complete mess on the inside.
Why else would I be so pissed that bad internet ate up 3 hours of my night?
If I truly was at peace with life’s perfection, feeling love and unity with all things, odds are I probably would not have been disturbed by something so trivial as being diverted for 3 hours…especially if I believed the timeline of my experience (life) was infinite.
So God bless Xfinity’s incompetence!
Thank you for showing me that there are more layers to let go of. That there is more energy behind these patterns that has been stuck and needs to be released. What a gift!
I’ve found this practice and mindset shift makes life more fun. Every situation can serve you, if you chose to see it this way. It doesn’t mean that you don’t go through stuff, but everything is recontextualized as an opportunity for growth. And growth is fun.
My personal worldview is that consciousness desires to understand and expand itself to infinity. This is the driving force behind the unfolding of your subjective reality a.k.a. your perfective lesson plan. Accordingly, reality is orchestrated so that your local consciousness and the universal consciousness can both expand. This is why I interpret the things that happening in my experience to be perfect for my spiritual growth.
How do you know if this is true!?!? I don’t.
But man, it sure seems like it from the seat I’m sitting in. And, I find this to be a very exciting and enjoyable worldview. There is true awe and reverence for it all especially when you see how such perfect coordination occurs to teach you exactly what you need.
How amazing! 😎