You can learn from good things. It requires a different skill set maybe. Today’s culture doesn’t teach us. It teaches us to solve problems. To look for issues and “fix” that.
Karma yoga isn’t just constant action. There is a practice of reflection to gain insight from ones actions. You don’t subscribe to self-recrimination in this reflection. Self is a non-factor in Karma yoga. Insight meditation. You reflect on the course of the events you were involved in, how everything happened, your own actions included, and by doing so gain insight into how any event may weigh on your heart and mind and influence your future actions.
Reflection on your personal motivations? No, just your personal actions. What exactly you did. The reason you don’t reflect on your personal motivations is they serve as a distraction from the truth. Each of your previous actions, that gave rise to any current motivation you may have, occurred because of previous actions you took which were fed by even older motivations. That’s why action gets distorted. Motivation can be taken out of the equation as a personal factor.
Since motivations are reflected in actions, focus is on action? Yes, and realization of the nature not of any specific motivations, but of motivation as an experience itself. Do you choose to get hungry? But hunger motivates you none the less. Do you choose to get sleepy? Now with further reflection, can you name a motivation you really do choose? Is there any motivation that doesn’t have an external cause?
They seem more naturally selected for me. To a degree, but people distort them leading to things like anorexia or drug addiction, things like that.
Beliefs, goals, those are self-proscribed motivations. Actually, even beliefs arise from who you perceived previous experience. Is there a good one can seek that has no external correlation? By good, I mean desirable state or outcome, not specifically object.
So all motivations are external? You inherit motivation. You experience motivation. You are not motivation.
This is why Karma yoga is not about the personal? Yes, exactly. There is a mystery behind this, why the insight might rankle at first. Every motivation is external, but your internal nature is in union with the external world. Your inner self is transcendent.
Instead of damning the sea, figure out its dynamics with the wind? Exactly. You feel like a motivation is your own because in a sense it is, but this becomes a problem when you identify yourself as a small being in a narrowly defined place and time. You like challenge because it makes you feel alive. The energy of the challenge is not separate from your own life force. You like physical intimacy because that sort of union with a partner is in fact not foreign to your nature. It’s instead fulfilling of your nature through experience of your partner, or at least can be, and the examples are endless.
Shall we veer left, or stay out of those waters? There is a narrow sample of yogis and sadhus who practice a form of Karma yoga other’s find controversial. They do not believe that adhering to proscribed codes of behaviour is sufficient to achieve liberation, but instead that one must engage both negative and positive action equally.
This doesn’t mean seeking to cause suffering. Seeking to be a cause is still antithetical to their teachings, but they embrace the consequences of and experience gained from all events, positive and negative. If one were to physically assault one of these yogis, they would be in for a rude awakening as there is even a nativer martial art practiced there as a form of self-discipline that they will not hesitate to use.
Martial arts are their own form of Karma yoga, and even though they don’t use the word in China or Japan usually, there is a recognized element of spiritual growth and character development recognized in it to the point that even the term Kung-Fu doesn’t really have a martial meaning, instead meaning human effort or human cultivation.
The correspondence between yoga mudras and other martial arts is very appropriate, to the point that there is a system practiced by the Ninja’s of Japan. Each is a physical practice that serves as a tactical memory cue.
Mudras? Representing principles of their martial art. Mudras are hand signs used in conjunction with meditation. The meditation need not even take very long, early neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).
Or traditional Indian dance, bharatanatyam, kathakali. All linked.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.