Teacher in Service
A Zen Master asked: “What is Zen?” The student looked puzzled and so the master answered his own question: “When you are hungry, eat. When you are tired, sleep.”
In Karma Yoga, or yoga of action, life is seen as a life of service. Every authentic yoga teacher, every one of our treasured l2 staff at The Yoga Studio, are Karmic Yogis. They give of service and love without clinging to the fruit of the action.
This is difficult for many in the USA to understand. Yet when we give and serve without attachment to outcome it more often than not leads to a rich return in efficiency, energy, and productivity.
When a teacher who is giving of service is able to reach that level of awareness, he or she gives from love which is sure to produce consistent and skilled results. In America, we tend to think of yoga as physical fitness. Yet in its complexity there are actually over 11 types of yoga: Yoga of science (Samkhya), action (karma), self knowledge (jnana), renunciation (Sannyasa), meditation (dhyana), comprehension (Vijnana), steady effort (Abhyasa), devotion (Bhakti), wisdom (Buddhi), and Self-Love (Atman). The intricacy becomes less so when we realize most true yogis live three philosophies which are Karma Yoga (action), Jnana Yoga (self-knowledge), and Bhakti Yoga (devotion.)
In modern times and modern language, we need not get bogged down by the “types” and the Sanskrit, in my opinion but if always and forever, if we come selflessly from the heart, it is enough. For the heart chakra is the fulcrum and is forever the most important part of any process---the fourth step. With energies below and energies above, the heart is the radar, the constant North Star, that takes us home. It takes us to love and giving and service, yogi or non-yogi.
I always remind myself and our wonderful staff at The Yoga Studio, to take care of themselves with their personal practice and enough time to rest. Giving of service from the heart has a resonance that all people feel. A long-time student of ours recently shared: “The Yoga Studio has a special gift of giving both the depth of the practice and the philosophy. Your value shows when you walk through the door.”
I write this without arrogance---to share the happiness I feel when our mission/vision is communicated: We intend to improve the quality of life with the many modalities of yoga techniques. We are here to serve.
In one of my favorite books The Spirit of Tarot the hermit (the meditator) is described: ‘In your own heart, you carry the light and love you once sought outside of yourself. Each one of us holds the power to fulfill ourselves. You must always return to yourself to accept yourself and celebrate you are beautiful (i.e. Jnana and Bhakti yoga). To trust you are worthy of love and a unique and wonderful individual, you will always remain indivisibly connected to the great stream of humanity. You sometimes may feel alone but you are never alone. Raise up your inner light and place it on a hilltop where everyone may see it as a guide, and you aid the seekers who come your way. Remember, a lamp was not made to hide under a bowl.”
This month, please join me to give of loving gratitude to Karim, Nancy M., Jill, Dr. Ashley, Susan, Tom, Steve, Kim, Megan, Kate, Nancy F, Trish and Jean. Remember to eat when you are hungry and rest when you are tired. I love you so.
Suzette Scholtes is founder and Director of Teacher’s Training at Yoga School of Therapeutics. She is author of many national columns and articles as well as published by New Leaf, Atlanta. She has earned over 8000 CEUs in her many studies worldwide. The school is a National Yoga Alliance Teacher’s Training School. The staff teaches classic yoga and related therapeutics to help each person strengthen inner resources for ongoing health, happiness, and quality of life.