Karma Yoga or Seva (service) invloves doing things for others. The things that qualify as Karma Yoga are not very glamorous. Today my job is to get to the theater at 8AM in the cold and close the parking lot gates and keep the local college students from filling up the lot so that the school busses have somewhere to park when they bring the kids to the 10AM show of Jungalbook. When I got here there were already 3 cars in the lot and now I have the big iron swing gates closed and am manning the gate. I am finishing my green tea from Starbucks. It warms my insides but does nothing for my feet. The sun is hidden by a pine tree. The leaves on the trees are red, orange and yellow and the english ivy I can see is dark green. I am in the shadow of a 300 year old oak and another that is at least half that age.
A car goes by and makes for the driveway and then the driver sees the gate and moves back into the road and finds a space on the street. I hop up and down. Then I start to dance Lalita Marmika and do kirtan. The video shows the traditional way.
We do this in yoga classes and at dharmachakra (meditation meeting). Instead of raised hands or prayer hands I have one hand holding the teacup and the other in my pocket for warmth. I begin chanting Baba Nam Kevalam over and over. I am focusing on the root chakra, visualizing red and chanting to a tune in a minor key. The movement feels good. I move on through the colors and Chakras. Orange for second chakra and a blues tune. The tea is done so I make a side trip to the trash to throw away the cup. I probably look like a boxer jumping rope except I have no rope. A few cars go by. I move on to the 3rd chakra and visualize yellow and start chanting to a sweeter tune, Baba Nam Kevalam. All these colors are in the leaves on the trees. The heart chakra moves my attention to the color of the english ivy and I continue chanting to the tune of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” Next is the throat chakra and I look at the blue sky and so on till I reach the crown and the white of the sunshine and an old gospel hymn.
The drivers have different styles. This guy swerved and made a beeline for a street space after seeing me. Others roll by slow and pretend not to be looking at me. One guy pulls up and says “I was just going to…” but he is wearing an NC State ball cap and does not have a back seat full of kids so I turn him away. There is more traffic now and they know that someone is guarding their favorite spot so they adjust.
I make it half way through the chakras again and am now becoming warm when the first school bus arrives. Hiya kids! Hiya, Hiya! I am feeling good. This no longer qualifies as Karma Yoga. 🙂