The practice of Karma Yoga

I am blessed to run in a circle with those who practice karma yoga, the path of selfless action and selfless service, on a daily basis.  A close friend, A., in Seattle plants trees regularly.  Cousin K. engages in front yard farming as a means of sustainable living.  The moms and dads in my life make extra efforts to be engaged in their school communities.  My colleagues at ESS work around the clock to make sure kids are safely supported by their birth or foster families.  Among our fundraising staff, the newest additions are three recent college graduates who have chosen to do their domestic peace corps assignments through one year's service with ESS before embarking on their careers.  These everyday examples of karma yoga do not go unnoticed.

As another 9/11 annivesary passed this weekend, I couldn't help but reflect on the importance of community -- beyond our immediate families whether it's as a town, nation or heritage.  A. has frequently challenged my understanding of "community" and the exhilirating feelings that move communities.  In fact, he is stunned by the genuine friendliness at a smaller church we've been visiting, where folks get out of their pews and go up to each other individually as well as across aisles to wish each other peace . . . a simple act of karma yoga. 

A.'s coming around though as he gears up for the 2010 Heart Walk in Long Branch on October 3.  He's been super concerned about whether or not he'll be able to last a 5K walk.  No doubt he will!  It'll be our third health awareness event that we've participated in since May, and each has had significant meaning in our lives.  We supported our physical therapist friend who specializes in hemophilia.  In June, we honored Dad's memory by doing the Run for Dad and raised funds for prostate cancer research.  And in just three weeks, we'll celebrate A.'s 4th healthy heart anniversary as we stand up and walk for healthier hearts. 

Karma yoga doesn't have to be back bendingly strenuous.  It can be fun, especially when we're practicing alongside friends and family and even those we don't know.

Thank you, Great Spirit, for the blessing of community -- being with those we don't know but with whom we might share a familiar experience.  Teach us grace, so that we might live a more charmed existence.  Help us to go beyond our comfort zones so that we might learn the value of true fellowship.