Tribe Gathering: Being Useful Right Now
One of the many things I’m grateful for about yoga – and Jivamukti Yoga in particular – is just how practical it is. There is nothing particularly esoteric about the method. It’s about being an active participant in the evolution of all sentient beings.
Quite often in the ‘new age’ vernacular the term ‘personal journey’ is thrown about, as are the very priviledged and dare I say very Western questions of ‘Am I REALLY happy?’ and ‘Just what am I supposed to be doing with my life?’ Sure these questions can be valid, but perhaps if we are asking them too much we’re doing a bit too much crystal gazing and not seeing the very obvious needs of those directly in our field of vision. Like right NOW what can we do to serve?
My holy teacher David Life once said that at any given moment, if you are learning or if you are serving, you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing. I’ve since kept those words in my heart like Hanuman keeps an image of Rama and Sita.
A few years ago, the first time David-ji and Sharon-ji came to Sydney to teach together, I was helping to set up a large hall for their workshops. Myself and my other Jiva brothers and sisters had to pack away large and cumbersome tables, chairs and various ephemera which are normally of use in a town hall; then cleaning the hall and setting up the altar. It was exhausting work. And yet here was Jiva gem, Kireleigh smiling from ear to ear with a genuine satisfied glow on her face. ‘Don’t you just love this?’ she said. ‘Here I am spending my spare time stacking tables and chairs and I could NOT be happier!’
With that, the rest of the evening seemed to transpire without any effort at all.
Fast forward three years later at 2013 Jivamukti Tribe Gathering, New York City. Mimi Chen, fellow power Asian SLASH Advanced Certified Jivamukti Teacher got me a gig dishing out Jivamuktea Cafe’s famous vegan comfort food to all the hungry punters (serving). Because of the timing, I was not able to attend the workshops hosted by Julia Butterfly Hill and Lady Ruth (learning) but if you saw the look on my face you would have seen that I was pretty damn happy. And whether or not I was teaching, sitting in on the Advanced Board Exams, stacking chairs, serving food or singing kirtan, at that exact moment in my life (atta) I was of service to my tribe (yoga) and even in the smallest way (anu) I did what naturally needed to be done (anusasanam) with perhaps just a little bit of discipline.

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