When I was 8-years-old, my mother reprimanded me for harming a bee.
I had the bee on the windowsill with a pin through the body to hold it down.
Of course, I thought differently back then and as a curious boy, wanted to sting the bee before it stung me. Throughout the years I often thought about that day.
I never remembered it with any deep feeling. It was just simply something that would pass through my mind.
Ten years later I had a dream that there was a line of fire coming from several blocks away and connecting to the same spot on that windowsill where I had the bee.
I saw no connection and awoke unmoved.
About a week later, to my amazement, I was trapped in a fire on the third floor of our apartment building and had to jump from that same exact spot on the window where I had the bee pinned down.
There was no moment of decision, I was simply ruled by the instinct of survival. I endured a fractured wrist, broken ribs and an extended hospital stay. That morning at the hospital they began to reset my wrist and injected these excruciating painful needles and pins into my wrist and pins to hold the bone together.
It was at that moment that I understood the plight of that simple creature that I explored with pins and such curiosity as a young boy.
In my life I’ve experienced numerous full-circle lessons that have reminded me, and encouraged me, to be steadfast in my commitment to planting seeds in life that will blossom into healthy, meaningful outcomes.
As a yoga practitioner I am reflective in remembering that the most important practice requires us to get off of the mat and serve others with no expectation, guided by the present-moment joy that comes from living a purposeful life.
People practice yoga for many different reasons, but the universal experience associated with its practice is an opening of energy channels and for some, maybe even a glimpse of self realization.
The actions that we take to help others, help us to self-actualize as we learn to recognize our sameness and the interconnected experience that living on earth provides.
In the active practice of yoga, self awareness and connectedness are at the core of experience. In Karma yoga, our actions are not connected to an emotional response: the action is of value simply for the action.
Karma yoga can include selfless activities such as helping others and actions that better the world, while the performer is detached from outcome. Imagine a world in which this chiseling of the mind advanced mankind.
We can learn our lessons through pins and needles—through bee stings and scraped knees—and while these may be the rights of passage that childhood affords, we can also learn from purposeful service, an act that requires no aloe vera or band aids.
When practicing Karma yoga, there is no such thing as wasted energy, because every action has a reaction and actions of service produce more goodness and more kindness—principles that honor the divine light in everyone.
“For when the One Great Scorer comes,
To mark against your name,
He writes not that you won or lost,
But how you played the Game.”
~ Grantland Rice
Author: Jairo Sanin
Editor: Renee Jahnke
Image: Kiwi NZ-Flickr