The area around the Temple has been undergoing some major renovations. The electrical lines are being dug up to repair the lights that line the pathway. It had resulted in what can most clearly be described as a moat around a part of the temple. The assertion that bears can swim made my suggestion of putting one of these moats around the garden rather superfluous. What about a moat filled with alligators? But I digress. Since this particular repair project has to do with electricity the lights that usually flood the pathway had been turned off, the breaker flipped, while this work was going on. Subsequent nights have included extra lighting being brought in for satsang goers to find their way in the dark, but the first night of the overturned earth brought me some confusion as I tried to turn the lights on while stumbling over mounds of earth – luckily at that time the moat hadn’t yet been completed.
I can’t help but think what this project could mean for me symbolically. The Temple of Divine Light, the place I go to worship, the place that taps me into the very same place within myself. What around my sacred core is being turned up, renovated in order to shine the Light even more brightly? There’s been a sort of unevenness within me; I can relate to these mounds of earth. I’ve been projecting all sorts of expectations I think others have of me outwards. Recently I realized just how much I want to do everything, help everywhere, serve anyone. I do this to the exhaustion and expense of myself. I’m learning through my karma yoga to not act solely on the basis of what I think others need from me, but to engage with the world under the new assumption that others expect me to put my own needs first. Somehow having this realization as I jump to pull out the step ladder at the mere mention of a light being out makes me understand this concept within myself way more than internal theorizing would. Oh Karma Yoga, you slay me. Of course I *can* change a lightbulb, I could also do a whole heck of a lot of other things. Right now my tasks don’t include changing light bulbs, they include other things that are sometimes more time-sensitive than replacing a single bulb in a room with three other bright lights.
Yes, I recognize the irony of using an example of lighting in both the Temple work and my Karma Yoga. I swear I didn’t do it on purpose. Though that’s how this mystery of awareness seems to work: symbolism and metaphor intertwining and relating to one another in order for me to truly get the message. The message I’m getting is to prioritize my own work at a more elevated level than I’ve been giving it. At the Ashram we talk about doing what needs to be done. I’m realizing more and more that I have the internal authority to understand what it is that needs to be done. With shifts in the office personnel there is the unevenness I see mirrored back at me when I walk to the Temple. I’m settling into a new understanding of what evenness really means; finding it within myself and offering it back to me.
The work at the Temple is almost complete, the lines have been laid and the moat has been filled in. The Lights are just waiting to be ready to shine. I’m allowing the unevenness to gradually sink and settle into a manageable grade and know that rather than performing for the sake of someone else, the work I put in is truly my own effort; my own effort and all for the sake of the Divine.