Sail_boats_5001.jpgLast night I took a yoga class at Jivamukti, a studio in New York that was greatly influenced by the recently departed Sri K. Patthabi Jois. Our teacher talked about how Jois did yoga every day until he died at the age of 94 on Monday. He taught the same class for 64 years and never, said the teacher, “got bored of yoga.” He added that it was Jois’s dedication to maintaining his own practice that made people want to follow him. “You can all be a Pattabhi Jois,” he said. Meaning, we can all dedicate ourselves to something so passionately and purposefully that we will affect the lives of millions.

It got me thinking about purpose (again): What is my yoga? What is my bit of passion that I could use to start a slow burn that would cause millions of people around the world to mourn my death with the equivalent of pujas, fire ceremonies, and round-the-clock chanting?

Last summer a friend asked what I would do if I had one year to live. I was totally shocked by the first answer that came burbling out of my brain: “I’d give darshan,” I said. In sanskrit, “darshan” means teaching, and it traditionally can look like a teacher on an elevated platform talking, free-form, about how to live. The teacher often answers questions and spends time with people, usually helping them know what they already know.

I’ve got some learnin’ to do before I teach anyone else about living. But it’s been a helpful directional reminder. If that–imparting loving nudges for people to remember their true nature and the nature of the universe–is my goal, then I can align my sail to those winds, start doing things that might take me there. Not that it’s easy. Or a clear course at all. But it’s a start.

What about you? Do you know what you’re here to do? Or is that the problem?

[Image via: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sail_boats_5001.jpg

   

 

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