I Believe in a Working God

God only works when you do. Recently, my God has been an awkward teenager working at Burger King, who knows he’d rather be outside in the sunshine but really wants that XBox. With an extra hundred in Christmas money plus a little bit of allowance from his family, he’s starting the process of saving for his future. But then he sees a beautiful cheerleader and wants to buy her tickets to a concert, or a pony or anything she wants. 

I’m here to tell you the XBox or the girlfriend are both good choices. But the working God tells you that no matter what you choose you still have to work for it – and if what you are working for is aligned with your destiny? He’ll make it harder and easier at the same time.

I’m going to list the jobs I’ve had since graduating college in 2007: stage manager, actress, temp office worker, door to door fundraiser, waitress, event staff, discount bookstore seller, hostess, usher and box office manager, yoga studio front desk employee, hostel concierge, point of sale supervisor, retail associate, barista, catering staff and film production cooordinator.

It took me until film production coordinator to find something that I really loved and even now I realize the climb in that direction is just beginning. I’m also looking for a house that will support me – a tiny home on wheels that will allow me to travel as I need to for work. In the X Box corner we have career : the thing I need to make money and the thing I want to enjoy doing. In girlfriend corner we have art: telling stories, enjoying the moment, having adventures and seeking my spiritual fulfillment daily.

In the very first pauree of Japji, there is the evocation of the working God, or Karta Purkh. This invites God to do the work for you, all you have to do is keep up. All you have to do is keep working towards one direction and let love have no opposition in your life. Let your mind be clear and your heart be full. Empty yourself of all needs to be right, have outcomes or seek. Let love in, and more love will come.

I wish you a beautiful evocation of the working God inside you. Sat Nam. 

Akal – Deathless

Today my Grandmother died.

The dying process that is quick for some became long for her. A year of being on more morphine, pills and insulin than most hospitals would administer. All pieces of this puzzle were made known to my mother, who took the role of caretaker and support for over ten years. The karma of care is something passed on so strongly from mother to daughter. Felt from infancy, giving back that unconditional support we recieved as an infant? It’s no match for what we want to do when we are adults and feel like we can do so much. But in the end, what little we can do hits us all at once and we’re lost.

I held my mother in my arms this morning and said “I am so proud of you”. Because no one could have done what she did, maintained consistency as my grandmother deteriorated, hallucinated and grew weak. No one could have been her at that moment and not broken down.

My grandmother raised two girls as a single parent. In a conservative town where divorce was considered loosely hanging skin on society, she took on the responsibility as she could. Worked at the same bank for 30 years, trained male employees to become her superiors. She was the valedictorian of a high school class of one in Oregon, a farm town where there were more sheep than people.  Getting lost on our way to the movies, reading, riding bikes down her street, and Jello with fruit. All memories I take with me.

When my mom became aware of grandma’s situation, I asked her how she could keep watch over a woman who was falling apart. Her answer was simple:

When someone refuses to give up on you, you don’t give up on them.

My mother explained that when her Dad left, Grandma didn’t stop being a Mother. She didn’t shirk responsibility when she had no support. She didn’t give up. She may have stumbled on that path, but she didn’t forget who her girls were. This past week, my mother held my grandma’s hand as she chose to stop eating, stop taking medications, and release herself from pain. To release from this earthly shell we all have to leave eventually. To become the matter of the next life, whatever that may be. It was a holding cell of the next world and we all could recieve her wishes as she passed. Painful, powerful, complete.

There is a chant that the Kundalini Yoga community recites when someone leaves this planet : Akal. It means undying, deathless. The death place where, when you are asked to go there, you can go with grace and dignity. For the past week, when my Grandmother decided that death was her choice, that it was her time to go, she left on her own terms. It’s the place where change feels like burning and everything crumbles around you but you stay still. You stay deathless, for death is your peace.

Death isn’t about giving up, it’s about letting go. It’s about being there for someone in their last hour and allowing them to let go. It’s not giving up as the letting go is painful. I will take the lessons of my mother and grandmother of that deathless place. May that deathless place give you strength when all karma is burning into dharma. May you remember those who held your hand into the deathless place. May you become deathless as death surrounds you. May you all be light when your time comes to illuminate the deathless path. Sat Nam.

Grandma

Eileen Arabella McKay. Akal.