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Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Be intent on action
not on the fruits of action;
avoid attraction to the fruits
and attachment to inaction!
    Bhagavad-Gita 2:47

I just finished two classes at the Servant Leadership School of Church of the Savior here in Washington, DC. One class was on bringing God into tough conversations and the other a study of the the Hindu sacred text the Bhagavad-Gita.

On the final evening of classes two learnings, one from each class, converged in a way that spoke to me.  In the tough conversations class we learned that one of the seats of anger and resentment in our discourses with one another is our inability to let go of the things we can't control, meaning just about everything except our own thoughts, emotions, and actions.  The other learning is reflected in the above quote from the Bhagavad-Gita, one of many references in the text to relinquishing attachment to the outcome of our desires and actions.  In another place in the text we are told: 

A person who relinquishes attachment
and dedicates actions to the infinite spirit
is not stunned by evil,
like a lotus leaf unstained by water.

Relinquishing attachment,
people of discipline perform action
with body, mind, understanding, and senses
for the purification of the self.
    Bhagavad-Gita  5:10,11

What would happen in the conversations, discourses, and relationships of our lives if we practiced this art of detaching our actions from their results in ways that give those around us the dignity of their own perspectives and us the freedom from the frustration and stress of trying to control things we can't control?

Of course, this makes me remember what Jesus says about letting go of things we can't control, and I'm reminded of his words from the Sermon on the Mount.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? … can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? … strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.   So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today."
    Matthew 6:25-34

I use to scoff at the simplicity of that bumper sticker slogans:  "Let God and Let God" However I'm beginning to appreciate the depth and breath of its wisdom.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed being in the Bhagavad-Gita class with you Andy! I'd say more, but I'm too detached to think of anything...