An Invitation to Explore Yourself and the Gita

January 29, 2018 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

Isaac Bentwich’s book, GITA – A Timeless Guide for our Time, is my first exposure to the Gita. I have never been a big fan of poetic verse, but I decided to go into this translated version of the Gita with an open mind. I purposefully read this book one chapter at a time so that I would have time to read, digest, and bring personal meaning to the author’s translation. As Bentwich explains to the reader, it took him 12 years to turn his translation into a poetic work of art, and I didn’t want to rush through my reading and understanding. While the creation was a loving and painstaking process for him, my reading and contemplation were a gift I was giving myself.

Bentwich gives us the invitation to “enjoy its beauty, and let its truth touch your heart, and its music stir your soul.” While I did not come away with “music” stirring my soul, I found that by reading the passages aloud, I deeply experienced this book as a conversation between a mentor and his pupil. At times I felt as though I could be voicing these teachings to some of my clients, and, at other times, I felt as though I was the pupil learning from my master.

There were many important lessons I took away from this book, and because I was slowly savoring the nectar of each chapter, I found myself trying to live out its guidance. The following lessons that continue to ring true for me include:

  • Be detached from fruits of one’s actions. Acting selflessly without desiring results cultivates wisdom.
  • Give up like and dislike thoughts
  • Return within for the Truth and freedom.
  • The real battle is to find inner peace in the face of life’s ever-enfolding drama.
  • Cleanse the mirror of your heart so that it reflects its Light freely onto others.
  • You no longer need to depend on the external world for your happiness.
  • You yourself are your only friend as well as your only foe.

And perhaps my favorite line was, “Abandon clinging to your work’s results, act always heart-united with the Divine; True Yoga is the art of maintaining in success and failure an even-mind.”

A recent bout with the flu gave me a lot of time to putter in my office, clear out old client paperwork, and think about where I am and what the future might hold for me. I found years of old journals where I have worked with a variety of teachers, and I found journals where I have done guided writing. I once thought I wanted to write a book about my spiritual journey, and here were the perfect notes for that book. But after a couple of sessions with a teacher who told me I don’t have to do anything but shine my light, and after reading Bentwich’s inspiring book, I now realize I could just let it all go. I tore the pages out of my journals, and I put them in the recycling. That has been a huge feat for me, someone who has had a need to do and create for more than 40 years. I decided that we are each here to individuate, and my story doesn’t need to be told by me or read by anyone else. It was nice to see how much I’ve learned. Those were old stories, and this is now. There is a part of me (the human form and egoic mind) that felt a bit of grasping at letting go of my journals. How could I just let it all go? But the “Dweller” (as Bentwich calls the Higher Self), has no longing for any of it. I can feel the beginning of a shifting to the life of the Dweller where I let go of things and external judgings, and I become more and more aware and at peace. I think Bentwich’s book came along at just the right time because this shift feels substantial, although I am aware it is not meant to be observed by others. I think I now understand the comment about human BEING versus human DOING. I’ll see where this leads me as I continue to savor the fruits of Bentwich’s work of art.

 

Entry filed under: Mindfulness, The Gita. Tags: , , , .

Creating an Environment of Well-Being

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