Practice and Non-attachment
As I sit here to write my post for the week, thinking about something either useful or inspirational worthy to discuss, I was just told that my son received an award for the best science project at his school. At the moment, I am jumping for joy, feeling so very happy and proud for him and myself. This joy has brought tears, not sad tears, but tears of real joy and happiness. When I was younger this was a concept I couldn’t comprehend. I would see older people crying at weddings, when a baby was born, if their child did something good and when they received good news. But now, I get it; I believe these tears are the result of when reality exceeds your expectations.
Yes, we all hope for the best, put forth our best efforts and have faith, but our expectation is many times limited compared to what we can truly achieve.
Yoga teaches us two important concepts in this regard, practice(Abhyasa) and non-attachment(Vairagya). Although these two subtle concepts refer to spiritual life, I feel they also have a practical day-to-day application.
Yoga Sutra 1.12 says ‘These mental modifications are restrained by practice and non-attachment’
Abhyasa/Practice (it’s not just your asana practice) refers to an attitude of constant effort, to attain and maintain a steady state of tranquility. In other practical words, what YOU can do towards obtaining your goal.
Vairagya/non-attachment refers to learning to let go of the attachments, aversions, fears and false identities that are clouding your true Self. In practical terms, you have to surrender the fruits of your labour, not control the results of your effort.
Both work hand in hand. Practice leads you down the right path, while non-attachment allows you to continue along that path without becoming distracted by the pains and pleasures along the way.We each have individual goals. In order to accomplish them. We are required to put forth some sort of effort. This effort may not always produce the desired result, but that doesn’t mean we should abandon that goal. We should keep striving with constant effort and determination, and have faith that we will accomplish it one day.
This reminds me of the phrase “Yoga it is not about touching your toes(or any other asana for that matter), it’s about what you learn on your way down.’