The Bhagavad Gita
“On this path effort never goes to waste,
and there is no failure.
Even a little effort toward Spiritual Awareness
will protect you from the greatest fear.” (2:40).
As part of my Yoga Teacher Training certification, we were to read The Bhagavad Gita and digest all the nourishment it provides.
This is my experience of the Gita:
The Gita to me encompasses so much depth and insight to what it is we are doing here and how we can create goodness and light through every experience we encounter. No matter how beautiful, no matter how devastating, we have an innate power within us to take our experiences, our failures, our successes, our tragedies, our entire human experience, and make some goodness from it – and all we need it ourselves.
We all have a war that rages within us – but the question we need to ask ourselves is: do we let the war take over us or do we find the calm in every storm?
The Gita opened my eyes, mind, and heart to lessons I have been learning through my storms. I felt like each and every chapter held a pivotal learning point – an “ah-ha” moment – every time I turned the page and really thought about the lessons being brought to light in this scripture.
The first key lesson for me is the lesson of the self and The Self. I have been waking up internally with this concept since the loss of my parents and I have to say, I genuinely do believe we are here as spirits (Self) and we are here to have a human experience (self). The body is a vessel, and just like the Gita states, we move from vessel to vessel, like taking one jacket off and putting another jacket on, and use that vessel to learn lessons all about our highest Self. As we learn lessons we become better at understanding what it is we really are doing here and what really is important in life.
Before going through a giant loss and transformation myself, I probably would never have thought about this concept before (self VS Self), but knowing that this is just an opportunity to learn and grow and put good and light into the world as our Highest Self, I have been able to detach slowly from grief and all that I have lost. The only disappoint I have encountered is wishing I knew then what I know now…
Another valuable lesson found in the Gita: Detachment. We must detach from all that we think it “should be like” and the “things” we have – in order to discover what is really at the core of our existence. Attachment to anything in this life is only temporary – and if we do not find peace with that lesson, it can cause us pain and confusion when we lose something we love or don’t get what we want. Detachment from our outside world – all the material possessions, the people and relationships, and the “past” and memories – give us a more clearly and concise view of who we are as our Highest Self. I am me – and all I have is me and my experience. The Gita reminded me that even though things may come and go, as long as I am at peace in my life and detached from the drama, pain, and confusion that can be environmentally present, it is and I will be OK.
Detachment is truly a hard lesson to learn – and I am still taking it on baby step by baby step at a time. I had to detach from having parents – accepting that I am now an orphan in many ways – I had to detach from having a “home” and all the comfort that is attached with being able to come home and all the “stuff” that makes up my memories and my past – and I had to detach from a life I thought was really going to happen – because all we really have is right here – right now.
I now know I could never live to my full potential if I hadn’t lost so much. By losing it all, I have gained so much. The Gita helped remind me of these lessons and I can only hope I can share these lessons with those who join me in my practice – on and off the mat.
“If a person establishes an ever-present awareness of the core of divinity within himself, how does it affect the way he lives?” (Chapter 2 Intro).
I have been able to find a small piece of my divine self and every single day I work on strengthening that relationship so I can honor who I am and I can hear what it is I need to do. Yoga has helped me tune in and develop this relationship and awakening. Yoga has given me time to be still, to breath, and to move my body with my breath, creating energy to release all that no longer serves me and to create more space for healing, wisdom, and peace. There is nothing I want more than to refine my skill and sink into all that it has to give and share with me. I then want to share that wisdom and experience with others – so they can have their own awakening and can experience their full potential as amazing, beautiful, persistence beings and Self’s.
What I have been working towards is not a selfish endeavor, I would give away all I could to those who need it most, but the Gita reminded me that I must first give to myself so I can share that love and light with others. I must experience healing and transformation solely before I can lend a hand to any other person in need. The Gita reminded me that it’s okay to be patient and to take your time, and as long as I am doing good work – detached from selfish outcomes – all will be well.
I could probably go on for days about this lesson because I have experience it and have been living with it – especially these past 2-3 years. Ever since I decided to take my pain and transform it into progress and peace (one small sliver at a time), things have had a way of working themselves out for me. Ever since I told the Divine that they are in control and I accept their help and am following their lead, they have led me down a path that I never thought I would ever be on – but I am so thankful I am here and they remind me every day that I am not alone.
I now have an internal understanding that it is my dharma to do good work, healing work, and my path has led me to this moment. I am humbled and excited to continue on this path and learn more, grow more, and heal more – individually and through the community I have been blessed to know and have in my life. I am devoted – I am persistence – and I am literally going with the flow with an open heart. Curious and excited every day as to what I may experience and what lesson I can learn in the process.
I am learning to forgive myself for past mistakes and learning to see myself through loving, compassionate eyes. There is a piece of the divine in each and every living thing – which includes ourselves – and I choose to see the goodness in each and every situation instead of letting the darkness or fear consume the light. This takes practice – each and every single day! And every time I am encountered with a difficult situation, I have to remind myself: this too shall pass AND what can I learn from this? How can I grow from this? Yoga, along with meditation, has given me the skill set necessary to face these daunting tasks and continue to refine my skills every time I make it to my mat. As a teacher, I am able to share my experience in order to give others the courage to approach their experiences from a loving, compassionate, and curious perspective.
I truly believe The Gita is a timeless scripture than can help wake us all up and keep us on the path of divine peace, guidance, and strength. Through practicing the scripture and applying the lessons in our life, we can transform our lives into meaningful experiences filled with love and light. We can take the toxic and create something meaningful from it. By detaching – by practicing self-love and self-care – by seeing the Divine in each and every living thing – and by forgiving ourselves and loving ourselves – we can heal and we can create hope!
That is all I want and can hope to do: Live an authentic life filled with light – so much light it creates a culture/community that wants to wake up as well – and together, we can continue our momentum, one positive thought, action, breath, and deed at a time – on and off the mat.
If you would like to borrow this book, let me know!
A challenging, yet rewarding read that can bring light and wisdom to any experience along our path.
Stay strong & Be Brave, Warriors!
Light + Love,