Published by Josh Blatter––The 32 Metronome Project | April 15, 2014
When life feels unsettled, take action now.
It has been awhile since my last article. I have had a lacking desire to sling ink. Life has been busy as it tends to be here in California and I took some bites that may take some time to swallow. But it tastes good so I will sit here awhile and savor it. I am doing a considerable amount of teaching, I moved and I am in the midst of planning a trip to India; all good things but even the good can be unsettling. In the moments when the ground is seemingly unsteady I make it a point not to fight. I don’t run uphill or swim against the current which I see many people do. I tip my hat to the universe and then sit down with her. I let her reveal to me my hand and then make my move. I am not a gambler but I can see some real value in the game of poker. You need to be elastic.
Truth be known that life requires a healthy level of adaptability. Everyday we are different – clinging, holding and grasping for something unmoving will only leave us feeling like we are drowning. Instead when we get calm and surrender we are able to be buoyant – like a buoy that floats upon the ocean’s surface. The future is futile and nothing we can do now will change it. The it is not real. That is not to say that what we do now has no relevance or impact into the future. Quite the contrary. When we live our life now, in the present, it most greatly impacts the future. But the impact is different because we are coming from a place rooted in a current experience. We are looking at the cards in our hand. We are not reacting out of fear of loss or gain. We are responding to what we need today. The Dalai Lama XIV said it best
“MAN SURPRISED ME MOST ABOUT HUMANITY. BECAUSE HE SACRIFICES HIS HEALTH IN ORDER TO MAKE MONEY. THEN HE SACRIFICES MONEY TO RECUPERATE HIS HEALTH. AND THEN HE IS SO ANXIOUS ABOUT THE FUTURE THAT HE DOES NOT ENJOY THE PRESENT; THE RESULT BEING THAT HE DOES NOT LIVE IN THE PRESENT OR THE FUTURE; HE LIVES AS IF HE IS NEVER GOING TO DIE, AND THEN DIES HAVING NEVER REALLY LIVED.”
DALAI LAMA, XIV
In the epic tale of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna speaks to Arjuna on the importance of taking right action – of listening and following. Arjuna is an expert archer who can pierce the eye of a bird from yards away. There is no one more skilled than him with the bow. In the epic battle of good versus evil Arjuna fears the thought of destroying his friends and family on the other side of the battle field. He is brought down to his knees in doubt – not because he is afraid of losing the fight but because of his anxiety about what the future will hold if he kills his kin. Krishna tells Arjuna that his duty is to fight. All that Arjuna can do is aim and fire. He can not determine whether or not the enemy will take a step to the right or left. This is such an important metaphor for life.
We cannot determine the outcome of our actions in the future but we do know what we do today has an impact. The key is that we listen and follow in each experience as it unfolds. We allow our actions to come from the heart and let go of all doubt and predetermination. Our decisions remain inviolate only when we trust ourselves and look at the cards we are dealt honestly.