“The yogi is entitled to action only, not to the fruits of his actions.” —Bhagavad Gita
The first time I read this passage I cried. Jumping to the negative interpretation, which was my habit, I understood this to mean that no matter what I did, no matter how many right actions I performed, I would not get what I really wanted in life. So why bother? I had enough self-awareness, however, to realize that this line of thinking was not helping me. I knew I needed to reconsider. Were the scriptures really meant to frustrate and depress us? Not likely.
Around the same time I encountered this passage, I noticed that there were some pretty wonderful things developing in my life—namely, my two beautiful daughters Savana and Lily. And I remembered frequently what my guru years ago had told us students over and over. “Perform your actions skillfully, selflessly, and lovingly without attachment to the results.” He was reiterating what the Gita said. When I considered this in the context of my glorious job as a mom to two girls, it was so much easier to grasp.
Today I am at the stage of life where I feel a lot of responsibility. My girls are teenagers and my parents, elderly. Right action can be pretty challenging, and I don’t always see the results I am hoping for. But my meditation practice is stronger than it has ever been and, as a result, I am better able to recognize that I am not the drama of my life.
In the past year I have witnessed some remarkable events. My oldest daughter’s soccer team played in the finals of the Division One President’s Cup. My husband of 17 years divorced me. And my parents demonstrated large and unexpected acts of generosity. Through the ups and downs, I attempt to see all events in life as fruits—and not MY fruits. This helps be to be glad on a daily basis.