To those practicing with me and anyone interested in a way to help reduce and ease accumulating tension in your life, in whatever way you prefer, a little recommended summer reading: BHAGAVAD GITA, a new translation by Stephen Mitchell. There are lots of translations - Mitchell’s is a more simple translation.
Written as a didactic poem (moral instruction) the Gita is a 5,000 year old text from ancient India. Gita, means song and Bhagavad, God, or Song of God. Through study and right action it can lead to less tension in one’s life by teaching you two things:
1. The right and unbiased perspective of observing + knowing your own self as well as the entire creation. 2. To handle that knowledge acquired through such observation.
These concepts are taught through a story about the teachings of Krishna (God) to Arjuna (the hero of the Gita). By reading the Gita you’ll be able to hear directly from the Supreme being, what he suggests, what his opinion is, what he recommends and what he doesn’t recommend. Studying the text - by which I mean a second or even third read-through and even note taking, can also improve the theory of your mind and increase your knowledge. It’s a timeless message of spiritual wisdom that you can apply to ABSOLUTELY ANY SITUATION IN LIFE.
Recently, I’ve been experiencing agitation as a dominate accumulating tension in my body. When I first read this book two years ago, I learned critical skills on how to observe without judgement - my own thoughts and actions in particular, as well as to be a witness and not juror about the opinions and actions of others. But let’s get real. This pandemic is making known so many observations we might not have the knowledge or mind skills on how to process it all in a way that feels productive. With nowhere for our thoughts to go except to marinate in our mind or come out in language unkind and unloving. So, on Wednesday morning, I parked myself outside, enjoying lake sounds, water and the mixed sand and rocky lake floor along my dock, wading around, reading the Gita yet again from cover to cover. When I closed the book my mind, soul, emotions and body felt refreshed, grounded and at total ease.
I’m incredibly glad I had the knowledge that a re-study of this wisdom would begin to help me shift away from aggitation to knowledge and understanding. EVERYONE IS OUR TEACHER. ALL SITUATIONS IN LIFE ARE CURRICULUM FOR OUR LIVES. This book is guide on how to handle all circumstances in life with joy.
If you can approach the book with a more relaxed intake of the text, and if you can focus more on the insight and less on the interwoven unfamiliar vocabulary used for proper names and as Sanskrit terms - the ancient language of India - it’s a valuable read whose comprehension yields great personal pay-offs.