We are all intelligent enough to realize that we are not in control of 99.9 percent of what goes on around us. Our hearts beat, our food digests, and our cells divide – all without any intervention of our own. Likewise, the planets stay in orbit, and the entire rest of the universe unfolds on its own. We are not controlling any of this, yet it has been unfolding in perfect harmony for billions of years. If the forces of creation can create and maintain the entire universe every moment, are not the moments unfolding in front of me part of this same universal perfection?
The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
One Saturday morning last fall after my deepest fear of abandonment was played out in this school we call life, I woke up at 6:15 AM, looked at my clock and realized that if I got out of bed and got in my car right here right now – do not stop to brush your hair; your pig tails will do. Do not stop to put on fresh clothes; the yoga pants you have on are just fine. No coffee. No toast. If I pick up my keys, get in the car and drive the 204 miles to NYC, I could make it to the Dharma Yoga Center in time.
Some visits are like that. When you are so sad that you forget you are a bright shining being, you go to the Dharma Center to remember, to get polished up. You go to bathe in the powerful light of Dharma’s unconditional love. And it is in those times of greatest need that Dharma speaks to you so directly like every word is meant just for you.
The first thing Dharma-ji said when I walked in at exactly 10 AM and placed my mat right in front of him smack dab in the center of the room is that “the first cause of pain and suffering is attachment, attachment to those you love. That does not mean you can not take pleasure with the ones you love, just don’t be too attached.”
It’s hard not get caught up in other people’s drama, especially when they are close to you or you are in partnership with them and you start to confuse what is theirs with your own stuff. You think you see so clearly what steps they need to take in order to get out from under whatever is holding them down and pushing up against you. And even if you are right, sometimes you just need to step back, let it go and understand that it’s not yours. You can’t control the outcome, no matter how much you might want too, not even a little bit. Sometimes you need to decide it’s more important to be happy than to be right.
Everyone has their own karma and their own drama that they must deal with in their own way in their own time. Ram Dass calls it our curriculum. Every experience, every relationship is for our own learning and growth. And we are all in different stages of learning and growing.
You have to remember that there are forces greater than you at work here and when you try to influence an outcome or get involved when it’s not really your business or your own work to do, then you are holding on to the way you want things to be, not the way they really are. And that, my friend, is attachment.
Attachment triggers a whole host of doubts, fears, and frustrations. At some point when it gets to be too much, when you wake up after crying for three days straight, you decide no more, no more pain and suffering. At that moment you just let go. I’ve had enough. It’s just not worth it. And in the letting go, the complete surrender to what is, a great space is created, a space so vast so beyond comprehending, a space like an endless sigh of relief, of complete acceptance, of love.