Updated: Jul 28, 2020
I finally read the Bhagavad Gita! Not just read it, but had the privilege of participating in a weekly discussion group at Yoga Journey in Boca Raton to really delve into the meaning of the text. It took us about 8 months from beginning to end. It is a book to which I will often return for new insights.
I have been thinking a lot about the lessons of the Gita, particularly how to navigate the world with an understanding of our own nature. Maybe I have Gita on the brain, but I even saw its concepts in the new film, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.
Brad Pitt plays a stuntman in late 1960’s Hollywood who is a highly skilled martial arts fighter, mentally tough, self-sufficient and a war hero. He can also be dangerous to himself and others and lives is in the shadow of the famous actor for whom he does stunts and errands. His dialogue in the movie reflects a man that fully understands himself—his good parts and the not-so-good. He accepts his role in Hollywood and life with good humor, self-awareness and contentment and doesn’t strive for a job or lifestyle that doesn’t suit his nature. On the other hand, his actor friend suffers as a result of the fear of no longer being famous.
As in the movie, the Gita illustrates that we are happier when we are not forcing ourselves to be or do something we aren’t—we must be true to ourselves.
We all have innate traits—predispositions, weaknesses and gifts. And identifying them isn’t always easy—many of us tend to focus first on the negative. And at any given time one or more of these traits may predominate. But a clear eyed review by the one who knows you best—you—can do wonders. A deep understanding of who you are and what motivates you allows you to choose to act (or not act) from a place of balance and equanimity. That is definitely a goal I am working towards!
With love and light,