Practice Makes…

I’m sure all of us can fill in the blank — Practice makes perfect, right? But is that really what life is about?  Striving to reach some elusive and stagnant goal, to finally arrive?

Krishna instructs Arjuna:

You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work.  You should never engage in action for the sake of a reward, nor should you long for inaction.  Perform work in this world, Arjuna, as a man established within himself — without selfish attachments, and alike in success and defeat. For yoga is perfect evenness of mind (Bhagavad Gita 2: 47-48).

Working without attachments means we work without demanding or expecting a specific result, that we let go of the idea that we control the fruits (the outcome) of our work. In our yoga practice, it means we are not striving to achieve the “perfect” asana, nor do we expect that our work will lead to the perfect asana.  Rather, we practice because that is what we do.

Letting go of the fruits of our work and practice is both a humbling and a healing process.  Humbling because we accept our proper place in life, meaning we can’t  force and control outcomes.  Healing because we give up the unhealthy need to be “perfect” and simply allows ourselves to “be.”

Perhaps a more fitting phrase would be, “Practice makes present.”  Present to engage fully in our lives and our practice without worrying about the results.

Ahh, yes, that feels much better!