An anonymous reader of these reminders was inspired to write the
following after reading some essays by Paramhansa Yogananda:
Even if I knew that tomorrow
the world would go to pieces
I would still plant my apple tree.
- Martin Luther
We often base our actions on the anticipated results. Soon enough,
though, we realize that result oriented action is the cause of our
attachments and the subsequent happiness/sorrow is based on the
outcome. Does this imply that we should lead an ambitionless
existence ? No. One should have noble ambitions but must strive to
detach oneself from the results. To understand this, one must
understand the difference between "detachment" and "indifference".
Although commonly thought of as the same, they are not. Indifference
is to be callous, not to care, while detachment is to not be disturbed
by the outcome. One can be full of compassion and awareness while
performing the action and still be detached.
For most of us, though, the result is often the motivating factor to
perform any action. How then can we enjoy an action without the
dangling fruit that drives us? The answer lies in the consideration
of the things we do for pleasure, without thought of gain or fame. It
is so much more enjoyable when one makes a garden of flowers and takes
infinite pains just to satisfy a hobby than when he/she is compelled
to tend that garden in order to eke out a living. We can name many
activities that are pursued for their own sakes rather than for
gainful results. All duties performed under the compelling whip of
material desire and attachment produce misery, but when they are
worked out as a sort of a hobby, without fear or want for specific
results, the incentive endures, yielding pure pleasure.
Meditation is the embodiment of this thought. It is the joy of being,
the joy of doing without attachment to the fruits.