By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

What is the method used by veteran Yoga instructors to reach their highest potential? Some teachers joke about it by saying, “Practice, practice, study, and practice again.” While this is partially true, there is also a step-by-step process to reaching your full potential as a Yoga teacher; but some people claim we should never be attached to outcome. Otherwise, we will never reach the highest states of meditative absorption (Samadhi). Let’s be honest: If you were never attached to outcome, what contribution would you make to your family, friends, co-workers, the world around you, or this life?

To some degree, everyone is attached to an outcome. Every enlightened soul, saint, and prophet, was attached to outcome. Every noble cause is fueled by an objective outcome. Karma Yoga (selfless service) is influenced by attachment to outcome. Everyone is attached to outcome, when performing Karma Yoga. Why else would they do it? For example: Mahatma Gandhi must have been attached to an outcome, which was India’s independence. He was one of the most enlightened souls of the 20th century.

Let’s get a reality check. If we do nothing, we will accomplish nothing, and if we find a state of meditative absorption, with this kind of a mindset, we are guaranteed to do nothing with it. What a shame it would be if every enlightened soul, saint, and prophet, throughout history, worried about being attached to outcome. Can you imagine if every inventor, explorer, and statesman, in our history, refused to take action, because he or she might be too attached to an outcome? Nobody would ever take action to prepare for anything and we might not exist.

The first person to say the words, “Detach oneself from outcome,” had an intention, took action, and was attached to the outcome of saying those words. This is a pure paradox. In fact, this is a complete misinterpretation of the concept of non-attachment.

So, what should we be detached from? Anything which causes emotions, such as: Greed, lust, and envy, should be a consideration. Attachment to worldly possessions, and relationships, should be moderate. When objects and relationships become an unhealthy obsession, or a compulsive preoccupation, immoral or criminal behavior becomes possible. Detachment is noble, and it prevents crime, but we cannot be detached from everything.

Therefore, you can live a spiritual life, help others, show loving kindness, and forgive, without fear of being attached to the outcome. Once again, moderation is a key element in Yoga practice.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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