Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Offerings

                             "Yoga Burst"   Mixed-Media By Eliza Lynn Tobin

I finished the first draft of my big paper for the semester on the Bhagavad Gita and the Creative Process. It feels good to be clearing up my time-space continuum for some art playing. I'm going into the art-making with the aspects from the Gita fresh in my mind. The Gita is full of so many ideas and things to think about, but when I sorted it all out, I decided to just think about some of the basics. Several years back, I took a class with Stephen Cope at Kripalu (I was a part of a program there called the Semester Intensive) on the Bhagavad Gita and he talked a lot about a 4 point plan that Krishna gave to the warrior Arjuna. 

The four points are: 1. Know your Duty (or purpose) 2.Do it fully 3. Let go of the outcome and 4. Offer it up to God. 

I love how concise these directions are and have been thinking about how they can apply to every aspect of my life, including the artwork I do, my yoga practice, and even mundane things like laundry and dishes. I especially like the last point about offering what you do up to God. 

Krishna says to Arjuna:
"Any offering---a leaf, a flower or fruit, a cup of water---I will accept it if given with a loving heart. Whatever you do, Arjuna, do it as an offering to me---whatever you say or eat or pray or enjoy or suffer. In this way you will be freed from the results of your actions, good or harmful; unfettered, untroubled, you will come to me." (This is from Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 9, verses 22-24, pages 118-119)

If I can, for a moment, step into Arjuna's shoes, then everything that I do is an offering to God (or to whatever I want to call the "something greater then me" aspect of my life at that moment: Muse, Divine, the Universe, or Nature). Lately, thinking about things from this perspective has really enriched my experiences! Yesterday, hours melted by me when I decided to make the writing of my paper an offering to the universe instead of just writing it because I was "supposed to". It wasn't any easier and I periodically grew antsy to get up and flick on "What Not to Wear" on TLC or sweep my floors or get outside and take my dog for a walk. Then I would remember the offering and drop back in to the flow of writing  until it was finished.

 I am going to take this idea and make the artwork I create today as an offering. I surrender the results of my creations to something bigger then me. We will see what happens!

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3 comments:

americanepali said...

I find your suggestions so useful and insightful! Like deep breaths of fresh air. Today I should try to offer my office work up to the universe, because I seriously need to focus.

aimee said...

hi, eliza lynn - so glad you found the ville! you do beautiful work and i could certainly benefit from a bit of yoga - what a great combination of interests! xo aimee

Eliza Lynn Tobin said...

Thank you C and Aimee!

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