What is Right Action?

We are all very familiiar with confusion and quandary when facing certain decisions in our lives. We feel frozen and caught in the pros and cons the mind presents us with, even drowns us in. What is good to do in certain situations warranting an action but either way, harm to something or someone is an inevitability. One such very widely used teaching is in the Bhagwad Gita when Prince Arjun is in deep sorrow at having to go to war and is having a conversation with Krishna, his friend, mentor and teacher, also mirroring “Witnessing Awareness” space.

The basis of Right Action is to do everything in mindfulness.

Thich Nhat Hahn

It is never what you do which entangles you. It is the expectation of what you should get which entangles you.

Sadhguru on the Bhagwad Gita

Where does Right Action” originate from?

Buddha’s eightfold path to Nirvana, enlightened living, includes the spoke of Right Action. The importance of compassion in Buddhism cannot be overstated. The Sanskrit word that is translated as “compassion” is Karuna, which means “active sympathy” or the willingness to bear the pain of others. Closely related to Karuna is Metta, “loving kindness.”It’s important to remember also that genuine compassion is rooted in prajna, or “wisdom the realization that the separate self is an illusion. This takes us back to not attaching our egos to what we do, expecting to be thanked or rewarded.

Yoga of Action 

In the Bhagwad Gita, Krishna articulates in detail, the characteristics of a person of a person whose mind is firmly established in Yoga. Virtues self-control, serenity, and relinquishment of desires are highlighted. Contemplation on the source of action, the ground of Awareness, Consciousness, and the space of “surrender” are highlighted. The viability of “actionlessness” when one is “stuck or frozen in choice…and the relationship between action and attachment and between agency and individuality in this process of the grammar of selfless or non-selfish action are shared. Action done without attachment, selfless action, is explained. Effort is transfored to effortlessness.

A silent meditation practice is simply an aspect of this intention to remember our true nature. We come together, to “just sit”. We listen to the silence. We listen to our thoughts, We listen to our feelings and emotions. When we “just sit” we just BE the witnessing awareness. And this continues as we get off our mats or chairs and DO what needs to be done to live the dailiness of our lives. The BEing and DOing, the inhalation and exhalation and the gaps in between, Having this understanding empowers us to choose the lens we perceive and experience our lives with. “Just sitting”, silent meditation, reveals the layers that veil the clarity and luminosity of our true nature and the gap between these layers. Glimpses of the background, the ground of awareness, reminds us to rest in our true nature that is the witness to all experience.