The Right Time for Right Action

The Right Time for Right Action

Things happen when it’s time. Not time for you but time for the whole. Time for challenges to unfold, time for benefits, time for birth, time for awakening, time for peace.

When it’s time, the circumstances and people show up to help catalyze events. We can do our best to feel into this process and cooperate. Or we can resist and fall into a drama and suffer.

For example, people can search for years for the right teacher to awaken. Then they show up when it’s time. The form they arise in may vary from our expectations though.

On the flip side, we may find an excellent teacher quickly but still take time to flower. This is a benefit of good karma (action) but karma doesn’t bring us grace directly. The grace of awakening arises from beyond the field of action.

Life invites us to step up and perhaps move through our resistance to change or the baggage of our past. This doesn’t mean denying our past or ignoring it. It means resolving the unfinished business and removing charges. We don’t lose our history. It becomes neutral.

Right Action
When we move towards something is there support? Does it unfold easily? Right action is important but also right time for right action. Sometimes it’s the right thing but not the right time. There is an art to timing.

This whole process gets much easier after we become established in Self Realization. We lose our entanglements with personal drivers and step into the flow. Then, to the degree we’re clear of obstacles to clear flow, we act in harmony with nature automatically.

Yogasthah kuru karmani, established in Yoga (union, Self), perform action.
– Bhagavad-Gita 2.48
Yogah karmasu kaushalam, Yoga is skill in action.
– Bhagavad-Gita 2.50

Yet we still have to get the groceries and wash the dishes. The difference is in how we are with that. Enlightenment is not an escape from our life. It’s a new way of being with it.

Before Enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
After Enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
– Zen saying

Some speak of non-action. This does not mean inaction. It means settling into silence so deeply that it is sustained, even amid action. We are silent within, free of action, while active on the surface. We embody silence while in activity. Eventually, we embody activity too, in flow.

By virtue of unitedness and by means of that which remains to be united, I perform action to generate wholeness of life.
Rig Veda 10.191.3

Many in New Age circles are making intentions and waiting for life to happen to them. But life won’t hand us an invitation for everything. We have to move. Life operates in the field of action. You have to do to get results.

He who performs action that ought
to be done, without depending on
the fruit of action, he is a sanyasi
and he is a yogi; not he who is
without fire and without activity.
– Bhagavad-Gita 6.1

Some people will find they are designed to be instigators or catalysts, to get things moving. Others will find they’re best at seeing things through. And others at letting everyone know. But these are relationships with action. We all have to act as we live in the field of action. Learning when is skill in action.


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  1. Great post David. As you know, it seems to be time for action here with selling “my” house and I’m getting the message to take a year or more off work and to remain very unstructured in living situations. It’s all flowing and very different than it used to be in such big changes. There’s a deep faith that all is as it will be and I’m not the doer or the chooser, and yes, action is most certainly being called for. Lots of curiosity about this process unfolding but not a lot of desire to try to direct it. Thanks for your support.

    1. Hi Sohlea
      It’s fascinating to watch how each process unfolds. I was also called to pull back from work at the time but didn’t cooperate with the process at first, partly because it began before I woke up. There was no reference points for it and lots of old “supposed tos”. Understanding what’s going on can help us cooperate with it and have the best experience.

      But always, there will be surprises. Like here, it became grad school. That wasn’t remotely on the radar.

      Sounds like you’re in the right space about it. Life is a remarkable adventure that can be such fun if we simply allow it to blossom.

  2. Jim

    Excellent post, David. Thank you. Yes, we always have to fulfill our role as human beings, and accomplish the deepening engagement and integration of our consciousness in the world.

    Ultimately we are each here to serve others, and without dedicating ourselves to blossoming individually, we remain unable to fulfill this deepest characteristic of our humanity, regardless of the depth of our desire.

    Jai Guru Dev,

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