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September 28, 2020

Below is a lesson from Awaken.org email on uncertainty and control, as well as our key learnings.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.


The Wisdom Of Uncertainty

by Jack Kornfield

One day Ajahn Chah held up a beautiful Chinese tea cup, “To me this cup is already broken. Because I know its fate, I can enjoy it fully here and now. And when it’s gone, it’s gone.” When we understand the truth of uncertainty and relax, we become free.

The broken cup helps us see beyond our illusion of control. When we commit ourselves to raising a child, building a business, creating a work of art, or righting an injustice, some measure of failure as well as success will be ours. This is a fierce teaching. Margaret is an aid worker whose clinic in Kosovo was burned to the ground, yet she began again. She knows that her work is helping people through success and failure. Emilee, who lost her most promising math student to a gang shooting, was broken-hearted. But she doesn’t regret having tutored him and now she is tutoring several others in his honor.

We encourage you to read this in its entirety, or listen here.


Key Learnings:

  • When we understand the truth of uncertainty and relax, we become free.
  • When we commit ourselves to raising a child, building a business, creating a work of art, or righting an injustice, some measure of failure as well as success will be ours.
  • If we only focus on the results, we will be devastated.
  • Shift from holding on to letting go — when we understand the truth of impermanence and find our composure in it, we can give our best to the process, create what we can and trust the larger process of life itself. We can plan, we can care for, tend and respond. But we cannot control.  Instead we take a breath, and open to what is unfolding, where we are.
  • Chögyam Trungpa called this uncertainty “groundlessness.” With the wisdom of uncertainty, one could simply relax. Don’t hold one’s breath or try to manipulate events. Just responded to the situation at hand. 
  • “To act well without attachment to the fruits of your actions.” Bhagavad Gita
  • The ancient Zen masters call this enlightenment “the trusting mind.” “To live in Trusting Mind is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.”  
  • The world is ‘imperfect.’ Instead of struggling to perfect the world, we relax, we rest in the uncertainty. Then we can act with compassion and we give our best. Without attachment to the outcome, we bring fearlessness and trust to any circumstances.