Thursday, June 23, 2011

Effort, From Rubble to Rubble

Effort is a curious enterprise. It involves the combining of body and mind with external and internal resources to achieve something beyond the individual components alone. Effort is at the core of what it is to be human. We have the mind to use our body to manifest immediate and long-term changes in our lives and in our environments.

All effort and all outcomes, however, cannot be kept or stored in any way. To attempt to hold onto any effort or any outcome is a common misstep. This desire to hold on is a supreme source of pain and suffering in our lives. As long as this desire to hold on remains, we create pain and we create suffering. We sabotage all that we do, and we limit what is possible.

Effort can produce a pile of rubble to a spiking skyscraper. The timing and methods used in its construction are critical in reaching the highest of outcomes. A skyscraper will become a pile of rubble and can do so by many means. Actually, the skyscraper is already made up of a pile of rubble, it just isn’t obvious. Poor construction, malicious acts and unwitting accidents can quicken the pace toward this rubblehood. Natural means will eventually do away with all these things, including all skyscrapers.

Due to the rubble nature of all things, from obvious rubble to skyscraper-looking rubble, we must learn to let go of our effort and unleash it upon our day. Give this effort freely as effort is infinitely replenishable.

In observing others as well as myself, I’ve discovered the grasping nature of effort in modern day society. Effort has become very self-fulfilling, and the results of that effort seem to be absolutely unfulfilling for everyone. The excruciating results of self-fulfilling efforts can be witnessed everywhere, simply observe others with understanding and compassion.

If we are attached to the results of our effort, and, only act when we can hold onto those results, every action and every thought of action weighs us down considerably. Our mental activity becomes one of determining who and what is worthy of our effort. Attempting to determine winners and losers in all that we do limits not only our capacity to act but the quality of the results.

These mental gymnastics wear down the mind and the body. Any action we do take becomes unfocused; every observation we do make becomes distracted. Another option does exist. We can exert effort freely with no thought of keeping that effort to our self. In the very next moment, we can make effort again. Our body and our mind can continuously regenerate effort and action.

Yes, the body’s capacity changes, but so can our effort. Broken bones and disabilities do not end our ability to apply effort. In fact, these challenges help to focus that effort with expert precision. Certainly, we can see disabilities as limitations or as our tore down body-mind skyscraper, but we can see them as something quite different. We can see them as opportunities to discover other internal resources and capacities to build something altogether better, and not for our own self-interest, but for the interests of others.

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