The Will to Choose


Work!

Your Hair is on Fire!

Don’t say,

“I DON’T HAVE TIME!”

Those words do not encourage, they deflate and burden the mind. It is, as some might say, stupid to think repeating those words is in any way helpful.

You cannot give what you do not have.

If you believe you do not have “time” to practice, you will not practice. If you repeat again and again to yourself that you do not have time, you seal yourself in, making it more difficult to change the mind.

What you fill the mind with, directs the mind.

Most of us do have “time” to do what we want to do. We say things to ourselves such as “I’ll make time!” The idea of making “time-to-do-something” is a sign of determination. It bypasses the mind’s laziness.

We need determination.

And most of us have it to some degree or another. We determine to do what we value.

There are many stories in spiritual traditions that in essence tells us that when you find a treasure, you are willing to sell everything for the treasure. 

Have you found the treasure?

Maybe the word treasure does not speak to you. Perhaps you need to study what motivates you.

Motivation is like the fire that burns your hair. There are three tendencies that determine the type of motivation: (1) laziness, (2)rampage and (3) high-mindedness or if you will;

  • comfort-seeking
  • passion
  • intellectual rationalization

All three tendencies are circling in us all the time. Are you seeking comfort? Passion? Intellectual promise?

When we see our aim, we have an opportunity to study all three tendencies. Sometimes all three seem to show up making us confused. Laziness begets sloth and torpor, rampage begets rushing, uncontrollable ambition and aggressiveness and headiness begets rationalizations and boastfulness.

These tendencies of the mind are fired up by our thoughts and desires. When we say, “I don’t have time” we turn to one of these tendencies to defend what we just told ourselves. Underneath we may want comfort or something more interesting and challenging or to be struck by uncontrollable passion.

Furthermore, “I don’t have time”‘ is a negative motive…the positive motive is telling ourselves more of the true motivation which is “I want to do something else.” This requires a sincere, clear look into our mental formations.

Our motivations are not necessarily clear nor are they always beneficial. Sometimes we opt out in laziness, or go on a rampage to get something in a selfish manner, or think we are the bravest and brightest bulb in the room.

What motivates you? Do you know? Or are you living what Thoreau called  a life of ‘quiet desperation?’

The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation. 
It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. Thoreau

Desperation is not a spiritual practice, although a desperate suffering may lead you to make the backward step towards the interior landscape of the Eternal Undying Self.

Spiritual work requires self investigation. It requires a commitment. Discipline. A will to keep going. We need to recognize we can squander our life flitting it away in laziness, unreliable passions, and rationalizations.

It’s up to each one of us to decide. To choose what our aim is – which requires we give our very best to our chosen path.

None of it comes easily; especially if we squander this lifetime without a clear aim to which we commit our will.

May all beings be free of suffering.

OM NAMO GURU DEV NAMO

Humming Bird

Author: Fashi Lao Yue

ZATMA is not a blog.

 If for some reason you need elucidation on the teaching,

please contact editor at: yao.xiang.editor@gmail.com

 

 

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