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Three Kinds of Laziness, by Tenzin Palmo

FaceBook  On Mar 15, 2016 melanie wrote:

 This writing bothers me.   Indeed there is immense value in learning to be silent, in quieting the mind, and in learning to be alone with ourselves (and thus confront ourselves). Yes, of course. However, I do not agree that there is value in holding the selflessly occupied, worn out Australian monk out as a cautionary tale. He likely learned immensely from his dharma work. Much, much better to be busy doing for others than sitting alone in a cave. And I doubt that monk was able to become a monk at all without doing plenty of requisite silent meditation.    The aunt who needed noise might have needed to find herself through getting comfortable with silence. Or, she might have just been lonely and seeking companionship. But sitting in judgment of her fear of silence seems heartless, unnecessary, and uninformed.   The whole story is not printed here, but I more appreciate the old, busy monk who finally collapsed and then fretted that he wasn’t doing anything than the writer who feels that it is lazier to be in the world doing things than sitting alone in a cave. In fact, why use the term “lazy” at all? What a loaded, unempathetic, guilt-inducing, judgmental pejorative. So is “workaholic.”    The real laziness is holding oneself out as an example of “not lazy” by the example of sitting in a cave. Whether the writer wants to admit it or not, it is an escape that most people will never have the luxury of doing. The real, hard work is in being effective, active, selfless, and relational in a monumentally difficult world. Not the other way around. (And yes, to sit in silence, to understand ourselves, is of great value and an important step in preparing for the rigors of the world.)   We were not put on this planet to live in retreat from the world or to “just be.” Life is very demanding. Spending a lot of time alone in a cave does not impress me. A c  See full.

 This writing bothers me.

 

Indeed there is immense value in learning to be silent, in quieting the mind, and in learning to be alone with ourselves (and thus confront ourselves). Yes, of course. However, I do not agree that there is value in holding the selflessly occupied, worn out Australian monk out as a cautionary tale. He likely learned immensely from his dharma work. Much, much better to be busy doing for others than sitting alone in a cave. And I doubt that monk was able to become a monk at all without doing plenty of requisite silent meditation. 

 

The aunt who needed noise might have needed to find herself through getting comfortable with silence. Or, she might have just been lonely and seeking companionship. But sitting in judgment of her fear of silence seems heartless, unnecessary, and uninformed.

 

The whole story is not printed here, but I more appreciate the old, busy monk who finally collapsed and then fretted that he wasn’t doing anything than the writer who feels that it is lazier to be in the world doing things than sitting alone in a cave. In fact, why use the term “lazy” at all? What a loaded, unempathetic, guilt-inducing, judgmental pejorative. So is “workaholic.” 

 

The real laziness is holding oneself out as an example of “not lazy” by the example of sitting in a cave. Whether the writer wants to admit it or not, it is an escape that most people will never have the luxury of doing. The real, hard work is in being effective, active, selfless, and relational in a monumentally difficult world. Not the other way around. (And yes, to sit in silence, to understand ourselves, is of great value and an important step in preparing for the rigors of the world.)

 

We were not put on this planet to live in retreat from the world or to “just be.” Life is very demanding. Spending a lot of time alone in a cave does not impress me. A cheerful janitor who goes to work every day, whistling and singing a tune while cleaning up other people’s messes? That impresses me. (Even if he gets old and tired eventually.) So does a monk who occupies himself with the dharma until two or three a.m. every night. “Who is he now?” is an irrelevant question. Let’s take a look at what he accomplished, at the lives he touched, if we must ask that decidedly ego-based question. I hope the Australian monk can find peace in knowing he contributed value to a needy world.

 

I think the writer is wrong about what the nature of “escape” is but I’ll leave that objection for another day. I’ll just say that balance is important, yes. But if one is to err in one direction or the other (too much doing or too much being), I’d pick the do, not the be. I’d pick the giver, not the sitter.

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Three Kinds of Laziness, by Tenzin Palmo

FaceBook  On Mar 15, 2016 melanie wrote:

This writing bothers me.   Indeed there is immense value in learning to be silent, in quieting the mind, and in learning to be alone with ourselves (and thus confront ourselves). Yes, of course. However, I do not agree that there is value in holding the selflessly occupied, worn out Australian monk out as a cautionary tale. He likely learned immensely from his dharma work. Much, much better to be busy doing for others than sitting alone in a cave. And I doubt that monk was able to become a monk at all without doing plenty of requisite silent meditation.    The aunt who needed noise might have needed to find herself through getting comfortable with silence. Or, she might have just been lonely and seeking companionship. But sitting in judgment of her fear of silence seems heartless, unnecessary, and uninformed.   The whole story is not printed here, but I more appreciate the old, busy monk who finally collapsed and then fretted that he wasn’t doing anything than the writer who feels that it is lazier to be in the world doing things than sitting alone in a cave. In fact, why use the term “lazy” at all? What a loaded, unempathetic, guilt-inducing, judgmental pejorative. So is “workaholic.”    The real laziness is holding oneself out as an example of “not lazy” by the example of sitting in a cave. Whether the writer wants to admit it or not, it is an escape that most people will never have the luxury of doing. The real, hard work is in being effective, active, selfless, and relational in a monumentally difficult world. Not the other way around. (And yes, to sit in silence, to understand ourselves, is of great value and an important step in preparing for the rigors of the world.)   We were not put on this planet to live in retreat from the world or to “just be.” Life is very demanding. Spending a lot of time alone in a cave does not impress me. A cheer  See full.

This writing bothers me.

 

Indeed there is immense value in learning to be silent, in quieting the mind, and in learning to be alone with ourselves (and thus confront ourselves). Yes, of course. However, I do not agree that there is value in holding the selflessly occupied, worn out Australian monk out as a cautionary tale. He likely learned immensely from his dharma work. Much, much better to be busy doing for others than sitting alone in a cave. And I doubt that monk was able to become a monk at all without doing plenty of requisite silent meditation. 

 

The aunt who needed noise might have needed to find herself through getting comfortable with silence. Or, she might have just been lonely and seeking companionship. But sitting in judgment of her fear of silence seems heartless, unnecessary, and uninformed.

 

The whole story is not printed here, but I more appreciate the old, busy monk who finally collapsed and then fretted that he wasn’t doing anything than the writer who feels that it is lazier to be in the world doing things than sitting alone in a cave. In fact, why use the term “lazy” at all? What a loaded, unempathetic, guilt-inducing, judgmental pejorative. So is “workaholic.” 

 

The real laziness is holding oneself out as an example of “not lazy” by the example of sitting in a cave. Whether the writer wants to admit it or not, it is an escape that most people will never have the luxury of doing. The real, hard work is in being effective, active, selfless, and relational in a monumentally difficult world. Not the other way around. (And yes, to sit in silence, to understand ourselves, is of great value and an important step in preparing for the rigors of the world.)

 

We were not put on this planet to live in retreat from the world or to “just be.” Life is very demanding. Spending a lot of time alone in a cave does not impress me. A cheerful janitor who goes to work every day, whistling and singing a tune while cleaning up other people’s messes? That impresses me. (Even if he gets old and tired eventually.) So does a monk who occupies himself with the dharma until two or three a.m. every night. “Who is he now?” is an irrelevant question. Let’s take a look at what he accomplished, at the lives he touched, if we must ask that decidedly ego-based question. I hope the Australian monk can find peace in knowing he contributed value to a needy world.

 

I think the writer is wrong about what the nature of “escape” is but I’ll leave that objection for another day. I’ll just say that balance is important, yes. But if one is to err in one direction or the other (too much doing or too much being), I’d pick the do, not the be. I’d pick the giver, not the sitter.

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Staying In Your Own Business, by Byron Katie

FaceBook  On May 20, 2014 angela wrote:

This is an overly simplistic view (even somewhat condescending but that's another story). The world and our areas of concern/influence (or "business") cannot be isolated into separate rooms of "yours," "mine," and "God's." We are all interdependent, therefore, there is also the category of "our" business. There is the possibility of either healthy or unhealthy stress and discomfort involved with working out "business," no matter who's business it is.

Who would we be if we have no concern for others of the nature described above? Of course I am concerned for your happiness, for your health, and about whether you have a job. I have a responsibility to myself AND to those around me. Avoiding "our" stress would be a lonely life indeed. And very self-absorbed. For me, "our" stress can be understood and managed in a healthy way. And I will celebrate with you when you get a job! Or lose weight. Or survive cancer. I cannot tell myself "that is your problem" when it stresses me, and then happily climb onboard with you when the coast is clear. But I can be healthy in my boundaries and in my acceptance/rejection of responsibility. 

To feel connected with others is a fundamental need, and both a great joy and stress. That is life. I prefer to live according to the Serenity Prayer than to burst out laughing at the absurdity of my concern for others "business."

~ namaste

 

Dropping That Drug, by Anthony de Mello

FaceBook  On Sep 10, 2013 angela wrote:

And how sweet the taste of bread and fruit and mountain water can taste when shared in communion with another embodied soul! We are not here to deny ourselves the great privilege and joy and vulnerability of true relationship in order to avoid pain. That is no path to freedom and is neither virtue nor achievement and does not prepare us to love. To compare the desire for love to an addiction (or a drug addiction) is a false and unkind judgment that will induce a superiority notion in those who claim freedom from the desire for love, and guilt and inferiority in those who yearn for love. (Drugs can induce a euphoric feeling, but are only a poor substitute for love.)

A better path to love accept that both loving and being loved necessarily includes pain, sadness, and even misery at times—and then to persevere and even thrive right alongside those difficult emotions. To be loved and to loved are the greatest gifts of our journey here on earth. We must embrace the entire scope of incarnate existence. We are interdependent. To live fully is to love and be loved and suffer, to desire and reject, and to laugh and to cry. And to do each with gusto and presence and to continue on every day, knowing that ultimately, we will all be okay. That is a life well lived. That is awakening.