The Shambhala teachings speak of “effortless effort,” the quality of effort without struggle. I’ve never been very good at this myself – at one point in my career my nickname was “the bulldozer.” But I’m workin’ on it…
This poem speaks to it as will a “Reflection” that I’ll publish soon.
none of those things
there’s a voice in my head
that drives me to try,
to seek to change the shape
of the world, the insidious
insistence that simply living
within this life is
knee deep in the stream,
nothing I do seems to alter its course.
my hands grow numb
from holding back the water,
from trying to force it
back up the mountain.
we manufacture none of those things
that might actually
drop the sharp tools, the knives
and the snaggle-toothed saws.
the heart’s work is to stop
to this day completely,
to bear witness — come,
let’s find ourselves a hillside
and watch the gathering of the clouds.
the grass here is cool beneath our feet.
perhaps in the deep night
the waters will again begin to rise,
but for today,
ours is but to abide,
and await the coming of the rains.