None of Those Things

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.

sunset sky

sunset clouds

none of those things

there’s a voice in my head

that drives me to try,

always

to seek to change the shape

 

of the world, the insidious

insistence that simply living

within this life is

 

insufficient.

 

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

save us.

 

drop the sharp tools, the knives

the axes

and the snaggle-toothed saws.

the heart’s work is to stop

 

striving,

 

to attend

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.

 

 

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