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Live Without Effort

This past weekend, many of us in the Tao Tribe had the wonderful opportunity to do a weekend retreat with the Tibetan Dzochen Master, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche. One of the things that Rinpoche spent a lot of time talking about was the way we spend our lives constantly 'efforting' to get things done. He said that, in all areas of our life; relationships, work, and even our spiritual pursuits, we exhaust and deplete ourselves by putting so much 'effort' into what we are 'doing'. From Rinpoche's view, a life of true happiness and joy is only possible when we let go of all this 'effort', stop 'doing' so much, and simply allow our lives to flow with effortless ease.

Of course, this goes counter to the prevailing wisdom (madness?) that most people live their lives by, where they are overwhelmed by all of the things they need to 'do', and never quite seem to come to a place where everything is actually 'done'; a space where they can rest and enjoy the simple unfolding of their lives. Feeling overwhelmed, they drown in a sea of their own efforts, and the more they struggle, the more they sink.s

When we look honestly at what drains our natural vitality (Life Force), then we begin to get a clearer picture of what needs to change in our life. When something - or someone - drains us, we have three options: to be naturally beyond it (which is very rare), to try and 'fix' the person or situation (which may work for awhile but will ultimately be fruitless) or to drop our efforting, relax, and let go. He emphasized that this 'letting go' can be a literal letting go of the relationship or situation that is causing a drain on our inner vitality.

Rinpoche also suggested looking at three areas in our life that are draining our Life Force right now, and simply drop them. This can be something as simple as spending too much time checking your phone for messages or taking on too many projects at work. You might spend a little time in meditation today looking at your own life, and what drains you. Would you be willing to drop at least three of those things in order to experience a greater ease and lightness in your life? In this letting go of what drains us, we might discover that, not only does life begin to lighten up, but we also experience a greater energy and joy in all of our 'doing'. As Rinpoche suggested, what if we only did what brings joy into our lives. Imagine living like that...

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