To “just be” will require “right effort. To “let go of effort” will take discipline. The eightfold path can be counted upon for its wisdom. The masters never became masters by just “being” without much (right) effort leading up to that. This ease of life will be contrary to how badly we want to strive after things. The question is why are we striving? Usually the striving has a fear base. That is wrong effort and will only lead to more fear. To move beyond that into a state of effortless being will take precision. It will require and lots of practice to “let go of efforts and just be.” It will take a complete and fearless commitment to a type of surrender we may not completely understand. But in our bones we know this road we cling to with all our wrong efforts leads to more trouble for ourselves and others. You will need a lot of discipline to re-train your mind to be in the space of “let go and just be.” That is why a spiritual teacher, satsang and a personal structured practice is so vital unless we are once again deceiving ourselves- which is a great snare in this day and age. Everyone imagining with all the new age slogans being thrown around that they’ve arrived somewhere or have attained something more than they have. By attainment I mean- a level of consciousness that is capable of discriminating where they realistically are in the process and therefore able to move most effectively in a progressive way forward rather than circling in their karmic loops which is typical. It will take a huge heroic (right) effort to become one who truly can “let go and just be.” Purified, sanctified and lightened of the dark tendencies to self destruct in the wrong direction. Tamasic “just being” will take you there. Satwic “just being” takes a level of purity. Purity is only sustained through precision which will require (especially early on) some rajasic energy- which is frictional and creates heat (tapas fire) this happens with discipline fueled by right effort (among other things- like a teacher, satsang and daily practice)
So when I say it’s tricky to simply say “Let go of all your efforts and just be.” It’s true.
A person whose striving and ambitious will feel much different hearing that then one who lies around kicking back all day. This is the reason for the eightfold path. Relax and realize there is work to be done. While not pulling too hard, lest we make the knots harder to untie…
The reason why I gave the practice that I did a couple days ago on this blog is because I want to help and inspire- is because my only hope from here is that it will draw you closer to your own true nature and you will then eventually realize these truths for yourselves. I only preach what I practice. I can do no more than that. I can only speak of where I’ve been. And even in the midst of these statements, I must remain aware that I myself am limited by my own ignorance. The greatest fall will be when you imagine you have risen to a place you have not. The greatest protection is humility and an open heart/mind. The mind holds tight to its own righteousness only when it is feeling defensive- which has its roots in fear. No one can take from you what truly belongs to you. So an open mind and heart can be very helpful. I am not religious. When I refer to Buddhism it is because I view it as a science rather than a religion and I tune in to its essence not any superficial dogma that may be attached. I also refer to Taoism because of the basic premise of “You are enough, just relax.”
“The Eightfold Path consists of eight practices: right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right samadhi (‘meditative absorption or union’). These practices started with understanding that the body-mind works in a corrupted way (right view), followed by entering the Buddhist path of self-observance, self-restraint, and cultivating kindness and compassion; and culminating in samadhi, which re-inforces these practices for the development of the body-mind.”
“You might think Right Effort means practicing hard, but that’s not necessarily so. Do not forget the Middle Way, between extremes. Don’t force yourself to endure extreme aesthetic practices or push yourself to exhaustion. If your practice becomes a “chore,” that’s a problem. Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says, “The Fourfold Right Diligence is nourished by joy and interest. If your practice does not bring you joy, you are not practicing correctly.”
The Buddha taught that practice should be like a well-tuned string instrument. If the strings are too loose, they won’t play a sound. If they are too tight, they will break. Practice should be nourishing, not draining.”
“When you think of Right Effort also think of the Five Hindrances. These are:
Sloth, torpor, or drowsiness
Restlessness and worry
Uncertainty or skepticism
These are five qualities that interfere with Right Effort. The Buddha taught that mindfulness of breath, body sensations, feelings, and thoughts will overcome the hindrances.” (That is the practice I gave.)
You also need exercise. Sedentary is bad for the body flow and will keep you stuck in your head totally disconnected from the reality of your body. It’s like the temple needs the windows open every morning for some fresh air. If you don’t know this or feel this, you are disconnected. Please exercise daily for an hour and apply adequate effort so your body feels alive.
The basics of proper diet, adequate sleep and enough exercise cannot be stressed enough.