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16532Effortless Effort

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Feb 2, 2009
      Sometimes we hear that there is no need
      for meditation, acts of charity, devotion
      or prayer, and so on, because we are already
      enlightened. This is often accompanied by
      the suggestion that meditation and other
      type efforts are actually stumbling blocks
      to experiencing the bliss that is ever
      present. But when we look closely at who
      makes these kind of statements, it is often
      someone who is just parroting something they
      heard someone else, whom they consider
      Enlightened say, but they themselves are no
      further along on the path to enlightenment
      than anyone else. They have just heard the
      words, and as it is said "can talk the talk,
      but can't walk the walk". Or it may even
      come from an Enlightened being, but invariably,
      they have themselves meditated, done service,
      self-inquiry, and other types of efforts
      before attaining the state of effortlessness
      that Enlightenment is. Sri Swami Chidananda
      once gave an illuminating illustration of the
      way to understand the need for effort:
      "It is as if a poor man is living over a
      treasure. One day a sage tells him that ten
      feet under the small plot of land where he is
      sitting, a treasure is buried. That means that
      the poor man is actually very wealthy. But
      until he digs down those ten feet, he is as
      poor a man as he ever was. Even if he digs 9
      feet 11 inches, he is still poor. It is only
      when he has dug the full ten feet and puts his
      hands on the treasure that he is wealthy beyond
      his fondest dreams."
      So, we should understand that you'll never get
      rich waiting for money to just place itself in
      your pockets, and making a great effort is an
      appropriate way to succeed. For some, the
      effort will be by meditating, for others,
      asking who is doing the shoveling, and for
      others, asking what exactly is the shovel. We
      all have our own hole to dig. And as the jazz
      lovers would say, "Can you dig it?"
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