September 8, 2010

Private Investigations.....

I've been privately investigating one of the defects of character that was most held against me in childhood.

Today I see the L word (laziness) as just a starting place for looking at any of the habits in thinking that cause me pain.

There are a few "we" paragraphs in my paraphrasing of a teaching of Pema Chodron's that was particularly helpful to me in understanding the importance of Step Four.

"It is important to realize that we don't usually want to investigate laziness or any other bad habit. We want to indulge or ignore or condemn (attack, or fight back). We want to continue with these three futile strategies because we associate them with relief."

In other words, the three futile habits Chodron identifies (denial, condemnation and indulgence) are the very essence of any addictive behavior.

There is Hope.... when we come to the Program in pain, and stick around long enough to get curious and ask, "How did I get here? Why am I suffering? Why am I unhappier now than I remember being?"

These gentle questions are where we begin a practice of self-compassion... (not indulgence, though) by which we let ourselves out of our own jail. We see that being open to our emotional life---our tenderness--and doing our best not to harden in anger or argument, makes sense.

So we look at our laziness, our ways of staying stuck and experience its qualities face-on. As we look at the facets of our laziness, we see we are not at all alone. Others have these feelings too! Others struggle with a sense of laziness, whether it is real or not.

When we experience our own personal flavors of laziness directly and stop condemning ourselves....with our stories.... it is transformational. With regular wordless practice, I learn I don't have to believe these stories anymore. Without the blinders of ego, we connect to a larger viewpoint. When we stop resisting laziness, our identity as the one who is lazy falls apart completely.

I am using the above practice in my sitting meditation. I notice that when I pay closer attention to the story I'm telling myself about laxness (or whatever character issues most bug me) I really FEEL where my body starts to tighten.

I think this is cool. Once I get past my defenses, and study laziness or any other demon, it introduces me to a compassionate life by relaxing into it, not by resisting or trying to fix myself.

I think this is exactly where I am now experiencing self-love... the kind of love this is not a reaction against someone else's mistreatment, but is a way of rediscovering my ability to celebrate my one and only life.


  1. Self-love is a great thing. I am so glad that I have come to appreciate who I am.

  2. Yeah, I kinda like me too...SOMETIMES!

    We all are growing--and changing. GOOD post, Smitty! Thanks!


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