Health · meditation · Personal Success

Laziness #2: Pema Chodron

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photo by Parker Byrd

Yesterday’s post was a review of Pema Chodron’s take on laziness (part one) from her book The Places That Scare You. Chodron asserts that there are three “debilitating habitual patterns” that we often partake in.

The second type she identifies is “loss of heart.” One symptom of this form is when we tell ourselves something like, “I’m the worst. There’s no hope for me. I’ll never get it right.” (Chodron, 90).

When we become lazy with loss of heart, we avoid interacting with the world. We retreat and we watch lots of TV (or surf the net). We eat, drink, smoke and watch the screen mindlessly. We have forgotten how to help ourselves.

The remedy for Lazy Type 2 is the same for Lazy Type 1. Get curious. Ask the right questions (hint: one wrong question would be, “why me?”).  Notice that you don’t have to subscribe to negative thought or belief patterns. You can choose differently.

We often condone our behavior. We say we are “happy” and deserve to relax. But in reality, we are “haunted by self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy.”

Why concern ourselves with these notions of laziness? As Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emperor, 161 – 180 AD) reminds us in The Meditations, our lives are short. There is no time to waste.

 

Health · meditation · motivation

Laziness #1: Pema Chodron

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by Sven Scheuermeier

 

An oft-overlooked enemy of our confidence and strength is laziness. Pema Chodron identifies three different types of laziness. Today, I will address the first: Comfort Orientation. People (we) “tend to avoid inconvenience.”

Chodron accurately describes our tendency to want to be comfortable immediately in her book The Places That Scare You. At the first sign of cold, we seek heat. When it gets warm, we seek the cool. We will drive rather than walk a block in the rain.

This habit leads us to be aggressive. We get outraged at inconvenience. As soon as we lose internet connection, we feel personally attacked! Acting this way, developing the habit of seeking comfort in an urgent manner, also robs us of full appreciation through our senses: sights, sounds, and smells (Chodron, p. 90).

True joy eludes us when we are perpetually being at the mercy of constant comfort. When we act this way, the locus of control is outside of us.

How then, do we rectify this? Get curious! Ask yourself, “Why am I suffering? Why does nothing lighten up? Why do my dissatisfaction and boredom get stronger year by year?” (Chodron, 91).

Stories might arise. And we might realize that we do not have to believe these stories anymore. Do not resist laziness. (What we resist only grows stronger). Instead, be curious.