Spiritual Laziness and Other Virtues
May 12th, 2011
Mental yawn. “No, I can’t be bothered.” Not even shrugging, you sit down on your meditation cushion and begin to quiet your mind.
I think all spiritual seekers come up with little techniques to help them on the path. I call this one “Spiritual Laziness.” Instead of doing something I know will not benefit me spiritually, at that moment I try to tune into that “I don’t feel like it,” lazy attitude. It’s my way of turning a shortcoming into a virtue.
“Spiritual Laziness” has its counterpart:
You know what will happen if you give in. An hour and a half later you will finally wake up hearing your child playing in his room, and you will have lost the opportunity to experience perfect silence. And you may find yourself “behind the eight ball” the rest of the day.
To counteract that thought, you momentarily tune into a frame of mind that has sought at times to plague your meditations.
“You know, it’s really hard to just sit or lie here. I really need to get up and do something, RIGHT NOW.”
And so you get up and walk over to your meditation seat.
I’ve named this technique “Spiritual Restlessness.”
These two are “backwards virtues.” But here is a more straightforward one you might want to add to your spiritual toolbelt:
For a long time, you bask in the radiance of your experience. Then, after a time, you begin to feel your exaltation diminishing.
Suddenly, the idea pops into your mind. “Let me share this.”
Focusing on your inspiration, the essence of what you’ve been experiencing, you expand it out in waves to all open souls in your neighborhood, your state, your country, and the whole world. Your ego dissolves as you act as a direct channel of this special inspiration to all who might benefit from it.
I’ve dubbed this one “Applied Inspiration.”
Share Your Own “Backwards Virtue”
Do you have a helpful “backwards virtue” or spiritual technique you’ve developed that you think might help others? Feel free to share it by posting a comment below.