Morning meditation - Living naturally takes conscious effort
April 30, 2007
As human beings we are self conscious. Some of us spend more times in our heads than we do in our hearts or in our bodies. For those of us who think too much we admire people who do things naturally with elegance and grace. We would like things to come naturally. Products get sold by the marketers as natural. When we call things natural there is an appeal, and that appeal lies in the fact that the activity or object is intuitive, lies in congruence with the Tao, with the natural world.
It is not that awareness, consciousness, ethics, effort are bad things. Good functioning, performance, may take repeated practice and rehearsal until we get it right. Virtue is the result of character formation which comes from repeated efforts to create habits of thoughts, feeling, and behavior over a period of time. Harry Truman said that the definition of a gentleman or a lady was someone who exhibited grace under pressure. This grace under pressure comes after long training and the person exhibiting this grace makes it look like they came by it naturally.
In the spiritual life, we practice virtue with a steadfastness and effort that at times is arduous, and yet when it comes time to perform, when the chips are down, when all seems lost, when the tough choices are to be made, the spiritual person relies on his/her intuition because, he/she trusts the consciousness that he/she has created inside. Alignment with the Tao, at first takes conscious effort, and then comes naturally.