We drive ourselves to move forward. Our economy, our culture are based in growing, making progress, moving forward. We believe, especially now at the beginning of a year, in setting goals and making things happen. We push ourselves, working hard to transform what we want into reality.
We are convinced our efforts earn us progress toward our desires.
It can be easy for us to miss, or dismiss, the essential significance of standing still. In fact, it may not be all our intense effort that moves us forward at all. We do not drive ourselves toward our goals or desires through force of will. We move forward by standing still.
The monks I know have shown me we do not grow or make progress merely by our effort. The value of the year which stretches before us will not be measured in how close we come to meeting our goals. The days, the moments, we have are valuable in themselves.
We will not earn our way toward our goals through hard work and constant effort. As we learn to stand still and open ourselves, even for a few moments, we begin to understand. We come to appreciate what we have and what we want in new ways. Stillness is how we begin to recognize who we are and who we are becoming.
We convince ourselves of the importance of what we put into practice. We set goals with measurable objectives and persuade ourselves achieving them is vital. We believe we get what we work hard to earn.
Life is not about being driven to work harder. Life is about moving forward by standing still.
When will we move forward by standing still this week?
How much time will we be able to spend standing still today?