Laziness actually involves a lot of Exertion.

Via Benjamin Riggs
on Apr 13, 2011
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Go Raw.

Warriorship is so tender, without skin, without tissue, naked and raw.”

Sometimes people find that being tender and raw is threatening and seemingly exhausting.

Openness seems demanding and energy-consuming, so they prefer to cover up their tender heart.

Vulnerability can sometimes make you nervous. It is uncomfortable to feel so real, so you want to numb yourself. You look for some kind of anesthetic, anything that will provide you with entertainment. Then you can forget the discomfort of reality.

People don’t want to live with their basic rawness for even 15 minutes. When people say they are bored, often they mean that they don’t want to experience the sense of emptiness, which is also an expression of openness and vulnerability. So they pick up the newspaper or read anything else that’s lying around the room—even reading what it says on a cereal box to keep themselves entertained.

The search for entertainment to babysit your boredom soon becomes legitimized as laziness. Such laziness actually involves a lot of exertion. You have to constantly crank things up to occupy yourself with, overcoming your boredom by indulging in laziness.

For the warrior, fearlessness is the opposite of that approach. Fearlessness is a question of learning how to be. Be there all along: that is the message. That is quite challenging in what we call the setting-sun world, the world of neurotic comfort where we use everything to fill up the space.

On the other hand, if we are in touch with basic goodness, we are always relating to the world directly, choicelessly, whether the energy of the situation demands a destructive or a constructive response. The idea of renunciation is to relate with whatever arises with a sense of sadness and tenderness. We reject the aggressive, hard-core street-fighter mentality. The neurotic upheavals created by overcoming conflicting emotions, or the kleshas, arise from ignorance, or avidya. This is the fundamental ignorance that underlies all ego-oriented activity. Ignorance is very harsh and willing to stick with its own version of things. Therefore, it feels very righteous.

Overcoming that is the essence of renunciation: we have no hard edges.

Warriorship is so tender, without skin, without tissue, naked and raw. It is soft and gentle. You have renounced putting on a new suit of armor. You have renounced growing a thick, hard skin. You are willing to expose naked flesh, bone, and marrow to the world.

~ Smile At Fear: Awakening The True Heart Of Bravery by Chogyam Trunpga


There is nothing wrong with being naked. I was born naked, and will die naked. I am naked right now. The nude self is the true self. It is the enlightened mind. It is the experience of life, free not only of reference points, but of the need for reference points. Nudity is the experience of pure being…

Right here-right now, we are nude. We are whole or complete, in need of nothing. If spirituality is anything, it is the recognition of simple being. It is showing up without credentials.

~ from My Last Words, by Ben Riggs


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About Benjamin Riggs

Ben Riggs is the author of Finding God in the Body: A Spiritual Path for the Modern West. He is also the director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, LA and a teacher at Explore Yoga. Ben writes extensively about Buddhist and Christian spirituality on Elephant Journal, and his blog. Click here to listen to the Finding God in the Body Podcast. To keep up with all of his work follow him on Facebook or Twitter.


7 Responses to “Laziness actually involves a lot of Exertion.”

  1. Dace says:

    Spiritual witnessing involves huge exertion, while in practical laziness, for example active care of our own health and fitness, we are the top laziness masters!

  2. jim says:

    a mind can be like an oven, cooking only with the recipe of thoughts that is put into it. Many times, simple things make for simple meals and the body is sustained. However, often times when too much is put in at once, the outcome is incomplete, not thuroughly cooked. Keeping it simple; the mind nurishes the body. Challenging it, one might think that it may someday get the recipe right,but, the mind is ever-changing. What it threw out yesterday, it may very well eat tomorrow !

  3. […] of the time, I don’t think survive the boring struggle to just get through the […]

  4. Well said! Thanks for this today Ben 🙂

  5. diana mercer says:

    wow ben. i was just reading this SAME quote to use in a post on laziness that I'm working on. literally, this minute. woo-woo.

    i love it.

  6. […] motivation to strike. Often all that strikes is frustration and anger because I’m bored and all that exertion just makes me sleepy. It’s merely finding positive effects in negative […]

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