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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Right focus

Action, to be correct action, must spring from focus. If we react mainly to provocation, or take action aimlessly, our contribution will be correspondingly small. If we visualize a worthwhile project, and concentrate on it day and night, our impact will be the greater.

First we ascertain that our vision is "worthwhile." Then, whether we mean to create a one-acre food forest or manage a great nation's food system, we must focus on the task at hand and give it our all.

We can see, as we work through these principles, how each of them is a facet of a single principle. It becomes clear to us that right desire and right focus are practically the same. Right focus and right avocation, or livelihood, are also the same. The path is described as having eight parts so that we can absorb the lesson in manageable chunks.

Dogen uses the words "die sitting, die standing" to indicate the urgency we should bring to taking our path seriously. That doesn't mean don't have a sense of fun or play. It does mean not frittering away our minds endlessly on inconsequential matters -- a major trap for us in these times.

6. Samma-Vayama — Complete or Full Effort, Energy or Vitality. Also called right effort or diligence. Consciously directing our life energy to the transformative path of creative and healing action that fosters wholeness.


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