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Years ago while preparing for a retreat I was to teach, I noticed that as I was thinking over the topics and themes for the retreat I kept gripping.  As mindfulness invites us to do, I checked into myself to see what the tension was.  I became aware that I was thinking “I have to work hard on this retreat and use all my effort to prepare.”  With a closer look I laughed at what I was saying, “I need to work really hard to plan something deeply relaxing.” It is laughable that I thought this, yet I did. Over the years I’ve guided many mindfulness students through their own relationship to effort, trying hard, etc.  The idea many of us act from is that we have to “work hard to find ease”. The underlying message is that we need to try really hard to be mindful and present, or that we need to “plug away at peace.”

Plugging away at peace is the opposite of what we need to do. It is the process of relaxing into ourselves rather then trying to force presence and peace that is actually the task (or non-task) at hand. Learning to let go of our habit of effort, force and pushing is, in my experience, much more difficult then the true destination of “being.”  Being is easy, learning how to stop trying so hard, to “be” is the difficult part.  I think in order to try less and “be” more we can all use these words from the wisdom teachers as a guide, I heard them from Lama Surya Das many years ago and they were as soothing to me then as they are today, “Trust yourself.  Let go.  You are already here right where you need to be.”

I’d love to support you in this process of relaxing into yourself. Join me for my upcoming Whidbey Island Retreat Oct 11 -13 2013 or one of my upcoming classes, more information at
New classes and offerings posted regularly-