Freedom Karaoke Anyone?
because joyful effort matters
I’ve been thinking about joyful effort. It’s a Buddhist principle that every “freedom fighter” should probably become familiar with.
The line in the Kadampa text that we’re on says,
The best joyful perseverance (joyful effort)
Is to be able to let go of the endeavor.
You might say, wait a minute, if I let go of the endeavor I won’t do anything. I think what it means here is endeavor is meaning “pushing.” In other words, when we want to do something sometimes we really push ourselves and set a very high standard and “I’ve got to do this, and I’ve got to get it done by this and such a time, and it’s got to go in these ways,” and our mind gets very rigid. And as a result we get completely exhausted during the project, we’re irritable at everybody, we feel no joy in what we’re doing, and we complain a lot. I think when it’s saying to let go of the endeavor it’s let go of that kind of pushing that we often inflict on ourselves to try and meet some kind of image of what a fantastic monastic is, or what a real organized person does, or something along that line. So let go of that kind of tense pushing…
If we let go of the intense pushing then we can be joyful in what we do and we aren’t so goal oriented, we’re more enjoying the process of doing it. And that’s what Dharma practice is about. It’s not about accomplishing the goal and crossing it off our list, it’s about enjoying the practice as we do it and knowing we’re going in a good direction…
The whole idea is how to make what we do joyful, because our lives should be joyful. Samsara’s already bad enough, and we need to be aware of the misery of samsara, but within that misery to find joy in our practice of purification and creating merit, and learning the Dharma and so on and so forth.
The concept has always reminded me that, if I’m not coming from the right heart space and rooted in my original intention, I’m probably driving things in a whole different direction. And I think when we’re tired, or overworked, or too scared or overwhelmed, we can become vulnerable.
So let’s fill our cups and make a toast!
So much of what I do is for the love of having adventures, singing, dancing, traveling, being curious and reading and writing what I like. But it’s easy to get caught up.
Joyful effort can help me find my way back.
So I’ve been working on my Freedom playlist… and playing around with lyrics for other songs…
Here are the lyrics I wrote to accompany Johnny Cash’s I Walk The Line:
(I Hold the Line)
I keep a close watch on these right of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
I will refuse those shots and I’ll be fine
These rights are mine.
I hold the line.
I find it very necessary to seek truth
They say these shots are safe, but I want proof.
Cause despite all these sudden deaths they are aloof.
They think we’re blind.
I hold the line.
As sure as night is dark and day is light
Fauci lied. It happened in plain sight.
We’ve had enough, and we’ll put up a fight
These right are mine
I hold the line
We have the science, and God is on our side
So end these mandates. We will not abide.
We woke the masses and we’ll turn the tide.
This plan’s Divine.
We’ll hold the line
Let’s write our own songs. Let’s sing. Let’s dance. Good vibrations are powerful… they’re the product of joyful effort.
If you have some lyrics of your own, I’d love to see them. And if you have some favorite freedom songs, please share!
Meanwhile, here are some folks who seem to be engaging in some joyful effort as they use their voices.