Rely on Alertness More than Planning

Path of Action: Day 22

Learning to be alert in this way is a sign of progress on the path.

It is definitely challenging, but facing and overcoming that challenge is a good test. If you can succeed at this stage, you will find later on that you are able to control emotional habits and samsaric patterns of mind. You can refine the mind to the point where obstacles are friends: instruments for transformation. At that point, you are immune to the poisons of the marayas, the demons that rob us of our inner strength. No shadow can come between you and the light of goodness.

Preparing for success on any particular project does not have to take a long time.

In planning, for instance, start with the minimum preparation necessary to make sure you are headed in the right direction and taking appropriate steps. Once underway, you can gradually develop a deeper knowledge of what is needed.

If you spend too much time planning, trying to take into account hundreds of variables, you may never get started. But if you stay alert, you can improve and sharpen your behavior as you go along.

Instead of relying on models and theories, connect to the work and to your own responses. That way you will not be paralyzed when the evolving reality comes into conflict with your detailed plan of action. As the work proceeds, you will naturally develop more skill, become more effective, and accumulate knowledge you can share with others.


Path of Action, by Tarthang Tulku is an unpublished work. Please do not copy, remix or republish this post or any others in this series without express permission from Mandala Training.