Excerpt About Buddha

The True Manifestation of Will

When Buddha spent the last night under the Bodhi tree, he said, “I am going to stay here until I do it. I am not going to get up until I achieve enlightenment.” So he started with his intense determination, and his desire and ideas of what it would be like. He sat there without moving until dawn and he came to the understanding that his determination to change was the problem. This is my perspective of the Buddha’s story for our discussion today. It’s a paradox, but what else can you do about it? It’s true, wanting any change is by itself the resistance, but we have acknowledged the situation, and seen that at the present you cannot do it any other way. We have to accept this situation and live with it. The truth is your nature. If there were no possibility of knowing truth then none of this would be of any value. The question is whether you can do this work without effort, and just let what is there be there, and explore it. That doesn’t require effort. Effort is needed in resisting, not in seeing the truth. Seeing the truth is the relinquishing of effort. This is the true manifestation of will. We all think that will means effort. Will, we think, involves using force to go somewhere or to accomplish something. But that is not the correct understanding of will.

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