A Window is Where the Wall is Absent

The life impulse to express and to connect arises in me and in all of us. This blog is a celebration of these life impulses. Please feel free to join in the conversation or to just visit. There is a Family Photo Album beneath the posts so you can "meet" my family and I. Welcome!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Achievement


"A tree gives glory to God by being a tree."

(Thomas Merton)


 Sitting outside on a beautiful day there is sunshine, bird song, green earth, and soft breeze. It's a waterfall flowing through the still space of awareness that I am.

   I give glory to God by being alive.

   Being alive is the gift I both receive and give.

   Being alive is the supreme and effortless achievement in this moment, in every moment, and it is an achievement far greater than any measurable achievement, such as money, status, education, etc.

   When we realize our true achievement we are freed from the burden of feeling inadequate and chasing lesser achievements. We inhabit our innate and humble dignity as living beings, like the tree.



   I wonder how much suffering I have experienced  from mental notions about "needing to achieve" something? The obsession with "achievement" is ravaging the earth. Many are enslaved by mental notions of "getting somewhere" that compel a ruthless drive toward busyness. Re-framing the notion of achievement to point toward the stupendous Fact of being alive now, rather than toward some fantasy of future accomplishment, frees the power of attention to unite with the power of present reality. From this unity true achievement emerges.
~

5 comments:

roseduncan said...

Lovely photos! It must be spring. Is it spring there? As for achievement, that is a word that definitely means a host of different things. One can achieve balance in life. One can achieve one's goals. . . I don't know that achievement should be the same for each of us, perhaps that's the problem.

Susannah said...

Hello Colleen,

I enjoyed this post and that beautiful photo of the tree and sky! both that and your picture of the open window gives your blog a real feeling of expansiveness and s p a c e.

And then to read the first lines of this post -
"Sitting outside on a beautiful day there is sunshine, bird song, green earth, and soft breeze. It's a waterfall flowing through the still space of awareness that I am."
- Aaah, it causes a big relaxing exhale. . . wonderful

So true what you say about the obsession with "achievement" is ravaging the earth.

My thoughts . . . "There is nowhere to go. You are already there." - Krishnamurti

Thank you for this moment of stillness in this airy and peaceful space you have created here. :-)

Alton said...

Hi Colleen:
Do you think that in my quest to be a non-achiever I am still bound by the mental notions of achieving?
Or will that desire end all achieving?

Nevertheless, it is always a delight when I alight on your blog.

Aloha from paradise,
Alton

Colleen Loehr said...

Hello friends!

I love the blogosphere and all the wonderful people floating around here.

Many of the people I work with at a state hospital have been to hell and back many times, undergoing indescribable hardships, and yet they're still breathing. They are achievers! Maybe they've achieved more than Barack Obama by some invisible cosmic yardstick that we can't discern- who knows? Yet many of these people feel like "losers", they feel insignificant and worthless, and maybe some others would agree with that perception.

It depends what window you're looking out of, I suppose. Taking a breath is truly a colossal achievement- being able to see- having feelings of caring in the heart- so many achievements that go unrecognized. While society says you have to have an academy award or fancy degree or some such nonsense to matter...

Passion, enthusiasm, big dreams and goals are fine, so long as we don't miss the biggest achievement of all- being alive in this instant.

Cindy said...

Agreed!=. I was telling Val the other day "give it color!" The idea of seeing things with much color and perspective instead of "this is bad." Naomi has a point about the different meanings of achievement being a problem, one person's achievement is another's (idea of) failure. Too bad there is so much expectation out there pushing off track.

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