Laziness is a common human trait. There are three kinds of laziness’.
- Comfort Orientation
- Loss of Heart
- Could not Care Less
These are 3 ways that we become stuck in debilitating habitual patterns. Exploring them with curiosity however dissolves their power.
The first kind of laziness – Comfort Orientation, is based on out tendency to avoid inconvenience. We want to take rest to give ourselves a break. But, soothing ourselves, lulling ourselves, becomes a habit and we become jaded and lazy. In this way, we lose touch with the texture of life. This particular brand of laziness can make us aggressive. We become outraged at inconvenience. Comfort orientation dulls our appreciation of smells, sights and sounds. It also makes us dissatisfied. Somehow, we always know in our hearts that pure pleasure is not the root to lasting happiness.
The second kind of laziness is Loss of Heart. We feel a sense of hopelessness, of “poor me”. We feel so poverty stricken that we are not up to dealing with the world. We sit in front of the Television eating, drinking and smoking, mindlessly watching show after show. We can’t bring ourselves to do anything to ventilate our loss of heart. We have forgotten how to help ourselves. We lack insight into what would bring us true relief.
The third kind of laziness – Could not Care Less is characterized by resentment. It is similar to Loss of Heart but much harder. Loss of Heart has some kind of softness and vulnerability. Could not Care Less is more aggressive and defiant. “The world is messed up; it’s not giving me what I deserve. So why bother?” we just want to sit around feeling weighted down with gloom. We use laziness as our way of getting revenge. This kind of laziness can turn into incapacitating depression.
There are three habitual methods that human beings use for relating to laziness or any troubling emotion. We call these three futile strategies, the strategies of Attacking, Indulging and Ignoring.
The futile strategy of Attacking is particularly popular. When we see our laziness, we condemn ourselves. We criticize and shame ourselves for indulging in comfort or pitying ourselves.
The futile strategy of Indulging is equally common. We justify and even applaud our laziness. “This is just the way I am”. “I don’t deserve discomfort or inconvenience”. We maybe haunted by self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy but we talk ourselves into condoning our behavior.
The strategy of Ignoring is quite effective at least for a while. We dissociate, space-out, and go numb. We do anything possible to distance ourselves from the naked truth of our habits. We go on automatic pilot and just avoid looking too closely, at what we are doing.
Laziness is not particularly terrible or wonderful. Rather it has a basic living quality that deserves to be experienced just as it is. Whatever we discover, as we explore it further, we find nothing to hold on to, nothing solid, only wakeful energy. This process of experiencing laziness directly and non-verbally is transformative. It unlocks a tremendous energy that is usually blocked by our habit of running away. This is because, when we stop resisting laziness, our identity as the one who is lazy, begins to fall apart completely. This is how laziness or any other demon introduces us to the compassionate life.
- Pema Chodron