Dont Get Lost in Tasks and Duties
Whatever the specifics of a man's purpose, he must always refresh the transcendental element of his life through regular meditation and retreat. A man should never get lost in the details of his life and forget that, ultimately and in truth, life amounts to nothing other than what is the deepest truth of this present moment. Tasks don't get a man anywhere more conscious or free than he is capable of being in this present moment.
You have probably noticed yourself in the "do mode." You are totally focused, intent on getting a task done. You don't want to be disturbed. If anyone tries to interrupt you with a question, you ignore them, or give them a quick answer so you can keep on track. This "do mode" is very common among men. Whether you are trying to hear something on TV or finish a report by midnight, your attention is focused on the task at hand and you don't want to be distracted.
This "do mode" is one of men's biggest strengths and weaknesses. It's great to be able to plow through obstructions and get the job done. And it's good to keep yourself disciplined and on purpose. But if you forget your larger purpose while pursuing the small and endless tasks of daily life, then you have reduced yourself to a machine of picayune.
Even now, as you read this, you may be in a "do mode," totally ensconced in the process of reading. If you were to die right now, what would be the feeling texture of your last moment? Are you feeling the infinite mystery of existence, so that your last moment would be one of awe and gratitude? Is your heart so wide open that your last moment would dissolve in perfect love? Or, are you so absorbed in some task that you would hardly notice death upon you, until the last instant, whoosh, and everything is gone?
The test of your fullness in every moment is your capacity to die in free and loving surrender, knowing you've done everything you could do while alive to give your gift and know the truth of being. Have you loved fully? Or, do you have unexpressed feelings that would taint your last moment with regret? Do you consistently relax into the awe of immense mystery? Or, are you so absorbed in your work and projects that you no longer feel the miracle of existence, each moment emerging from and dissolving into the great unknowable? Has your task addiction built blinders that limit the vastness of your vision, even now?
Tasks are important, but no amount of duties adds up to love, freedom, or full consciousness. You cannot do enough, nor can you do the right things, so that you will finally feel complete. Doing is simply the nature of your bodily life. If you want the body to continue, you must eat and breathe. You must work, care for your family, and brush your teeth. But these are just the mechanics of life on earth. They never come to the absolute truth of your being.
When you do your tasks in the right way, they liberate your life energy so that you can attend to what really matters‑‑the investigation, realization, and embodiment of true freedom. Do you even know what this means? Have you devoted yourself to finding out the deepest truth of your own existence? If, in this very moment, your tasks are not supporting your life in this way, you must drop them or change them so that they do. Otherwise, you are wasting your life.
Whereas many women waste precious time swirling in emotional currents and eddies, many men waste their birth seeking the completion of tasks. Nose to the grindstone, day after day, year after year, and you become a robot of duty. Rather, raise your eyes, see to the horizon, and do your tasks in the spirit of sweeping out your house on a sunny day.
To help you remember the triviality of your daily tasks, interrupt your schedule with refreshers. These refreshers should cut to your core and strip the fat off the moment. Consider your own death. Behold an image of the most enlightened being you know. Contemplate the mystery of existence. Relax into the deepest and most profound loving of which you are capable. In your own way, remember the infinite, and then return to the task at hand. This way, you will never lose perspective and begin to think that life is a matter of tasks. You are not a drone. You are the unbounded mystery of love. Be so, without forgetting your tasks.The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida