IS MEDITATION EFFORTLESS? By Urano Sophia
This is one of those questions produced by the verbal mind which can prove that anything is anything –
can prove whatever it wants to prove. The intellect is so constructed that any position – any axiom – can
be juxtaposed with its opposite. The dialectic of Plato.
Is meditation effortless? The answer is yes and no. That’s right.
Let’s explain what we mean here.
That Falcon soaring effortlessly among the trees – lord of the air and his world. An effortless movement.
We sense no strain at all – just natural. Yet, nature labored for eons to produce that falcon and its
movement. There was much effort – and even life and death dramas – behind this effortlessness.
We watch Olympic figure skaters doing the most amazing feats. They glide, twist, leap and spin with total
abandon and grace. Yes, to our eyes, it is effortless, natural. But anyone who knows anything about
figure skating will tell you that behind this “effortlessness” was years and years of relentless practice.
Many a broken leg or arm, many a spill, many a frustration and disappointment was gone through before
such effortlessness was attained.
When I go to the beach all I need do is lie out in the Sun and let it work on me. I don’t really do anything. I
allow the Sun to do its perfect work. In a few hours I will have a nice suntan. There is nothing I can do to
hasten this, a natural process will occur. And this is what many Gurus mean when they say that
meditation is effortless. We merely expose ourselves to the light and the light does its perfect work. All
well and good, and I have no problem with this, for it is so. But getting to the beach can often be an
adventure. Perhaps there is much traffic. Parking can be a problem. Perhaps there is red tide in the water
and the beach is unpleasant. Perhaps there were urgent phone calls, or emergencies that needed to be
dealt with that delayed my getting to the beach. That suntan was effortless, but there was (quite often)
much personal effort involved with this.
The view from the mountain top is perfect and picturesque. No obstructions. We see another perspective
on the world. The view – the perception – is effortless. All one need do is just look – be aware – and we are
encased in beauty. Yet, getting to the mountain top, where this view exists, entailed much labor and even
This is the case with meditation. To get to the place of “no effort” requires effort – and sometimes
We see a similar phenomena in prayer (akin to meditation, but a little different). In prayer we contact
macro cosmic forces and set them into motion. The macro cosmic forces – impersonal powers – know their
job and know how to bring the desire about. BUT, and this is a big BUT – there are certain things that we
have to do as individuals. Yes, they will do the job, with little muss or fuss, but we have our part to do as
well. We have to set these forces into motion – allow them entree into our world – give them the
permission and the space to act. Here is where effort is involved. We need to call them, let them know
what we want, trust them and keep our harmony. There are many scientific reasons for this, which are
beyond our scope here.
We can compare this to mailing a letter. There are certain things that the individual has to do. He or she
has to get an envelope, a stamp, make sure that the correct postage is on the envelope and address the
envelope properly. Then the person has to place the envelope into the post box or post office. (The Post
Office is not going to do these things for us.) Once this is done, mighty forces are set into motion. Fleets
of trucks and planes, armies of letter carriers, sorters and dispatchers get to work and the letter gets
delivered. Once the letter is in the post office – the process is now “effortless”. The person doesn’t have to
do anything but enjoy his or her life. The person need not concern him or herself with “how” the letter will
get there – will it be routed though Atlanta, New York, California? Not our concern. Generally, the letter
will get there (unless there is Mercury retrograde or other such phenomena).
Sometimes the challenge can be getting to the post office. There can be traffic, long lines, snafus, road
construction etc. – and here again we see where personal effort is involved. But once at the post office,
personal effort ceases.
Once a person has prayed correctly – followed the laws of scientific prayer – personal effort ceases. It is
no longer his or her concern. The Divine, with its limitless macro cosmic force is now on the case. The
prayer will be answered. The Sun would have to stop shining, the planets would have to stop their
revolutions for this not to happen. The same laws and forces are involved here.
As long as we are in a physical, mortal body, there is going to be effort involved in prayer and meditation.
For the mortal, human, is subject to the influences of the carnal mind – both personal and of the collective
– and has many karmic momentum’s to deal with. To say that meditation or prayer is a “walk in the park”
is to give a totally misleading impression to the seeker. Effortlessness will happen, but not right away.
Let the Mighty Labor begin.