The Spiritual Law of Least Effort

By Traci Pedersen

“Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality, it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.” —Eckhart Tolle

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you ended up pushing it farther away? Or perhaps there was a time in which you mentally and emotionally resisted a situation or problem so intensely that you more than doubled your suffering.

In our culture, it’s actually a popular concept to “fight” for what we want—to struggle and persevere and to never give up. We wage a “war” on drugs, we “fight” cancer, we compete, we resist, we come out on top—or do we?

In the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, as taught by Deepak Chopra, there is a concept known as the Law of Least Effort, or least resistance. It is based on the idea that you accomplish more by striving less. It sounds like a paradox, but when you think of it in terms of energy, it makes a lot of sense.

The law is based on the idea that nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease: whether it’s a blossoming flower, a drifting cloud, a rushing river—each moves in harmony with the universal energy of love without having to “try” and struggle. In fact, everything is the way it should be at this moment.

Now imagine your body as a vessel of energy. You can choose to save energy or expend energy, depending on your emotional state of being.

When we are motivated by fear and ego, we waste large amounts of energy and even set up blockages that inhibit positive flow. Likewise, we waste this precious energy when we mentally and emotionally resist our present situation; it’s similar to struggling against a riptide instead of just floating with it until the current ends.

When our actions are motivated by love, however, we tap into the organizing power of the Universe, and we really take off. When we go with the flow—or accept things as they are—we conserve this precious energy, allowing us to better accomplish our goals and manifest our desires.

According to the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, we can put the Law of Least Effort into action by participating in the following three actions:

  1. Practice total acceptance. Instead of mentally resisting unwanted factors in your life— your body, your job, your relationships, your current situation—decide that you will accept these things completely just as they are today. This doesn’t mean that you won’t work to resolve the situation; in fact, it is just the opposite. By accepting the situation as it is and not struggling against it, you free up a lot more energy to actually accomplish what you set out to do. You also lower your levels of suffering, as suffering is built on our own mental resistance to a situation.
  2. Take responsibility. This applies to all the choices you have made in the past and present. Do not place blame or guilt toward yourself or others. Focus on what you can do today to heal yourself and realize that every problem is an opportunity for growth.
  3. Be defenseless. Don’t waste your energy on arguing with others in an attempt to prove a point or convince them you are right. Instead, enjoy the feeling of being open to several points of view without attaching yourself so rigidly to one. Truly listen to others. Refrain from trying to force an outcome that is not ready to manifest.

Commit your actions today to the Law of Least Effort and watch your productivity and spirits soar. As you learn to expend your life energy in the most efficient way possible—by not wasting it on resistance and unnecessary struggle—you will begin to plant the seeds of peace and patience and joy in your life. And in turn, you will enjoy an abundance of energy to manifest your dreams into reality.

 

Spirituality & Health magazine is for people who wish to explore the spiritual journey—the journey to self-knowledge, authenticity, and integration. We draw from the wisdom of many traditions and cultures, with an emphasis on sharing spiritual practices. We explore the health of body, mind, and spirit, and we recognize that in our language the words "whole," "health," and "holy" share a common root. To subscribe to Spirituality & Health, click here.

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