We have very little control over the results of our actions. The physical products of our choices depend on a large group of people and how they respond to each other. For example, if I build beautiful sculpture, it’s possible that someone will dislike it and destroy it, or maybe someone will transport it to the town center and I’ll become famous. I can only control the first link of this cascade of choices.
And when we die, most of the items we created or possessed will be forgotten. We store valuable tokens of our past in boxes, transport them throughout our lives while rarely opening them, and when we’ve passed, these boxes become yard sale merchandise or garbage. Our attachment to the items is impermanent.
Our society focusses on results, so when I first considered how wasteful it was to spend time on energy to produce results, I had trouble discovering the value of life. If we can’t focus on results, aren’t our lives meaningless? I know how to work hard, but what am I working hard to accomplish?
Vipassana has helped me discover the goal of purifying my heart and mind. As I become purified, my interactions with others become purified. The web of connections in my life are slowly becoming wholesome and healthy. In time, maybe more people in my life will discover the technique of Vipassana and value of a pure mind. This process will change the intention of certain people, and that personalized change will last much longer than a physical result. Even after I die, the chain of people working to become more peaceful and loving may last for quite some time.
It’s strange to detach from tangible goals as they defined my of my life prior to Vipassana. I always found some carrot or another to dangle in front of my nose so I would always be motivated to push forward. When I stopped pushing forward, it initially felt like I was wasting the precious time I have on this planet, but I discovered that these carrots were simply distracting me from the truth. My perspective on life has changed, and it may be confusing to many people, but I have no doubt that my new life is more healthy and wholesome for myself, my family, and the world. Time to meditate.