Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 12/05/2012

Low Energy – What To Do?


It took me minute today to even figure out what I should post and I believe that mostly has to do with a lack of energy on my part. Call it the weather, fighting off a cold, parenting kids or whatever you will but this feeling of listlessness can overwhelm us at times and make doing even the most simple of tasks seem like Herculean feats. But this is where my life and practice find me so it’s no use bemoaning my fate or pretending it isn’t so.

Since I’m unable to take a nap or crawl back to bed (assuming that the cause of fatigue truly is physical) the best thing I can to is to rouse myself and try to bring up my energy level it would seem. But what to do? In these situations I often reach for the heaviest tool in the box and go straight for the recollection of death. However, after years of this it has just occurred to me that it may be better to do so with a lighter touch. Sure, it’s useful to recall one’s mortality as a way to snap oneself out of a stupor but maybe it would be a good idea to then move onto a brighter topic for the mind like caganussati or metta.

I really haven’t yet tried this but I feel that this may be a more skillful approach and will let you know how it went if I remember when writing tomorrows post (if I don’t die first). Rakkhantu sabba devata!


Here’s a talk on energy and view by Ajahn Sucitto:


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  1. Dhamma Greetings,

    oh my, I know what you are talking about.

    Bhante V for example suggests, in case of low energy, to recollect the positive virtues of the spiritual friend. And, main thing, not to take that fatigue personal. ‘There is fatigue’ instead of ‘I am that’. We are more than our mental and bodily states since we are able to have a non-personal view on it 🙂

    I hope you can get back into your strengh soon or change the perspective. Wish you a pleasant day how it’s good for you you like it,

    Kind Regards,

    • Mirco,

      Excellent recommendation and something I will certainly try. What seemed to work for this morning was to drop into the breath and spread it around while breathing deeply into the different parts of my body. Thank you again my friend! Mettaya!

  2. A couple of thoughts:

    I’ve often found that if I just make myself get moving, the listlessness fades. It just takes enough energy to overcome that initial inertia.

    Oftentimes, low mental energy is actually aversion — usually aversion to something the mind doesn’t want to do. It’s helped me at times to recognize that aversion, drop it, and replace it with a skillful mental state. Metta works for me, as does arousing contentment, as does reflecting on my joy for having this path to practice. Basically, anything that brightens the mind usually brings energy with it. But it sounds like you were headed in this direction anyway.

    And, like you, maranussati always works well for me too.

    I’m sure by the time you read this, it will already have passed though.


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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.