On The Merits of Doing Nothing

I really struggled not to write this.

It’s a Saturday morning. So instead I focused on chores; cooking and cleaning. Took in a bit of the morning sun over coffee. Truth is doing nothing is quite challenging.

In fact, it’s been a challenge throughout the ages, so much so that various cultures have enlightened beings of legend that accomplished this transformation from doing, well, nothing; nothing at all.

Which is why for me it’s so challenging to see people complaining about nothing, and stating that when we weren’t all wired, blessed be those who still aren’t, we had dreadfully boring lives. How terribly wrong they are.

Life was a rich tapestry with depth, a depth it clearly lacks in this shallow age of screen-based superficiality.

In my youth I spent a lot of time studying masters, and learning how to sit still, as we say. My teacher used to tell me “When you can count to three, and nothing more, you will have achieved it.” I tried. I counted to three. Nothing happened. I loved it. Suddenly it was like everything was one, and I was one with it. I was full, I was empty. It was beautiful; life changing in-fact.

I’ve since spent a lot of time exploring that altered state, however centered, and trying to understand what fruit might be wrought of it. I employ various techniques, some all my own. You see, I’m guilty of doing too much. So much so that sometimes I wonder why I do it at all. It used to be somewhat unique, but I see it all around me these days, the constant need to grind oneself; ‘the hustle’ as some call it. The need to improves one’s ‘game’. It’s a comforting way to keep the ‘chattering monkey’ within us all alive and well. It never wants to see nothing, let alone to speak it or hear it. The sheer emptiness of stillness can be terrifying for some, but it offers a rich bounty for those that dare to explore it. In the end, there’s more nothing. Layers upon layers of it. Ourselves too, nothing at all. Figments.

“The way never acts yet nothing is left undone.” – Lao Tzu, Tao De Ching, 37

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