JUST DO NOTHINGDoesn’t quite have the catchy ring that Nike’s iconic phrase has but this is a foundational principle of mindfulness meditation. It is completely counter-intuitive to so much of what we have learned but the result of choosing to do nothing is surprising.
NOWHERE TO GO, NOTHING TO DO
Scholars and teachers of mindfulness explain that the mind has two parts:
THE BEING MIND and THE DOING MIND
The Being Mind is the part of us which attends to our senses, which listens to the messages and signals which are always here.
The Doing Mind is the part of us that is constantly trying to fix a problem, resolve an issue or sort something out.
Being mindful requires you to operate in what is described as Being Mode.
We spend a lot of time in a Doing Mode, getting stuff done, trying to get somewhere else, sorting issues out, improving things, pregressing…
The Being Mode has also been described as Non-Doing.
As with so many other aspects of mindfulness, it sounds soooo easy but it’s actually pretty difficult and takes a fair amount of concentration and discipline. But like anything, the more you try it and do so consistently, the better you will equip yourself to do it, or should I say be it.
NOW IS USUALLY GREAT
We are wired to notice difficulties and problems. It’s one of the reasons the human species has done so well. We are great at predicting tough times and navigating our way around them.
The down side to this is that we seem to no longer acknowledge the present moment…
The truth is, more often than not, NOW IS ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD and it may even be great. If it isn’t great, then maybe it is OK?
If it isn’t OK and you are going through some kind of pain or suffering, then maybe through being mindful, being present, there may be certain details occurring in this moment which, when held in awareness, may allow this moment to be enough.
WORK, STRIVE, DO, HUSSLE
It’s good to work, to achieve something meaningful, to serve, to create. We all have abilities and gifts which we can use and enjoy. But we are more than the sum of our work.
In the West, we are nurtured to strive, to produce, to achieve, to attain. We judge and measure others by their jobs, their roles and their accomplishments.
The concept of non-striving, one of the nine attitudes of mindfulness, is quite alien to most. Spending a few minutes each day, genuinely trying to acheieve nothing may just sound a little unhinged to someone who has a huge list of things to do.
But far from being mad, the practice of being fully where you are right now, is actually really liberating.
Mindfulness meditation is probably the only time in your life when are: not trying to achieve anything, not trying to get anywhere else, not trying to adjust or change anything, not trying to improve or tweak anything etc. You are simply allowing yourslef to be.
It’s another one of those mindfulness things that sounds pretty easy but if you’re an adult and live in the West…