Do Nothing

There are two big meditation approaches out there, two buckets, discovered and rediscovered many times in many different traditions. One is active. It’s about bearing down, about trying to get somewhere, to build some skill, to make something happen. The other is passive. It’s about easing off, about not trying to get anywhere or make anything happen. Both have their place. But in our culture of type-A over-achieving workaholics, I think it is safe to say that many of us could benefit from the second approach. We all need a place or a practice where we can just let ourselves exist without having to endlessly prove or secure ourselves. It’s exhausting.

Hence this practice, which is all about putting goal attainment on hold. And, as we surrender – paradox of paradoxes – we may find inner resources we’d have trouble recognizing otherwise. Not that you need a reason!

Thanks to my teacher, Shinzen Young, who taught me to do nothing in the best possible way. I still remember his words: “If you can give up the compulsive need to know and act, you may start to know and act in a whole new way.”

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