My housemates regularly ask me when I am going to do nothing. Just sit, with no task at all. That’s what they mean. Like they do and they’re good at just sitting and looking at nothing. Staring into the void. To tell you the truth, I study my husband sometimes when he is in that state and after five minutes I ask myself: what’s so good about that? He says that doing nothing is good for the creative process, just like boredom. He is an artist. So that explains a lot. Sometimes I imagine that doing nothing is a form of meditation. I did ask him what happens in his head when he is in his doing-nothing-mood. His stream of thoughts continues and he is unconsciously being dragged from left to right; from one state of mind to another. Aimless.
If this way of doing nothing promotes the creative process, what could meditation do? After all, that is also sitting still and with a goal, namely to develop awareness. Meditation refines your consciousness so that you can perceive better. Being able to clearly register what is happening around you and in you brings insight and leads to acceptance of life as it presents itself. In fact, it means an end to all “war” in your life and to say it very nicely: it brings inner freedom.
There are many people who do not want to learn to meditate. They have all sorts of reasons for this, such as no time; it’s for hippies, for yogis; that does not fit into my life and so on.
Some of them do come to my yoga classes to actively participate in the exercises. Slowly I am building in some time to learn to sit still. Starting with five minutes. And I see that they are doing well. It makes them quiet. Me too.
It would be wonderful if everyone could do that at home in his or her own time. It costs a maximum of half an hour or less per day. It is strange that we all have time to watch TV, to chat, to argue, to make love, to eat and brush our teeth and to sit still for half an hour a day, with a purpose seems to be a bridge too far.
For me the question arises: what are people afraid of? Are they afraid of seeing themselves in their self-created world? Yes, that can be intense.
You can actually consider my so-called insight meditation as life therapy without a therapist. It has a purifying and healing effect on your character and it provides insight into complex life.
Ultimately, you learn to deal better with blockages and problems so you will be more stable in life. Is that something to be afraid of? I would make time for that.
If sitting still, doing nothing, looking at nothing and boredom is good for the creative process, then sitting still and practicing mindfulness is a better tool, I think, because my creative process flows all day and my energy level is stable. I don’t have to sit still and do nothing to have that. As soon as I start a task, I turn it into a piece of art with full attention. Whether I write, teach yoga, clean the house or bake a cake. It makes no difference.
So yes, I never do nothing! And it will always remain that way.