August 29, 2018

The Brilliance of Doing Absolutely Nothing.

I have found a practice that brings forth our innate brilliance and gifts more effectively than anything else.

The practice is this: schedule at least 30 minutes each day for absolutely nothing.

If we had to give it a name, which I am hesitant to do, I would call it sitting.

Now—sitting is not difficult. You can train your dog to sit. Your cat sits, your small children sit from an early age, and you can train yourself to sit, too. It does not require any advanced skills. Anybody is capable of sitting and doing nothing.

The difficulty comes, like everything else, because we get overly ambitious, and we want to make it into something special that we can be proud of and call “meditation.”

Forget all about meditation. Just sit, damn it! 

So, here is what we can do:

      Step One: Sit down somewhere, either in a chair or cross-legged.

      Step Two: Set the timer on your phone for 30 minutes.

      Step Three: Put on a blindfold.

      Step Four: …

There is no step four. There is also no step five or six. Keep it simple. Sitting means we just put on a blindfold, set a timer, and wait.

A number of things may happen once we have committed to our 30 minutes of sitting, but none of them are any of our business, so we can leave them all well alone.

We may have loads of thoughts, and that is just fine. If we are aware of thoughts, we may become aware that we are aware of thoughts. If we are noticing thoughts, that means that the thoughts are present, and also that something else is present that is aware of them. We might, sooner or later, with nothing else to do, naturally become curious about that. Who—or what—is that? What is it that notices the passing of thoughts?

We might notice strong energies building up in the body, which we sometimes call “emotions.” This motion of energy can also become a focus for our curiosity. With the breath and awareness, we can penetrate into the center of an emotional pool, and as we do so, it will welcome us and draw us into itself. Then, it will spread and dissipate into the rest of the body.

Spending 30 minutes wearing a blindfold, while waiting patiently, may sometimes be pleasant—and sometimes unpleasant. It may sometimes be blissful, and it may sometimes be irritating and frustrating.

None of that matters—just make the commitment to sitting 30 minutes every day, no matter what, allowing yourself to be curious about what is actually going on.

In ways that defy logic, this will, over time, ensure that when we take the blindfold off, we are more brilliant, more present, more humorous, and more loving than when we put it on 30 minutes before.

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