How to do nothing


I recently had a tarot card reading and the main message was “do nothing, and then productivity and deeper understanding will come.” I thought ok, I get that. I will be less busy and pay attention, that way I will be able to accomplish more in a more conscious manner!

But then I started to think about “doing nothing”. How do I actually do nothing? Does that mean I have to stay in bed? Does that mean I can’t work, do art, walk, talk, and eat? Or does that mean – do nothing new, do not start anything, or do not expend energy unnecessarily?

As I was about to move on with my life, my friend Janie stopped by the studio. She told me how this day was just unfolding beautifully for her. She told me how her business was slowing down and she was a bit worried, and then today, out of the blue. she got a call for more work. The work was doing something she loves doing. The synchronicity was uncanny, because I too had just gotten an email from a woman who wanted to meet with me. She wanted to talk with me about doing an arts and social justice workshop! Like Janie’s call, this is right up my alley.

What was so wonderful was that Janie or I had not chased after these opportunities. They came to us because of who we are. We were doing nothing, but just being ourselves.

According to Janie, in her search for higher consciousness, ‘doing nothing’ is about being centered and ‘being’, not trying to make something happen. It is about letting the flow come to you.

I picked up the Thich Nhat Hanh book, Peace is Every Step and opened it randomly to the section Aimlessness. It talks about how the West is so goal oriented and how we know where we want to go and how to get there. He discusses the Buddhist concept of wishlessness or aimlessness. It is about not putting something in front of you to run after because everything is already within us.

I am now seeing it is about ‘not doing’, instead of ‘doing nothing’. It is about balance and being present and enjoying the moment. It is about not filling up your space and time with doing and things. It is about just BEING.


2 thoughts on “How to do nothing

  1. I still really need to learn how to “not do”. I used to tell my Dad, that Life gets in my way. And his response was always, “Welcome to the Human RACE”. I didn’t understand then but at 60 I’m beginning to. Thanks for reminding me, I needed that!

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