The Necessity of Non-Doing

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You’re probably getting tired of posts about the stuff I’m learning from Jon Kabat-Zinn. Stick with me for one more though, okay?

So, one of my 21st century complaints is that we’re all so engaged with our phones and tablets that we spend less time engaged face to face. Trust me, I LOVE technology. I love the ease of communication that we have in 2016. I just wish we could all simply sit down to a meal together without having to also answer text messages and look things up. You’ve probably had this experience, too. Also, please don’t think I’m innocent…I’m probably more plugged into my phone than most folks.

Screen shot 2016-02-11 at 5.29.29 PMSo, back to Kabat-Zinn and the need for a more mindful world. When one is meditating, it’s the easiest thing in the world…and the hardest thing in the world. Reason being, when one is meditating, he/she is fully engaged with doing nothing. Just sitting and breathing. If a thought arises while sitting and breathing, notice it, then go back to simply sitting and breathing. See why this is a difficult task? To try to turn our minds off, or to only concentrate on a single thing (in this case, breathing.)

Kabat-Zinn also recognizes the benefits AND difficulties technology has brought into our lives. He noted how, the more connected we are to one another, the better. But, this connection also comes at a price. If we’re constantly engaged with others, there’s little or no time for the non-doing of meditation. Kabat-Zinn made the point that we must take time away from constant engagement and entertainment and simply be. I don’t think anyone could disagree.

Screen shot 2016-02-11 at 5.29.49 PMToday, I encourage you to put your phone on silent. Then, set it down across the room. Maybe only for 10 or 15 minutes. Take that time to simply enjoy the silence, to either become aware of your breath or to simply observe what is going on around you. If you’re constantly plugged in like me, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how life can be again when we’re not constantly doing.

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