Practicing the Fine Art of Doing Nothing

One cannot overestimate the importance of doing nothing.

We are a nation of thinkers and doers. That is how we have become such a great country. Very few people, however, would dispute that we all need to take a break from doing and thinking from time to time to rest our minds. Most people agree with this; however, it appears that few people truly know how to relax their body and mind.


Walk aboard any airplane or into any doctor’s office and you will find people glued to their phone or leafing through magazines. Very rarely will you find somebody just sitting, staring at whatever, and doing nothing at all.

It seems that we are a nation of fidgeters. As a whole, we think too much. And much of the time, our thoughts gravitate towards the negative.

Many people think that doing nothing is a waste of time. To me, taking time out to do nothing is some of the most productive time there is.

Slip Out of Thinking into Being

The love and happiness you are seeking doesn’t come from your mind. It comes from your being. To realize heaven on earth, dwell in your being.

Thoughts are an excellent tool but a terrible master. We must learn control our thoughts, otherwise they will control us.

When not needed, it is a good practice to quiet your thoughts. In this way you can redirect your energy to more meaningful things, such as creativity, inspiration, or communion with your higher power.

Zen has a name for stilling the mind. It is called Zazen, which is just sitting and doing nothing.

One could rightly make the argument that we cannot shut down our thinking altogether. I would certainly agree with that. It is, however, certainly possible for us to control our runaway thinking and rest our overactive minds.

One of the most effective ways of controlling our monkey minds is to process our thoughts more effectivity. This is something that we should be teaching in elementary school, but we don’t.

Below is a great way to process your thoughts. This small change can have a big impact on your overall life satisfaction.


Keep Coming Back to Your breath

If you cannot alight your attention on a positive though, then return your attention to your breath.

The salvation that you are looking for is hidden in plain sight, behind your thoughts and emotions.

Breathe into the silence behind every thought and emotion.

Breathe deeply and focus inward. This is where you will discover a deep sense of inner-oneness.

It only takes one conscious breath to be fully awake.

Be where you are

You already have everything you have been searching for. You are already and enlightened being of light and love. And, you are already living in heaven on earth. You don’t have to think, seek or do anything. Just look and see what’s already there.

Stay awake to your inner goodness.

If you are miserable, you are blind to your inner goodness.

This is it. It doesn’t get any better than this! If you believe otherwise, you are taking a step in the wrong direction.

Don’t go chasing after anything in this world. The world is full of illusions that will try to draw you in and ensnare you. Don’t fall for it. The more you search for it, the farther away you get. The real treasure lies within

Between every thought is a doorway to a new world.

Keep coming back to your center. Just relax and bask in your inner goodness.

In the brilliance of one’s inner sunshine, darkness fades away.

There is no past or future, there is only now, now, now ….

Spend Quality Time With God

If you want to be in the company of God you need to leave your thoughts and concepts at the door. It’s during these times, when our minds are not busy with all sorts of things, that we can here the whisperings of God.

Keep coming back to the warm, loving presence that dwells in your heart. Remember, as you feel it, it grows.

Tips for Practicing the Art of Doing Nothing

  • Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight
  • Let go of your thinking, wanting, doing and seeking. And rediscover the joy of just being.
  • Take long, deep, natural breaths.
  • Turn your attention to the point of goodness within. Feel the warm, loving presence in your heart.
  • Keep your eyes open and relax your gaze
  • Take in all the sights and sounds around you.
  • Nature is the perfect setting to practice doing nothing. It can be as simple as listening to the birds outside your window.
  • Minimize your mental commentary around what you see and feel. If a thought comes up, use the approach discussed earlier this blog to process your thought.

Inspirations to Lift You Up

To be awakened by all things
is enlightenment.
– Dogen (1200-1253)

Let your awareness be wide open and bright like the sky,
with no clouds of concepts.
– Inspired by Longchenpa (1308-1364)

If you want to see it, see into it directly;
but when you stop to think about it, it is altogether missed.
-TAO-WU (748-807 AD)

Nowhere is there a more idyllic spot, a vacation home more private and peaceful,
than in one’s own mind, especially when it is furnished in such a way that the merest
inward glance induces ease.
– Marcus Aurelius (121-180)

Always take an emergency leisurely.
– Chinese Proverb

All beings are inherently enlightened,
but because of their attachments and distorted views,
they can’t realize this fact.
– Buddha (480-400 BC)

Copyright @ 2020. Mark Ellison. All Rights Reserved

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