The Art of Not Doing
I forget where I first heard about this concept. It was probably a Dalia Lama idea from one of his books or perhaps I found it in a Carlos Castaneda book. At first I didn’t understand it. How can we do something that is a “not doing?” But just the other day the answer was revealed to me.
I was substitute teaching at a local high school and as I was doing attendance a student noted my facial hair and said that he wished that he could grow a beard. I simply told him to do it then. But he said that it was difficult. I finished by saying that on the contrary, growing a beard is perhaps the easiest thing to do. One simply must not shave. It is the opposite of a doing. It is a not doing.
It struck me then that giving up old habits and thought patterns and other aspects of my life that are no longer serving me by applying this “Art of not Doing.”
Want to save money? Don’t spend money. Don’t want to do drugs? Don’t do drugs. Don’t want to drink? Then don’t drink. Don’t want to gratify yourself? Then just don’t do it.
It is far easier to do nothing than it is to do a something. Therefore these afflictions that trouble me can no longer have control over me, for I have recognized the truth: The simplicity of the “Art of Not Doing.”
Related to this concept if the “Art of Allowing,” such as Reiki work, or in theology the idea of “letting God be God.” There is nothing that needs to be done. In order to do a something like this we simply have to not interfere. We simply allow the flow to occur.
It is far easier to allow something to happen than to try and stop a something from happening. If it is good to allow, allow. If it is good to not do, don’t do.
In both cases there is nothing that needs to be done. We can simply sit back and observe, or witness, this marvelous life, comforted to know that we are doing our very best by doing nothing and allowing life to unfold as it should.
I'm a mirror (and so are you).