The Value Of Nothing
The home of rest, insight and inspiration…
“Sometimes you just have to turn off the lights, sit in the dark, and see what happens inside of you.”
Sometimes you have to spend some time, really doing nothing. Not even meditating, or trying to meditate. Not doing anything. It does not even have to be for long. There is so much value in just closing off from the world temporarily to let your mind begin to sort itself out, or rather, to allow the intelligence of stillness to break through into the mind again.
If you are at work all day, around people all day, doing things all day, then doing more in the evenings, watching TV, consuming things on the internet, then that is a massive amount to be doing. Then there is all the extra stuff that we do that tends to be quite useless — such as the stress and worry and fret or strain we place onto the world, on top of everything else that is being done.
So sometimes, at any time, it can be tremendously helpful to just do nothing. To consciously rest. If you allow yourself to do nothing, another power can begin to work through and refresh you, a power that is not separate from you, but has a deeper, higher quality than the power of your own personal way of thinking.
Our ways of thinking about the world can be empowering, and they can also be equally hindering. Many of our beliefs that stifle our energy are going on unnoticed, but time for nothing can help with that. It can bring old thoughts into the light again, where they had previously been lying low in the darkness. The only real prerequisite, is to let go of the guilt of not doing anything.
If someone asks you what you have been doing, and you say “meditating”, then this can carry much more value, much more protection, than saying “nothing”. “Nothing” is such a taboo in our culture, so apparently useless and unproductive, in a society that wants everyone to produce and consume more and more and more…
“Perhaps somewhere, someone knows the value of truly doing nothing, and would much rather everyone just stay busy and thinking in the same ways as everybody else…”
Nothing is needed. That’s where all the good ideas come from. That’s where insight comes from. That’s where creativity lives. You can’t be creative if you are just full of noise. You are still creative, actually, but it is messy. There is no power shooting out of you, things become stagnant and dead without the fresh life feeding the mind. The real power begins, and lives, in nothing.
If you feel stressed, tired, depressed, anxious, fatigued, uninspired, dull — there is nothing wrong with just doing nothing. Even for fifteen minutes. If you have to call it anything, call it conscious rest. Let your mind open and relax, even if it is turbulent at first. Let it wander, let yourself wander, if that what is happening. See what happens. Be happy to not need to do anything, if only for a while.
It allows for a vital recharging, that you might not get with an unconscious sleep, or a meditation where you are still secretly striving for a different experience.
“This is very important — to take leisure time. Pace is the essence. Without stopping entirely and doing nothing at all for great periods, you’re gonna lose everything…just to do nothing at all, very, very important. And how many people do this in modern society? Very few. That’s why they’re all totally mad, frustrated, angry and hateful.”
— Charles Bukowski
Originally published at www.innerpeacenow.com.