The Art of Non-doing

In modern culture, just “being” is not considered helpful or wise.  We give credit to those who have achieved certifications, degrees, and awards.  We admire those who have climbed mountains all over the world in their quest to summit every peak.  We value industry, “getting things done”, and lots of accomplishments.  Many times we equate personal value with the level of income and material wealth that a person acquires in life.

And yet we all know the saying, “you can’t take it with you”.  After a person’s life is over and the newspaper obituary listing all of the accomplishments has been read by those who care, what happens to those personal accomplishments?  They are like dust in the wind.  What does stay alive, however, is the transmission of love, peace, and compassion to others.  This energy does not depend on material wealth, “getting things done”, or personal achievements.  It depends on being fully present, in the moment, and sharing life.

I can remember when I was five years old and staying at my grandmother’s home in Kansas City while my mother was in the hospital, giving birth to my youngest brother, John.  After he was born on a beautiful summer day, my father came to my grandmother’s home and sat down in an easy chair.  I climbed into his lap and together we shared a halcyon time of non-doing together.  I laid my head against his chest to hear his heart beat.  We said nothing and did nothing more than this.  This experience stays with me as one of enduring, timeless love.

Through self-hypnosis and mindfulness training, we can allow ourselves a time of “non-doing” simply by being still … what might we notice when we settle down and become aware of the present moment?

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