Doing Nothing Is Something

In our fast paced world where we’re evaluated by what we accomplish, it’s strange to consider the value of doing nothing. Sure, you can count the number of hours you sit or the number of courses you complete, but no one’s giving you certificates or congratulating you based on this score card. What I gain from meditation isn’t so tangible. It simply helps me be a good human being. It helps me be more loving to the people around me. It helps me understand this complicated world we live in. These aren’t quantifiable results, but they are something.

What’s fascinating is that these benefits come from essentially doing nothing. I don’t mean that benefits just come out of no where. You need to actively choose to spend a good deal of time doing nothing to receive the benefits, and this is hard. One reason I think it’s hard is because these results aren’t tangible. I can’t convince a boss that spending 2 hours out of my day to meditate gave our company a particular benefit. From the outside, it appears as just wasted time. It’s not until you regularly meditate that you experience the benefits of doing nothing. So even though I only have a finite amount of time on this planet, and I used to believe I should attempt to do as many different things as I could with that time, I’m not sure there’s a more valuable way to spend my time than doing nothing. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

In March of 2010 I discovered a path to peace and happiness through a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. After establishing my personal practice, and witnessing how it changed my way of life, I'm now curious to explore how the growing community of meditators can help to support each other and make the world a better place.
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One Response to Doing Nothing Is Something

  1. shalinisun says:

    With steady practice, I clearly see my mind dissipate waves of anger and stress many a time , helping me to respond to events more resourcefully. It is quite tangible that way. With time, my family and quite a few friends and co-workers noticed the changes and understood that this is due to meditation. I feel its just like how companies invest in ‘soft-skills’ and understand its benefits are not exactly quantifiable, even though its tangible. Well, eventually it really doesn’t matter whether others are convinced about it or not, as long as we are clearly able to see it distinctly benefiting us and giving us more peace. Moreover, just like external vicissitudes, there are internal ones too, that I have learnt takes time to navigate through it using vipassana and they are even more powerfully beneficial but others might just see it otherwise.

    ‘Doing nothing is something’ – nice way to put it!

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