Monday, August 16, 2010

Doing nothing

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. Whether you're an actor, anything, a housewife … there has to be great pauses between highs, where you do nothing at all. You just lay on a bed and stare at the ceiling. . . .
The nine-to-five is one of the greatest atrocities sprung upon mankind. You give your life away to a function that doesn't interest you.
Advice from poet Charles Bukowski.  If it makes you sigh with longing, you might be interested in this feature story from the NY Times about several brain researchers taking a rafting trip, cut off from all their technological distractions - cellphones, laptops - to see how it affected their minds.  The word "meditation" actually does appear in their future research plans.

Reading the story in a leisurely way I thought, If you guys liked this, you should try a meditation retreat.  Or like Sheba, just lie on a chair doing nothing.


  1. I think Ive mastered that part already. Every time someone asks me what Im doing, I say, "nothing."

  2. lol @ hadv.......I have no trouble doing nothing........Infact I love doing

  3. Hi Jeanne,

    How timely that I should read this post today. I'm on vacation in the White Mountains of Maine and NH and I feel very unsettled. Instead of enjoying the scenery and allowing myself a break from the to-do list, I feel lazy and sloth-like. Cats know the score. Our two cats are up here at the cabin with us and they spend equal time playing, exploring (from the safety of the screened in porch) and sleeping.

    Thanks for your much-needed reminder to disconnect and relax (I write this while on my laptop, which seems a little weird!)


  4. I have often felt revved up the first couple of days of a meditation retreat. Various friends think it takes them three days to "get rid of the garbage." It's partly about that impulse to Do Something getting fainter.

    Thank you for writing.

  5. Many may think that 'doing nothing' is a passive state (they call it vegging...). But I say that it requires constant activity -- always being alert to remove our distractions. It's like digging a hole at the beach; if you stop bailing the water out, the hole fills itself in.

    Maintain that 'nothing state' for a time and you will be renewed.