When was the last time you did nothing? No eating, no drinking, no reading, no watching, no daydreaming, no thinking of what to do for dinner or on what you regret of saying last Friday night. Nothing.
We spend our days avoiding doing nothing, distracting ourselves from the very present moment. We don’t notice we are breathing. We don’t pay enough attention to our own thoughts – we have no idea on how they arrive, how much time they stick and what makes them disappear.
One very effective way to understand one self a little more is simply taking the time of doing nothing. Sit down comfortably, turn off any distractions. Set the timer for 12 or 13 minutes, as you will use the first couple of minutes to settle down physically and emotionally. Take a few deep breathes. Shift all your attention to your inner experience. Acknowledge your thoughts coming and going, coming and going, as you were observing a river pass by. Do not try to stick to or to push away any thoughts. Just observe them passively. They rush a bit at first, but the tendency is to slow down as the time passes by (which occurs much easier with practice).
Do not engage in internal talk – do not interact, don’t answer. Don’t try to take mental notes to remember something later. Be passive. Minds are as much chaotic as they are complex, so don’t try to make sense of it – just watch and gather information.
You will realize there are patterns. You will acknowledge how you react to certain types of thoughts. You will understand how much of your thought process happens automatically, with no rational intervention. Impressions dress up as beliefs, and we don’t usually question them.
You will feel the intense interconnection of body and mind. Why do you tense your left shoulder when you have a thought about your mother? Why you press your jaw when you make plans for next summer? It will be difficult to tell which manifested first, the body or the mind.
Until the timer is done, you might have more questions than answers, but they will certainly be very interesting questions to dig on. Give it a try.
Do you take some time to do nothing? Do you meditate? Do you have a favorite meditation technique? Comment!
Please remember that English is not my first language, so I apologize for any mistakes or weird word arrangements. Help me improve by sending an email to contacthoneytea at gmail dot com or commenting if you find anything wrong or bad-sounding!