Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Only Thing we Need to Do

“The only thing we need to do is be.”

-Lao Tzu


Do … do … do … driven by doing. Not just outer doing, but inner doing too. The mind is constantly in overdrive to do, looking for the next thing to do now, or to put on our “To Do” list for later.

This constant scurry of activity or “movement of the mind” is the driving force in most people’s lives, and creates all our suffering.

Making time for “being” can be challenging as we try to carve space out of this constant drive to do. Yet, in truth, it’s the only real necessity. The only thing we really need to do is to be, as Lao Tzu said all those hundreds of years ago.

If we stop for a moment, most of us find it difficult to stay in the “not-doing” placeless place of being for very long. As soon as the next thought arises, usually about something that needs doing or we desire to do, we immediately get caught in its stickiness and mindlessly, unquestioningly go forward to do its bidding.

How often do you find yourself in that place that could be a relaxing into emptiness, into simply being, and fill it with the seeking out what to do next, or what to do now. How about just being? For most, easier said than done. There’s that word again … it’s a slave driver, constantly demanding our attention: Do … do … do …

Try doing this: Sit down for 10 minutes. Not 30, not 20 … just 10 minutes. And with the intention to sit for the full 10 minutes.
As you sit in silence, you can “do” this: Watch your breath.

On the in breath think the thought “Let it happen”. On the out breath, think the thought “Let it go”. That’s it … that’s all you need to do in these 10 minutes. And, you may find it won’t be easy, but stay with it and keep bringing yourself back to the exercise.

As thoughts arise, your addiction to them will tempt you to follow them and drop the exercise. Watch carefully yet gently. Notice the desire to stop practicing … really see it, then simply continue, back into observing and “doing” the technique: On the in breath, “Let it happen” and on the out breath, “Let it go”.  You may come to the point of wanting to stop the practice once, twice, three times or more in the 10 minutes … simply take note, but keep going.

These 10 minutes may well be the most important 10 minutes in your life. By simply taking note of what is, watching carefully all our caught-upedness and addiction to thought, and simply “Let it happen” and “Let it go”. In fact, this exercise doesn’t need to stop after the 10 minutes. Take it out into your day and see what happens.
Breathe In … Let it happen
Breathe out … and let it go
Breathe In … Let it happen
Breathe out … and let it go

The only thing you need to do is be.

1 comment:

Ratna Nayak said...

The thought of thoughtlessness is so relaxing to the mind yet so difficult to achieve..
With it comes contentment n peace which r so imp for the general well being of the self n d world at large..