Ipod Dakini by Frank Olinski
Monday is, or was, Do Nothing Day for me. I began practicing two years ago, but have lapsed since the move from Seattle to Sweden. So much I have to do. Perhaps I can get a few of you do join me as I begin to practice again. It’s not easy – impossible if you’re employed. If you’re retired there is a possibility.
There is only one rule. One must do their level best to avoid work or anything, to do with maintenance, overtly productive or income producing. Absolutely illegal to do anything your really don’t want to do. I made an exception of writing as for me it has certainly not been income producing. Productive? I don’t know . . . a matter of definition I suppose. It’s totally okay to do things that bring pleasure, things you enjoy. Maybe that’s how I get around the writing thing. Blogging is okay.
I can feel you starting to think, ‘This will be easy.’ Not! I found it to be almost impossible. The perfect Do Nothing Day is a goal yet underachieved. Things happen. You need something from the store. A bill must be paid. The lawn should be mowed . . . a dentist appointment . . . phone calls – you should . . . .
We are in constant motion, always doing something. I have great appreciation for those ancient Buddhist hermits. Some may still exist somewhere. I doubt we’ll hear of those who get down to absolutely nothing—chop wood, carry water . . . eat. Get up when they feel like it, sleep when they feel like it – no clock. Time to think without distraction. No TV or cell phones. Not surprising they had insights. I’ve recently discovered some Do Nothing thoughts in Buddhist writing, but they are rare. Of course those who were most successful would not have bothered to write about it. It’s a meditation without the effort of meditating.
If anyone tries this I would be interested in hearing your experience – what happens. I can almost guarantee it will be interesting – things you notice, thoughts that come to mind. If nothing else you will become aware of what you’re are doing.