Do Nothing Day – 1


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.


About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat now living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, cat and dog. He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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10 Responses to Do Nothing Day – 1

  1. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    I always start the day with a do nothing day, but then something catches my attention
    so I will just “do” this one thing, then next to it or around a corner I come upon something else that needs”doing” LOLs…
    I may try tomorrow….though I have been away awhile ( was in Colorado Black Forrest during the fires) and I wanted to catch up on the blogs…though maybe Monday will be a good “do nothing” day…because I am tired after my vacation
    Good Post! I will let you know what happens!
    Take Care…

    • bldodson says:

      “….upon something that needs doing.”

      Yes! That’s it exactly.
      It’s really an extremely difficult thing to do, or should I say it’s so difficult to ‘not-do.’

      • LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

        I am doing a pretty good job of doing nothing right now…but that will change I am sure LOLs
        I should be finishing a quilt I am working on…planting lettuce and radishes and an orange meat watermelon(my favorite) and some herbs I didn’t before I went to Colorado…but doing nothing is feeling good I have to say!

      • LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

        I almost made it…but I had o run an errand that needed to be done…
        other than that…absolutely nothing except read other peoples thoughts….
        I should be watering, but I think it will wait til the morning….
        now I may try Valeries’ Silent Tuesday..that sounds wonderful ….
        Take Care Bruce….

      • bldodson says:

        You did better than me. I also like Valrier’s idea, but don’t see how I could even accomplish that!

      • LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

        I waited til today to answer and nope I was too busy catching up on chores I ignored yesterday…the geese make for a very NON Silent Tuesday..
        but I finished watering, weeding…and as I sit here wandering in cyberspace I am enjoying a small quiet zone…
        so maybe a partial Silent Tuesday?
        Hope your day was quieter than mine!

      • bldodson says:

        Blue Rose,
        You’ve done better than I have. I “had” to buy a suit for a wedding that is going to happen soon, donated some books I don’t have room for to the library on the way, then the grocery store . . .
        You’re doing better than I am. I will try again next Monday.

  2. This sounds a wonderful idea Bruce, and I long to try… but when you’re looking after someone else who needs you, it’s an impossible dream !
    The best I can do is to have a silent Tuesday every week, when we don’t speak… that’s rather nice too… makes you mindful….and the house settles into a delicate peace…

  3. catnipoflife says:

    I cannot imagine a do nothing day! Not now anyway…

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