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The wisdom of learning to Do Nothing lies in the fact that it promotes a sense of relationality and belonging, meaning and purpose

‘Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.Lao Tzu

‘Do nothing and leave nothing undone,’ says Lao Tzu

Before I explain more, I am sure you probably are thinking that this Doing Nothing sounds  a bit wishy-washy, coming from an out of touch and unrealistic mind. But please stick with me here. Doing nothing doesn’t mean being lazy, idle or wanting to avoid work. The meaning is deeper than that. What it means is effortless action/sincere and meaningful/purposeful action. Thus, stay put and more will be revealed…

Do Nothing, and Nothing Will Be Left Undone. | wordfromthewell 


‘Wu wei means – in Chinese – non-doing or ‘doing nothing’. It sounds like a pleasant invitation to relax or worse, fall into laziness or apathy. Yet this concept is key to the noblest kind of action according to the philosophy of Daoism – and is at the heart of what it means to follow Dao or The Way. According to the central text of Daoism, the Dao De Jing: ‘The Way never acts yet nothing is left undone’. This is the paradox of wu wei. It doesn’t mean not acting, it means ‘effortless action’ or ‘actionless action’. It means being at peace while engaged in the most frenetic tasks so that one can carry these out with maximum skill and efficiency. Something of the meaning of wu wei is captured when we talk of being ‘in the zone’ – at one with what we are doing, in a state of profound concentration and flow.’- The School of Life

Watch the video below for an excellent definition of the concept of Doing Nothing

Lao Tzu's Concept of Wu Wei - The Art of Doing Nothing - YouTube

Lao Tzu's Concept of Wu Wei - The Art of Doing Nothing

Nota bene

‘To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.’- Oscar Wilde

The avid readers of our GCGI Blogs know full well that, throughout the years we have been passionate advocates of ‘Doing Nothing’ to be happy, joyous, content, gaining inner peace and a quiet mind. We have come to believe that indeed, by learning to do nothing, we will, in due course, in an orderly fashion, do everything, realising our goals and daily tasks.

Today, I was pleased to come across an article by an accomplished author on spirituality and mindfulness, which clearly resonated with me, prompting me to prepare and write this current posting. More on the article a bit later. First, I wish to recall a sample of our postings on these topics over the past few years to refresh our thoughts, imagination and possibilities.

Zhuangzi -Chinese Daoist philosopher

‘Society has shifted toward prioritising hyper-productivity, making the notion of doing nothing seem unproductive and inefficient.

‘If there is time left unfilled during the day, there is an urge to fill it with something.

‘It's no wonder people have such a hard time relaxing and enjoying moments of nothingness.’- Rachelle Williams, Vedic Educator

The sweetness of doing nothing. 

”Let me look out of the window

stare fixated at the distant bough

let me hold a warm cup of tea

long after its contents are over

let me empty my thoughts

watching the dancing shadows

shimmering on the walls

let me potter around aimlessly

without feeling guilty

let me put my feet up

and pause;

pretend to stop 

the ticking of the clock

allow me an extra ten minutes

to stand under the hot shower

wrapped in fresh feelings

let me lie in bed

gaze at the ceiling

think of everything 

or not anything

let me take a restful nap

have a new dream

in the middle of everything

just for a bit

let me just be

let me do nothing.”- Reprinted from P.S. I Love You

‘Going nowhere ... isn’t about turning your back on the world; it’s about stepping away now and then so that you can see the world more clearly and love it more deeply.’- Pico Iyer

'A generation that cannot endure boredom will be a generation of little men… of men in whom every vital impulse slowly withers, as though they were cut flowers in a vase.'- Bertrand Russell

Happiness is to Do Nothing

I have been a Dutch man for quite a while now, come and join me!

In Praise of ‘Enoughness’ and 'Lagomist' Economy

I am doing Nothing, how about you?

Journey to Healing: Let Me Know What is Essential

Busy Doing Nothing Song with Lyrics Sung by Bing Crosby, William Bendix & Cedric  Hardwicke - YouTube

Photo: YouTube

And now come together and sing the praises of Doing Nothing! 

At this point, reverting back to the article I had mentioned at the beginning of this Blog posting about the beauty, wonders and health benefits of learning to ‘Do Nothing’.

‘If you want to live a life rich in meaning, first you must learn how to do nothing’ by Nadine Levy/ Via The Guardian

‘Our lives are busier and more complex than ever. How can we use mindfulness to get in touch with what truly matters?’

‘On the odd occasion when I get a day to myself, I wonder what to do with it. As a parent who works full-time, time off is a rare occurrence. Unstructured time can feel unfamiliar and anxiety-inducing, particularly to those who live by the clock. In these rare moments I try to balance my needs: do I need rest, adventure, solitude or connection? Or do I need something else? But even this process can feel like work.

The question of how to use our time, and indeed our lives, manifests itself in different ways. How do we live a life that is rich in meaning, connection and joy? For some of us this question causes great angst, negatively impacting the way we show up in the world. For others it materialises in quiet doubts that can appear during periods of transition or self-questioning, such as when we’re between jobs, upon retirement or when considering whether to start a family.

‘Buddhists often engage in the practice of contemplating the fact that our lives are limited and our death is certain. If we only had a few weeks, months, a year or 10 years to live, what would we do with our time?...’- Continue to read

A further sample of related postings for your interest:

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Connect  a painting by Jacky Gerritsen 

Journey to Healing: Let Me Know What is Essential

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