Nothing to do

After a few weeks now into our Baja season the time has come again when I find myself sitting down and feeling the absence of an agenda, the lack of a need for action. There are always things to do at first, it’s like moving in, arranging the “furniture”, bringing the social connection up to date, settling down. Now the transition is over, I lie on my lounger in our open-air living room, after breakfast, maybe after Yoga and have this wonderful feeling of nothing to do. I’m full of energy and could do all kinds of things. There are always plenty of things that could be done. But there is no need. I feel the precious freedom to use this sudden absence of pressing issues either to quickly dig up unfinished business or think up new things to do or to deliberately sink into this state of disengagement and openness and explore its quality.

Nothing to do‘, it can feel like a deficiency, like something missing. Then it’s like boredom. However, when you investigate it more deeply it can reveal actually quite the opposite quality: Not a shortage but a fullness: Completeness, no need for change, no need to add anything. ‘Nothing to do‘ is the foundation, the beginning as well as the end of all actions. ‘Nothing to do‘ is not necessarily calm, but it is a state in which self is at rest. ‘Nothing to do‘ is home. In this mind state you are at the “still point” I rambled about in my last post (Stillpoint Island), the still point between action and resistance, at the point where freedom is.

I’m obviously finished with something, so what’s next? And suddenly I notice this old habit of looking for the next project, the next task, the next diversion from the still point. It is a habit, it is automatic, it is mindless.

I feel wonderful. I can just sit here and not choose any longer between this or that to do but step out of the choosing business all together and let the world roll on without my reaction to it. Instead of selecting a response I just observe, just receive and take in. And here I don’t do this because I don’t know what to do but because I’m aware of my freedom to do nothing at all.

I feel light like a feather, ready to be picked up by some breeze and gently carried away until I get caught somewhere, maybe, where something might stir my interest.

 This is not always so. Mostly we don’t feel this choiceless awareness at all, we recoil from this “selfless” openness, we are afraid of this somehow implausible feather-like freedom.

We don’t meet reality with open senses but with an anticipating, evaluating, and judging mind. We look at the world and instead of actually seeing it we wonder what it means, what it means to us and what we are going to do about it. We relate it to ourselves, we question whether we like it or not and how we can change it to meet our preferences. No wonder that we always expect something to do.

 Morning silence at Stillpoint Island.

 A speck on the vast ocean, P+K on their morning paddle.

 Old Blue, I’m sure he knows about the “still point”, he doesn’t ponder what to do next.

                                                                   Klaus Nov. 30. 2011

This entry was posted in 2011/2012, Winters and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Nothing to do

  1. Selma says:

    I concur. I’m sure Old Blue knows about the still point all too well. He doesn’t wonder what is cominng next or what he should be doing; he is just totsaly invested in the moment. A beautiful post!

  2. only one word Wonderful…….

  3. Paul says:

    I’ve just retired at 65 after a life of deadlines, headlines, publishers’ meetings etc and am revelling in the sense of freedom you describe so well. I came across your Blog by accident and find a treasure house of wisdom and reflective, kind thoughts from an amazing, adventurous man. I was so sad, therefore, to read of your tragic death, following tributes elsewhere on the Blog with no explanation. As a journalist I searched for what happened and finally found the link below
    My thoughts are very much with your widow Parvin – and how to cope with life after the sudden, so tragic end of such a close and richly shared partnership. I wish I’d had the good fortune to meet you both… but in some ways I feel I have, through this amazing Blog. It should be published in book form.

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