Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Year of Doing Nothing (post 2.04)

Doing nothing is extremely challenging.  If you meditate, you may not need to read further because you already know what I am talking about.  We can't sit on a cushion attempting to not think for more than a few seconds before a thought arises.  We can be sitting on a cushion for minutes at a time thinking before we notice we are thinking.  It happens to all of us.  It happens all the time.

This morning I'm realizing that a subtle aggression has crept into my practice.  Each week for the past several weeks I have been berating myself for not posting more on my Blog.  It started out in my head as a gentle reminder, then worked it's way into the quietly whispered "I should", and "oh, didn't I want to post at least four times a week", and then before I knew it, I was practically shouting at myself,- in my head of course.

Check back with me to Blog Post 1.04.  Clearly, I am aiming this year to reduce the "shoulds".  Clearly, my desire to document my progress during this Year of Doing Nothing, has become a "should",  a kind of battle in my head.  Here I am, caught in my web again.  So I stop.  I recognize what's happening.  I am gentle with myself.  I begin my practice again.

Often times, when I am not engaged in this battle, my writing flows more freely anyway.

I discovered an interesting entry in Pema Chodron's book, Start Where You Are.  On page 26 she states, "Write less; don't try to capture it all on paper.  Sometimes writing, instead of being a fresh take, is like trying to catch something and nail it down.  This capturing blinds us and there's no fresh outlook, no wide-open eyes, no curiousity." 

There is a paradox here.  As I try to remain in my practice, fresh insights come to me.  In fact, I am somewhat surprised at how many insights I've had since January.  I am excited to write them all down and hoplessly behind in doing so.  But as I try to capture these insights here on my Blog, I have already begun to solidify in my observation, potentialy blinding myself from fresh insight.  It is an interesting balancing act, indeed.