The Art of Doing Nothing

Last week I met very interesting people. One of them being an acquaintance I barely knew. We exchanged emails and book-titles previously. He tends to ask people he just met their favorite books and their role model. I tend to ask people what revs their engines in the morning. So I found out that he is into yoga and meditation earlier in the e-conversation. What I did not realize is how much he was into it. He talks in Yoda. I talk in chirpy chatter that must’ve annoyed him to hell come to think of it. Or not. Since he’s so zen and collected. I learned from him the beauty of being present at all times.

Well, I read enough Anthony de Mello books to know about the whole ‘awareness’ deal. But to really experience it was something different. To be at silence with another person and not to be scared by it. I think that is awesomeness at another level. At one point he even told me to just sip my tea. And stop talking. Ha. Enjoy the tea fully. Appreciate it. Then after a while I was no longer chasing the silence away by throwing him endless questions or my self-centered opinions, I just let it flow. It was like floating in a river, letting the topic of the conversation flows where ever it wanted to go.

Another skill I sensed from the encounter was to master the art of doing nothing. I don’t recall he nor I talked specifically about it but I had a sense that he was a master of it from what he did and said. It is a repeated theme that Julia Robert, as Liz Gilbert, learned in Italy during her midlife crisis in the movie Eat, Pray and Love. A movie that I also saw last week.

‘In Italy, we are the master of the art of doing nothing’, said one of the suave Italian hunk. And that is, my friend, one of the things that I am so incapable of doing. Being brain-washed completely by bumper stickers that yelled out ranging from ‘Life is Short’ up to ‘Time is Money!, I absolutely cannot stand the art of twiddling one’s thumbs. What about all the opportunity cost lost while one is not being productive? It’s like this incessant need to keep improving and bettering one’s self and not to ever waste any time to do anything but.

When I’m not in the passenger seat driving mom’s trusty jeep-wannabe, I’d either be sleeping (saving some energy for later activities), on my Blackberry (reading, most of the time rather than not, crap news), thinking (for ideas, to do list, wish list), dreaming (everybody need to have goals, no?). When I am eating, used to be much worse when I used to live on my own, I’d either be watching something or reading something. To a point where the food just tastes different when I am not doing anything else but eating. When I rest, I have to sleep, otherwise it’s not rest, I’d better be making something, reading something or writing something. The constant need to create and be active out of fear that the limbs would go on retardation mode once not used. Scary really.

So last week. Suddenly everything just started telling me to slow down. Take a deep breath. And not just take a deep breath, feel it too. Feel the air that goes to your lung, feel it travel through your nostrils, filling up your lungs. Feel the lungs expand… and collapse. And breathe  out. Feel. Feel. Get in touch with the surroundings. Start realizing the presence of people around you. Start realizing your presence in this world. Okay. To be honest I have done nothing of that. But it sounds nice just writing about it. Maybe I’ll start soon. Definitely after I finish this piece… Oh and that writing I need to submit for another website.. And the earrings I owe some friends… And that book on my…. 


About inifeli

Sketch a lot, write a lot, read a lot. Live a lot.

Well, I'd say....

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