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What Does Doing Nothing Do

Grass
What Does Doing Nothing Do
By Hudson Gardner • Issue #48 • View online

Sitting quietly
doing nothing
spring comes
the grass greens
by itself.
— Bashō

___________________________________________________
Moment of clarity
under the cottonwoods
beside a dry stream
sitting on a rock
looking at leaf shadows
and fallen leaves.
___________________________________________________
The undoing of continuous doing can take a long time.
And it may not seem like anything needs to be undone.
But vision becomes blurry, mind remembers less details, body feels shaky.
Like something in your throat, yet nothing is there.
Sleeping hard, too hard, strange dreams—or not sleeping at all.
Never feeling restful, rested. Never able to stop.

Doing nothing is important, and is a lost art.
When was the last time you saw someone doing nothing?
Why is it that people are always doing something?
What does doing nothing really mean?
Sitting, noticing, looking around, breathing.
Or even reading, single mindedly, pausing, looking up,
thinking about what was read.
That special state, not the frenetic, but the smooth
of flow that a mind can come into.
Nothing.
___________________________________________________
In Tibetan Buddhism there is a term called rigpa, which means knowledge of the ground.
Ground in this sense refers to basis, such as the basis of reality.
In order to experience rigpa, which infuses every thought and action already, one must recede into a state of non-arising.
Which means, essentially, that there is no grasping.
Essentially, it is a practice of doing nothing whatsoever.
Doing nothing to allow reality to manifest.
___________________________________________________
Searching for home, finding a home, making a home
takes a lot of effort.
It’s good to be cooking again, remembering how to do nothing better.
For so long I couldn’t do nothing, for a year at least.
There was always something that needed to be done.
What does all the doing end up doing?
What does all the not doing do?
It’s up to you to try it
and find out for yourself.


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Hudson Gardner

Writing & Photos covering place, ecology, and existence.

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