Ok, I admit it. I’m in love with doing nothing. And by ‘nothing’, I don’t mean relaxing with my head in a book, sipping quietly on a latte in my local cafe, sitting in meditation, or any of the other things that often count as doing ‘nothing’. I mean NOTHING! Complete stillness. Just being, and removing myself from all outside influences, compulsions, demands and stresses. For me, it’s the ultimate form of healing – and it’s something we often forget, feel guilty about, or don’t quite understand how to do in the first place.
We often stay busy in order to avoid that empty, ego-deprived feeling inside. Sometimes, in the stillness of nothing, we don’t always like what we find – and there’s no one to blame for the uncomfortable feelings it brings up. I’m reminded of the story of the young monk who would meditate in a boat. One day, while drifting out over the calm, blue water of a deep lake, his boat suddenly banged into something. Waking in a rage, the monk saw that another boat had hit his, and he began shouting abuse at its occupant – only to realise that the other boat had been drifting along completely empty. There was nowhere for his anger to land, no one else to blame, and the empty boat had become his teacher.
In our aloneness, we can be ourselves. We can acknowledge and clear out the negative, frightened feelings. We can make peace with our longings. We can recover the love that lies inside us, rather than looking for it outside, in external experiences, in those around us, in worldly matters. And in reconnecting with that ‘no-thing’ state, we can get to know and understand ourselves fully, and love ourselves simply by being ourselves, as we are. Once we can do that, we can love others unconditionally, for who they are. We can feel love without trying, without expectation, and without end.
Of all life’s gifts, it’s love that moves us most – to the highest, the deepest, the most rewarding and the most profound aspects of ourselves. And when we master pure, unending love for our selves, we can share it more easily with others. Love sits and waits for us all – and to find it, all you need do is nothing, and see where it leads.