I am a “doer”, a doer of things, often attempting to do them all at one time. Writing this post is an example of what happens when I try to “just be”. I was attempting to meditate for a few minutes, follow my breath, in and out, just “be” in my body.
“Oh, you should blog about that,” a voice in my head says in the middle of my breathing. And so I reach for my laptop thinking, “I’ll just jot a few notes in WordPress and then get back to my meditation”. Guess what – I’m still typing…oh, and drinking coffee because this habitual “doer” requires massive amounts of caffeine!
Our western culture rewards “doers”. Our media and brands say, “Just do it”. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “just do something, anything!”
So what of “being”? Can we even grasp the concept of such a state in our western culture?
Recently, I read an article where Buddhist Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, was quoted as saying, “Focus on the practice of being.” I was intrigued by the words: Focus and practice. I lack both. I need to “do” both of those things. Nhat Hanh went on to say, “Be peace. Be joy. Be happiness. Be compassionate. Be attentive.” He talks about the energy that emanates from individuals who inhabit this state of “being”. Not surprisingly, he said, “we are drawn to such people.”
As I read the article and his words, I was reminded of the Taoist concept of “effortless effort”. Indeed, there is some action and practice required to live in a state of “effortless being”. I know I will forever be a doer of things, but I am hopeful that through focus and practice, I can achieve balance – a way of “being and doing” in this world, that radiates peace, joy, happiness, and compassion.
Have a magical Monday my fellow travelers! ~ Namaste