I was away on vacation and have not written for 4 weeks. When I walked into my office , someone in the lift asked, "What happened to Gyanalogy? Didn't see any new post for quite sometime". I smiled and replied, "Actually I was doing nothing" and both of us had a good laugh. Reigniting my posts with nothing 🙂
Our daily physical activity follows the activity of our mind. Any action we take is first carried out in our mind. Just as it is important to give rest to our body, similarly it is important to give rest to our mind. Thinking and acting are connected activities. The only difference is that even in the absence of physical activity, our mind and brain can still be working. We can lie down and stop all sorts of physical activities but can we really stop thinking?
Research says that it is impossible to stop the mental activity. The brain remains active even when we sleep. In fact the brain remains active for up to five minutes even after a person dies. The question then remains - Is it possible to truly do nothing? And is it necessary? Apparently, our brain is something which tells our body to do or not to do something. What’s the key?
We do put our gadgets to recharge; we do put our appliances on a standby mode. But the issue with the gadgets and appliances is simple – there is NO Issue. They have no brain and no intelligence controllable from within. What do we do with our bodies and controllable uncontrollable brain? We need to recharge it but we can’t stop thinking.
We can’t stop thinking but we can change our thinking.
Just as we can slow down the pace of our walking or jogging we can slow down the activity of our brain, reduce excessive thinking which can cause stress and illnesses.
Imagine you are a powerful multi-angle CCTV camera with the functions of a scanner, multiple processor, high tech control panel and video and audio report generator. You are a cool powerful gadget but your intricate and unique system of control needs to be constantly fixed and repaired. You get tired of this eventually and plug yourself out of the power socket and you discover that you have mechanical wheels by which you can travel on your own and explore the world. Would you be happy to do that? Some people will and some people won’t. I belong to those who will.
I usually unplug myself out of the socket which powers up our constant rat races and go far-far away with the purpose of doing nothing. Nothing, however, is a relative concept.
Nothing in a usual sense means I do not do any work but I do a lot for myself.
I unplug myself out of my social network, mostly phone (leaving space for only the most important and relevant calls failing to answer which will have serious consequences) and do what is considered nothing: I walk around, I sleep following the natural movement of the sun in the latitudes in which I find myself during this activity, I eat, look at the blue sky very often, look at the greenery, talk to my friends and loved ones and do things which are considered nothing by modern world’s standards. Every year I try to increase my list of “nothing” things. I do that and try to observe what happens with my mind while doing nothing.
And my mind tells me that it gets refreshed and recharged. I can have a new look at things. I start seeing other things as important in my life – love, friendship, care, the preciousness of a moment lived rather than captured in a camera. After all, we can only carry with us what our hearts can hold. I begin to realize that life is not eternal. I start thinking that knowing that you are alive is important. Doing nothing calms down my mind, doing nothing makes me think in a way different from a usual everyday rush. Doing nothing helps me enjoy beautiful moments and live in each and every of them. Doing nothing brings me into a world of thoughts totally different from my usual stressful rush contemplation about daily survival. Doing nothing gives me a chance to think about bigger and more important things: sense of life, meaning of love and care.
Can we stop thinking and stop the flow of our minds far-far away into the remote places and uncertain future? Apparently, not. But we can change our thinking which is surprisingly not so easy if we do not place our bodies into a less stressful and more favorable environment. Taming and training our minds requires a lot of energy and discipline. Doing “nothing” might turn not so easy for some. But it can bring a lot of benefits in the form of regarding our energy, physical and mental strength.
Wish you luck in doing nothing 🙂