Do you ever practice "Not Doing?"

In my early 20’s, I noticed that not only did my interest for the active life slow down, but that my wanting nature seemed to vanish, as well. By this, I mean things that would have made me a consumer at one point stopped appealing to my effort to obtain them. I really didn’t have the effort in me at all. I began to examine boredom, silence and solitude, and to be honest, I felt superior to my fellow man for “going without.” I thought I had stumbled on to this new way of living. What a fool I was, as I soon found Buddhism and realized that “not wanting” was the cure for suffering, and that an entire philosophy had been born on this idea.

“Not doing” doesn’t mean doing nothing at all. It just means doing without any effort of intention. Your actions are spontaneous.

For me though, I think I’m doing “Not doing” wrong, because I dont have any motivation for anything. Say what you will about depression and being lazy, but I simply dont want much other than food and shelter and perhaps a good song in the background.

Is anyone out there this simple? Are you a Not-doer? If so, do you thinkyour missing out from everything everyone else is chasing after or participating in?

I’m letting the world pass me by, and for now, I dont regret it. Anyone else?

I’m non-secular, but I do much work in my mind as I read, ponder, etc.

Being alive is a form of action and work.

How we express who we are – can be done in many different ways.

I always looked at work as punishment, maybe because how genesis (not a bible thumper) portrayed the penalty of sin, or maybe because its seems that all technical advancement seems to replace the need for action. No more walking to the water well, we have shiny new faucets.

I read a lot too. Mental stimulation, is fine by me.

“Work” is like torture for some people who have problems inside of themselves which make work either hard or impossible.

Other people who are really healthy and able will easily enjoy work, just like a strong person would enjoy physical excersize.

What you said the torture being inside individuals is true, but nasty customers, rival co-workers, and bastard bosses dont help.

There are so few jobs to be passionate about these days. Just my opinion.

Self employment can be a big relief.

Anything from gardening to farming, it’s really quite nice.
Growing your own food, naturally and it’s more healthy.
You get to do things for yourself and directly choose what you do.

I can’t say anything negative about those types of projects or activities.
There are lots of great things do in life.

I just started this thread based on what types of efforts are best avoided. I’d like to know who has a simple life, or else, what makes their complex life so much better.

The effort is what I’m after, no matter what the reward.


Good life for a dog; not for a man.

What makes people’s lives complex is:

Complex problems.

These are either directly inside of a persons life [not usually], or, the problems are “taken on”, through concern.

So you can feel like: “Oh the world is so fucked up”, but that’s an example of complexity and problems which have been “taken on”, and the problems that are “taken on” tend to be rather vast compared to the simple “eat-breath-shit” sorts of problems which most people really have.

It’s what I call being locked down. Example: Credit Card debt.

Any obligation. Some people always have an apppointment to go to, always, more than others. Some people are always expressing that they are late. Others, always have errands to do.

I’m talking about anything that “ties up your time”. The more your calender is booked up with “important” dates, the more complex your life is.

Equally, the more people that are dependant on you, the more complex. Someones sick. Some needs help changing a tire.

Viewing time as eternal vs. Half hour sitcom segments is a good way to tell if someones life is simple or more intertwined.

Hey buddy, I’m not locked down, are you?
I hope that you’re not locked down.

Being locked down is okay if someone is strong enough to take it, but dead-lines make people dead when they can’t handle it anymore.

I don’t believe in over-exersion.

Extremes almost always tend to do damage.

me, no, I’m not locked down. I guessed you weren’t either.

Sometimes I wonder if I could be freer than I am. A bit of greedy time monster, I am.

If they are strong enough to deal with deadlines, good for them. I just wonder if they can juggle all that and still pay attention.

Some forms of inner strength or growth only grow when fed.

If we look at emotions as partially being material/energy forms, and if we look at our soul as also being made of more subtle sorts of material-&-energy, relationships and connections take on a deeper meaning.

Plants grow from water and light, etc.

Spirits often grow from the metaphysical things which material bodies can generate.

Nothing can be created or destroyed in elemental form.

People can’t just “create” some things. They need to absorb them from their outer world.

totally agree. Action begets action.

But I just came across some taoist widsom, that goes something like this.

The tree that is crooked at the base of the trunk is overlooked by the lumberjack because of how the wood has grown. This tree spends its entire life in peace based on its uselessness.

For me, there is a good healthy active life, then there is a nation of productive people who strive for progress. This striving is not necessarily of their own accord, but comes from training.

A farm for food would be great, but the efforts made in business world are set on some future reward. The reward itself might carry a person thru, but the journey (mental and physical energies) far outwiegh the reward. Most people think otherwise, I’m sure.

Even though you’re not talking about over-exertion, there does exist a strain in society. And that comes from complexity.

I do my best to put most of my ‘active’ energy into developing myself and expanding my limits. I have this fear of becoming stagnant… which, ironically, is vanquished when I sit around all day reading and writing. I also play basketball a lot which keeps me in shape however.

I ‘not do’ plenty in terms of societal standards. Indeed, if one to watch me for a day they would likely see me sitting around and that’s about it. But to me, sitting still enables me to write posts on ILP, write a (short) story, meditate, etc.

We all perform actions, there is no escaping it… it’s all how you look at it. Except for my debt… that seems to stay the same no matter how I look at it.

I feel the same way…

To kevconman :

To have passion for any work (and by ‘work’ I mean ‘extra work’… work done beyond what you need to merely survive), you have to care about, or agree with, the underlying principles and mission statement of your employers.

Unfortunately, as you have wisely noticed, there are very few jobs these days worth caring about.

But… this is ONLY really true for what is known as the ‘Private Sector’, where the only motivation is profit.

There are plenty of jobs in the ‘Public Sector’ [wages paid by the government] where a wise/moral man can find ‘meaningful’ employment. In particular, jobs involving the care for the sick or less-well-off in society. The wages might be a lot less, but what does that matter, if you find that you actually WANT to get out of bed in the morning.

P.S. - I’m currently 32 and unemployed, and the plan I have outlined above is actually my own plan, for my own future. It’s actually the first time I’ve ever typed it out… Thanks for giving me the oportunity.

If I don’t find -EXACTLY- the right job for me, then I plan on staying unemployed [but always online] for the rest of my working life, which is only about 30 years. I mean lets face-it, we all end up unemployed in the end anyway… It’s called retirement.

" Now if only I could find a woman with the same point of view." :confused:

Go for it. Right on.

Parasitic entities do this all the time. Just look at a tree; sitting in one place day and night. It’s really not that big of a deal. I am convinced that when trees see me passing by, they secretly smile, knowing that I have to waste energy placing one foot in front of the other. Yes, I’ve heard of cars.

you can waste energy like you can waste time, no such thing.

my point: there is much to be gained in expending nothing.