“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing” ~Lao Tzu

Doing nothing is paradoxically very difficult to do…our conscious awareness is continuously focused with self preoccupation…as a result it really doesn’t offer us many opportunities to relax and do nothing… it is only during periods of relaxation and doing nothing that our subconsciousness is able to express its creative qualities through the release of alpha brain waves …our subconscious mind, like our heart, is active all the time even when we are consciously doing nothing.

Most cultures see doing nothing as a waste of time and a sign of laziness and irresponsibility…the art of doing nothing is generally not developed but instead busy activities are considered the appropriate way to spend our time…however creative people understand the importance of doing nothing and its benefits of deeper awareness from our subconscious mind which can be described as the “Flow” state.

The particular area of our brain known as the prefrontal cortex is most active during self consciousness. It is among the most advanced part of our brain and separates us from other animals who cannot analyze and calculate like humans. However, when we are in a state of “Flow,” the prefrontal cortex is quiet. “Flow” casts the human brain back to a deeper state where thoughts and sensations come through without being controlled, judged, or censored. The purpose of meditation is also to move behind the judgmental veil of the prefrontal cortex. It helps explains why we get so many good ideas while showering or half-dozing; a relaxed frame of mind is conducive to insight, bringing forth new knowledge or ideas without forcing them….however when self consciousness is reactivated, the “Flow” state is interrupted.

“It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.” ~Gertrude Stein

Related Pages:
Value of Boredom
Flowing with Life
Alpha Brain Waves

4 Responses

  1. Ron…I like this paradoxical (silly) sutra…I would like to post more blogs on nothingness but so difficult to describe and so little to be found on the Internet which would be helpful to the general reader…Sid


    Nothing is old,
    if nothing is new.

    Nothing is false,
    if nothing is true.

    Nothing’s undone,
    if there is nothing to do.


  3. Michael…Usually to flow in process unfortunately happens only after much hardship.~Sid

  4. Sid,

    Doing “nothing” helps me grow spiritually and creatively. I put more of my energy in right brain activities, that I tend to forget where I am driving to at times, or why I walked from one room into another.

    I’m taken back at first, but ease into such a relaxed state that I feel so much joy in not knowing what the outcome will be and I am totally free. The process, not the outcome, is all that matters . . .

    michael j

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