Do Nothing Meditation ? It Might Actually Be Your New Form of Meditation!
Sometimes, there is nothing quite like the idea of sitting back, relaxing and doing nothing. It’s what certain folks call do nothing meditation. While for many busy individuals, just “doing nothing” may seem like a pipe dream, but it can actually be an important form of meditation—if you just know what you are doing.
We call this form of meditation “do nothing meditation.” And it is actually much more powerful than the name suggests.
Do nothing meditation can be your guide to learning how to make time for relaxation in the middle of your day as you start doing nothing as part of an effort to really do something for yourself.
People who practice this type of meditation are able to find more relaxation, less anxiety and better sleep. Here’s how to do some “do nothing meditation.”
What is Do Nothing Meditation?
While “do nothing meditation” may seem like you literally just sit there and well, do nothing—but it isn’t quite that simple. But good news, it isn’t too much more difficult than that either. If you are looking for a way to really let your mind go, this is the way to do it.
This form of meditation comes from the practice known as shikantaza, which roughly translated to “just sitting.” And this is what you will do when you start participating in this type of meditation. You will simply sit as you do your practice. There isn’t walking, deep breathing exercising exercises or complicated guided instructions to follow.
This has a lot to do with the idea of “contentless awareness” which means being aware of your surroundings, but not focusing on any particular “content” in your brain. It is different than mindful meditation which has a great deal to do with paying attention to your surroundings.
Think of this type of meditation as the exact opposite of mindful meditation. Your goal should truly be to do nothing, think about nothing and focus on nothing—you shouldn’t even be focusing on the act of meditation. This symbolizes a great deal of mental control.
They key to this form of meditation is to be in a totally awakened state of mind (this is not just taking a nap) and being aware of your surroundings without engaging or really doing anything.
How to Participate in Do Nothing Meditation
You may be ready to get started with the relaxing practice of “do nothing meditation.” However, before you get started, it is important to remember that this is actually a pretty difficult type of meditation. It is great because you can do it on your own, and don’t need an instructor or guide, but it is really much harder to do nothing than it seems. This is why many experts consider this to be one of the more advanced forms of meditation.
If you are ready to give “doing nothing” a try, then here’s how to start this type of meditation.
- Get in a comfortable position. There is no “wrong” way to sit or lay down when doing do nothing meditation. If you choose to lie down during your meditation, remember, this isn’t a nap. Most experts recommend sitting on a cushion or meditation stool in a comfortable position.
- Do not focus your attention on anything in particular. Do not think about anything specific, or focus on any thing in front of you. This means don’t use noise cues, gongs or prompts to help focus your attention—focus on just being.
- Let what happens just.. happen. Your goal is to simply sit there and let nothing happen around you.
- Stop when you find yourself doing anything. When you find yourself doing something or focusing on something intentionally, then stop. If you are doing something that you can voluntarily control, then voluntarily stop doing it. This is actually harder than it seems, but if you can do something intentionally, then you can stop doing something intentionally.
- Repeat this process for 10-15 minutes at a time. You can practice this type of meditation longer if you would like, but the goal is to make sure that you carve out enough time in your day to focus just on doing nothing.
The great thing about this type of meditation is there is no real wrong way to do this type of meditation, unless you find yourself actively doing something or thinking about something while you meditate. Remember, if there is something you are doing on purpose, then you are not participating “do-nothing meditation.”
Things you do intentionally can vary and they don’t have to be actual activities. Intentional things you may be doing when you meditate include the following:
- Actively trying to meditate
- Trying to focus on something specifically
- Intentionally thinking about a certain topic
- Keeping track of the time or what is going on
- Focusing on a certain sound or sight in the room
If you are intentionally doing any of these things while you meditate, then you need to intentionally stop doing them as part of your “do nothing meditation.” It can be difficult at first to really clear your mind in this way—but the more you practice, the better off you will be and the easier it will become.
If you find your mind wandering a million miles a minute and cannot regain control of your thoughts—get up do something else, and return to meditation later. If you find yourself falling asleep—then try again next time, and try to sit instead of lying down. You really need to be doing nothing.
Next time you feel like “doing nothing,” why not start doing some “do nothing meditation.” This is an easy, yet effective way to start challenging your brain, getting in some helpful meditative exercises and learn to relax, recharge and unwind all at the same time.