October 7, 2010

Inaction, the Pause that Refreshes

I like to take action, and much of our program is about action isn't it?   What happens when you reach a point of wanting change and no amount of action is changing things?  Do you try harder?   

Like the author of today's reading in Courage to Change, I have used my will to force change. I justified it, believing that  "Try Try again" was what was needed in every circumstance.

For some of us only age makes see the futility of unending effort.   Program also gives us other tools to use when effort has no result.  Zen practitioners know the slogan too,  "Don't just do something, sit there."

Like a seed sprouting below ground, lasting change may not visible for some time.  When change does not happen in the way I want, or the actions required are just too great, I can accept that it might be me that needs to learn to adjust my attitude.       

"I can keep in mind that waiting time doesn't have to mean wasted time. Even times of stillness have lessons to teach me."  

Step Eleven is a perfect way to make stillness a habit of our practice. Our seeking  to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power, praying only for knowledge of that HP's will for us and the power to carry that out, has stillness as its cornerstone. Prayer and meditation are my practice of "just sitting there."

In meditation, I sit still, or move very quietly and mindfully, and cultivate kindness towards myself. When I pray I am asking for guidance, making myself receptive to  the healing power of HP's love for me. I simply watch myself in this process, and refrain from expecting anything.  My action is simply to be open to HP's will for me in this one day.   If I have accomplishments, I practice being grateful for HP's guidance and my ability to discern it. 

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.  The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials. Lin Yutang


  1. "don't just do something, sit there". I love that!

  2. I Love that quote. - Lin Yutangs, that is. I really do. And its curious to see how and why its used by different people across the web. Its something Im researching, and well , I stumbled across your blog. Just wanted to say hi and that I like it.


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~