Q: The title of the book is Doing Nothing and I must say that I don’t know what you mean by this.
A: How do you find out what doing nothing means, unless you do nothing?
Q:But if I did absolutely nothing I would die.
A:How do you know that?
Q:Because that is what I have been told.
A:I am suggesting that you question what you have been told. Find out what is actually true.
Q:And risk dying?
Q:I am still confused.
A: What’s wrong with confusion?
Q:Well, I guess that I am not getting a clear message from the book as to what you mean.
A:Well, then throw the book away. Now what?
Q:What I am looking for in my life is a peaceful mind and open heart, but instead I am living my conditioned patterns over and over again, which I feel like I cannot control. I would like to apply doing nothing to that, so that I am not just living out my life from beginning to end through conditioning.
A:What are you doing about that neurotic conditioning?
Q:What is happening is that I am just becoming more and more frustrated as it keeps coming up. I don’t feel like I can control the frustration.
A:Then do nothing about that.
Q:Then I just feel like I am boiling, angry, frustrated and I feel like I need to express that and so I end up getting angry at somebody or doing some activity to get rid of the stress of it all. I don’t feel like I can just sit with it.
Q:Because I feel like when I sit, then that becomes depression.
A:Who told you that?
Q:I guess that is what I feel when I just sit. I can sit quietly when I am feeling good, but if I am feeling depressed, then I don’t like that feeling.
A:So you are trying to get away from that feeling.
A:That is really what you’re doing — whatever is necessary to move away from this feeling of depression.
Q:My goal is to feel good, happy, loving, warm, giving. That’s the way I would like to be, but instead I find myself depressed, angry. That’s not the totality, but I feel like with the life that I have lived, I should be perfectly happy. I have everything that I need. I have money, family, friends. I have good relationships, but still I experience sadness, jealousy, anger.
A:Which you’re avoiding, not experiencing.
Q:Which I do experience, but only for a short time, because I do not want to stay in that feeling.
A:And what would happen if you stay in that feeling?
Q:I guess I wouldn’t die.
A:Maybe you will.
A:What I mean by do nothing is where you do not avoid what is happening. It is being described in the negative because it is not an action. It is declining the action that avoids.
Q:You’re saying that whenever I’m actively distracting myself, so I that I don’t have to feel those feelings, that I should sit down and meditate or be quiet? I still have to function in my life.
A:You are still looking for something to do and that is in the second volume, Do Something. This is the first volume. Do Nothing. So, if there is nothing to do, then do nothing.
Q: My mind can’t seem to grasp that. I feel like I need a methodology.
A:What is the methodology supposed to produce for results?
Q:Well, I guess I want ways to not feel frustrated with the experience.
A:But you are frustrated. What you want is a methodology that lies to you, that says, “No, you’re not frustrated.” But you are.
Q:I don’t see any reason why I should be spending any part of my life being frustrated, when I have so much to give. I’d rather be out helping people.
A:You’re positing something that is happening to you and through you, but that you don’t want. It is like you have been possessed by some other creature. What you are looking for now is a methodology by which you can expel this other creature who is frustrated. There are 1000 methodologies out there by which you can divide yourself from yourself, create a positive and a negative “you” and try to put energy into the positive “you” and separate yourself from the negative “you.” When you’ve done all that, don’t you still have this positive and negative?
Q: Should I just allow myself to experience these feelings and not get angry at myself that they are coming up, but just allow them to happen?
A:What choice do you have?
Q:I guess I don’t have any choice.
A:The problem is not that you have frustration coming up or that you’re experiencing what you say are negative qualities. That is not the problem at all. The problem is that you are identifying with the positive and the negative. So, you have this macro conditioning that says you exist as an ego-center. You have this micro conditioning that says you should be good. The macro and the micro are trying to sort out all the experiences that are arising so that it fits their description. Take that description away. Remove the conditioning for a moment and just look at what is actually happening. That is what I am suggesting that you do, by doing nothing. What is actually there? You won’t find a good person or a bad person there. You won’t find any person there. The frustration exists because you are trying to be something.
Q:When anger comes up, I can express myself by either yelling or going for a run and doing something that physically expresses that anger. Or, I can just say, “O.K., it’s not me, it’s not anything, just let it go.” But, if I just let it go am I not suppressing my anger? I am often confused as to whether or not to express it or to repress it.
A:You have divided yourself into multiple components now. You have the anger, you have the question of whether to suppress or express, you have the confusion that arises. What if you do nothing?
Q:Which is doing nothing?
A:It is neither. Each of those is doing something out of some kind of idea. What will happen if you don’t do anything? Anger arises and you don’t do anything, then what happens?
Q: I am afraid that I will repress the anger, it will stay in my stomach and then I will get cancer and die. When I have watched other family members repress their anger and their feelings, the result has been death by cancer, then that has become my fear.
A:This is your thought process. This is doing something. This is the idea that I need to find out what to do. This is your addiction. You find out that you’re living your life in fear. And that is doing something. You’re saying O.K., I am not going to die of cancer, therefore I am going to do something about this anger. What shall I do? Shall I express it? Shall I release it? I am confused. I don’t know. This is all thought process. What is actually happening? You don’t know because it has been lost. What actually happens when anger arises and you do absolutely nothing in relationship to that anger?
Q:Then what happens for me is that it builds in me more and more until I explode.
A:That is because you are doing something. You are feeding that anger with the energy of your own thoughts, obsessing about it. Now, we have anger and we have uncontrolled thoughts about anger. What if you don’t do anything about that. What happens? This is where you have to go into this yourself. You have to find out by your own direct view. I can use words here but I don’t think that is going to be helpful.
Q:How would I know when I am doing nothing?
A:You won’t know. The knower won’t know because the knower won’t be there. Doing nothing is a natural state where there is no doer. There is nobody to deal with anger. There is no one to suppress it or express it. There is no one to explode. There is no one to get cancer. And there is really no anger. Anger is a word. And attached to that word is a whole string of your conditioning. The actuality is the movement of energy that does not have a center. You are trying to approach something that you have created, and that has been created through your own education and conditioning. You’re trying to approach it through additional creations of your mind. That is the doer. Anger is where thought blocks energy. It is constriction on the movement of energy. Thought, which is a constriction on energy, asks how to further constrict energy so that constriction won’t take place. You can’t approach it from your mind, because your mind is the problem. You will go around in circles endlessly until you recognize that. You can’t constrict energy further and find expansion. You can just do nothing. It is energy. It is innately expressing.