Doing-Nothing is also a form of Doing

As food for thought, an excerpt from a wonderful article by Klaus Eidenschink that recently appeared on LinkedIn (in German).

Doing-Nothing is also a form of Doing

Breaks on a large and small scale are great: vacation, sabbatical, world trip, 4-day week, parental leave, lunch break, siesta – the names are many. But the question quickly arises, “How to fill the break? What to do?”

Filling pauses is part of our culture

You learn in our culture from an early age that it’s all about making something out of break time and filling it. Often, the filling is also supposed to be particularly meaningful or one is supposed to use the break to make up for what was missed.

Pauses that are filled with Doing prevent noticing inner impulses

If pause is supposed to maintain functioning by interrupting it, recovering, and then functioning again, that’s enough. If pause is supposed to have the function of providing guidance as to what is important and right to do after the break, then it is not enough. Pauses that are filled with “doing” prevent inner impulses from coming into consciousness and more subtle inner stimuli from enriching the field of experience.

Awareness needs pauses of being active

So the activity is not in outer doing, but in inner attention. The old German word for this is «Gewahrsein» which means awareness. Awareness, however, needs pauses of being active.

Those who fill their time breaks exclusively with activities run the risk of losing their ability to become aware of their very own sensual pleasures. For all the external richness of experiences, there is an inner poverty of sensations.

The inexhaustible richness of life lies in the inner life that reveals itself. Everything external wears out without this inside and becomes stale.

Therefore, praise to the unfilled pause.

Source (in German):

Klaus EidenschinkAlles Leichte ist schwer, bevor es leicht wird


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