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Can You do Nothing for 3 Minutes?

Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing. Lao Tzu

It’s getting harder to sit still. To watch the sky, or sit with our thoughts. It’s as if we’ve become allergic to space and we have to fill it, with noise, with TV, with food, with chatter.

But ultimately we don’t feel good when we fill in all the gaps. We start to feel stifled and unsettled, exhausted by our own minds whose wheels are spinning 24/7. We can’t find peace because we’ve drowned it out for so long we’ve forgotten where to look for it again.

Every Tuesday night I lead a meditation class where people come to re-find peace. To learn to sit quietly, counting their breaths or trying 5 finger qigong, they sit in candle lit silence and begin their own journey into meditation.

A Comfortable Silence

Some of us are already friends and some of us newly met, yet we sit and say nothing. And in that silence where we all share the common purpose of re-connecting with our still place we are relaxed and at ease with each other.

Teaching others to do nothing has helped me enter more deeply into my own meditation practice. It’s said that we teach best what we most need to know and helping others relax and quiet their minds has helped me journey deeper into a contemplative space I have come to treasure.

A Commitment to Calm

At first, even a few minutes sitting in silence can seem like a long time. Newbies to the benefits of meditation often look a bit startled when I set them up with an exercise and say that we’ll practice for twenty minutes. I know it seems like forever, I remember.

But once they’ve sat with their practice they feel happier, they can see the benefits, they can feel that their body and mind want them to continue. They know from direct experience that doing nothing does them good.

The 3 Minute Challenge

One of the easiest ways to start building quiet into your day is to begin small. Three minutes is a great start. Perhaps you could try a breathing meditation in the morning and evening. Maybe you could add one to your lunch break, or before you settle down to sleep at night. The more three minute spaces you fit into your day the more you will begin to master stress and enjoy some peace.


Here are a list of related articles and downloads to help you get started:



How Meditation Can Save You Time

Simple Acts of Calm: Sitting Still

Silent Witness Breathing

Simple Acts of Calm: Cloud Gazing

Blissful & Balanced: Your Brain on Meditation

Meditation 101 - A Quick Start Guide for Busy People



photo by Postsumptio


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Reader Comments (2)

Hi there, Ananga! I just had to get back here after a few days of trying this out! While I just came across this post last week, I have read it over like four or five times. Hahaha! I do meditate and I've always found time for myself. It goes to say whatever I do has a purpose. So when it's about not doing anything for three minutes, I had to step back and think, "how does that happen?" Now, after a few days, I have finally done it - not once, not twice but four times! in just two days! And how I did it and the effects on me just inspired a whole new idea for my next post! Thanks, Ananga. And do write more. You're a refreshing addition to the blogs I read, follow and continue seeking wisdom from!

Mar 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterarina nikitina

The first few minutes is the hardest hurdle for anyone to get through in meditation - because their mind is still jumping around from one thought to the next - if you can sit through the initial 3 minutes you will immediately begin to feel your mind becoming calmer and more serene thus giving you the ability and inspiration to keep going.

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