Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Do nothing

I’ve just finished reading The Tao of Pooh. The last chapter is called, “Nowhere and Nothing” where the author, Benjamin Hoff  attempts to illustrate the concept of the “empty mind” .  He describes through the Pooh characters the art of doing nothing. Christopher Robin says in answer to Pooh’s question how do you do nothing? “Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, What are you going to do, and you say, Oh, nothing, and then you go and do it....it means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” Hoff uses the books of Pooh to explain Lao-tse’s writings in the Tao Te Ching. He goes on to quote the forty-eighth chapter of The Tao Te Ching, “To attain knowledge, add things every day, to attain wisdom, remove things every day.”  Every day I hear people, including myself, complain about how much they forget, how many times they can’t remember the names of people, places and things. We are a nation of people frantic about their forgetting, yet it’s in our forgetting that we have a chance to clear our minds, and just be. Do nothing. Sit in the sun, look into the eyes of a loved one, do nothing. When I pick up my camera, it's a way of reminding myself, by the things I focus on, to just be, and although I often times click the shutter, I often don't .


  1. I find it impossible to do nothing - except when I'm sleeping! I can certainly waste time - I'm a master at that! But to just sit and do nothing - can't do it. Clearing my mind is even more impossible!

    By the way, I can't see on your blog the photo of the wagon wheel (that I got on an email) Is it just me?

  2. Really, so its not showing up on the blog, thats interesting, it shows up when I log on.
    BTW what I meant is that doing "nothing" can be puttering and creating, not just sitting still like a statue. Clearing your mind is what you do when you create your art pieces, in the rhythmic repetitive motion you use in the creatiing, that is exactly what I mean. Its a kind of moving meditation, like some martial arts or dance.