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TO CULTIVATE CALM, you'll spend a lot of time doing nothing. At least that's what it looks like from the outside: Sitting doing nothing, or taking a walk and doing nothing. There are several things you can do while doing "nothing" however:

1. Meditate
2. Pray
3. Think about a specific thing
4. Free thought (letting the mind think what it wants)
5. Relaxing tense muscles
6. Take deep breaths

These are all helpful activities in the cultivation of serenity, although they do not look like activities to an outside observer.

Doing nothing at all ends up being free thought — just your mind wandering where it will. And we need more of that. It contributes tremendously to living in bliss or at least living in tranquillity. There are almost always plenty of things you have put off thinking about because you were too busy doing other things at the time. So these un-thought-about things accumulate and create a kind of tension. When you stop doing anything, your mind automatically starts thinking about those things, sorting them out, coming up with solutions, and then the tension goes away.

If your mind does NOT do this, if when you do nothing, your mind naturally just obsesses about worries you can do nothing about, read this.

But the point of all of this is that doing nothing is the one thing almost everyone needs more of. Not watching TV or playing videogames: Those are doing something. Doing nothing looks like you're just sitting there. Or just walking (not listening to anything, not talking to anyone).

Think about one of the things you had as a child and do not have now that makes the difference between serenity and stress: When you were a kid, there were times when you did nothing at all. And if you were to spend more time now doing nothing at all, you would regain some of that childhood serenity — just like that. 

Spend some time doing nothing at all.

articles on meditation

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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