Buddhism / Self Awareness

What am I doing when I’m not doing?

I’ve been wondering what to do with myself now that most of the striving has been set aside. There has been a big open space that has been looming in front of me for weeks. A feeling like getting in your car (very nice car) and taking a long drive (very nice drive) but not being sure where you are heading, how long it might take or even why you got in the car in the first place…

It even made me anxious for a couple of weeks! What if I’m too content? What if I get complacent and this is it, I don’t go any further than this? Seriously…? That’s all I have to worry about? What if….what about this, what if I just go on feeling as content and happy as I am now????

I was told today that I have a “bubble of calm” around me that is nice to be around. What if I just go on sharing that and that’s what I do with the rest of my life?

In the midst of worrying about my enduring sense of contentment I spoke with a psychotherapist, who also happens to be a practitioner of zen and we came up with a question, a bit like a koan, for me to work with “what am I doing if I’m not doing?”.  Over the course of the last three days the answer has begun to dawn on me. I just be.

Ok, I realize that is rather abstract and bordering on pretentious, intellectual dribble, but I actually am starting to get what this is all about. My work centers around helping others, particularly about showing people their best, how to access it and how to put it into play, with benefits. My effectiveness in this work has increased exponentially as I open myself up to a greater capacity for compassion and kindness. But I can’t open in this way without spending much of my time just learning to be myself, letting go of the stories and myths that I have created and previously believed to be my ‘self’. So I have discovered that when I am not doing [my work], the thing I need to be doing is just ‘being’, in the sense that I need to continue my self-development, continue becoming aware, continue to grow and look after my ‘self’. And in this way I can continue to pass on the knowledge that I gain from the experience of getting to know and letting go of my self. As my ego gets smaller my heart gets bigger; cause and effect.

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha

The mantra of the Green Tara, the female Bodhisattva, the embodiment of compassion.


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