Often people think ‘Just Being’ means inaction. Just the opposite is true – ‘Just Being’ is a lot of action, for there is a lot to do, simply being present in the moment!
Yesterday, a friend of mine implored me to do ‘more’ than I was doing currently to deal with a Life situation. He said, “I don’t think you are doing enough. I think you have resigned to your fate. Everyman makes his own destiny and that you make by putting your 150 % into a situation every single day!”
I didn’t want to discuss fate and destiny with him. Because both our belief systems are polar opposites. However, while agreeing with him over making each day count, I made my point that being in the now, in the present, being mindful does not mean inaction at all. I told him that it means two things:
- Being in the moment, engaged, mindful. Thoroughly involved. Which is a LOT of action.
- Being involved with also DOING what is possible, what is right and doing it well, in that moment, and yet BEING DETACHED from the outcome.
When 1 and 2 are happening simultaneously, where’s the question of passivity or inertia or remaining grounded? You are in flight! You are soaring. Despite the storm, despite the chaos, your sails are filled with grace, energy and momentum! Progress, ahoy!
The reason though why many people see ‘Just Being’ as inaction is because they have this view that they are in control of their lives. So, they believe, that ‘Just Being’ will breed inertia and they will vegetate. So, they feel the need to stay busy and feel important that they are doing many things! This state is where almost everyone finds themselves at some point or the other in Life – running on a treadmill, where you are doing a lot of running, but are still in the same place! ‘Staying busy’ is just that – it doesn’t get you anywhere and leaves you drained, frustrated and beaten! Whereas, ‘Just Being’, gets you to enjoy the magic and beauty of Life, while keeping your energy reservoir within you brimming over!
Vietnamese Buddhist guru Thich Nhat Hanh teaches this so well. He calls ‘Just Being’ non-action, not inaction. “Sometimes if we don’t do anything, we can help more than if we do a lot. We call that non-action. It is like the calm person on a small boat in a storm. That person does not have to do much, than just to be himself, and the situation can change,” he says.
Know that whatever’s happening to you now is part of a larger design that is creating your future. The funny thing about our present, our now, is that it is already happening. Which means we can’t wish it away. The only way to deal with it is to accept it, live it, to stay engaged with it. Just as we enjoy when what’s happening is what we like, we must learn to appreciate whatever’s happening even if that’s not what we wanted or expected or like! This is mindfulness. This is ‘Just Being’. It helps you connect with the source of your creation, helps you drop anchor and find bliss no matter what you are doing, or where you are, or what circumstances you are dealing with!