‘Just being’ is all about experiencing each moment with your heart

It connects you to the source of your creation.

A friend remarked that he found me to be in the ‘zone of happiness’ all the time. Indeed. I choose that zone because it gives me an opportunity to ‘just be’ – be non-worrying, non-frustrated and non-suffering. This, to me, is happiness.

‘Just being’ is an opportunity available to everyone. All the time. But many of us see ‘just being’ as inaction. And so we imagine that it will breed inertia and make us vegetables; we feel that staying busy is important. You can be running on a treadmill and you could still be in the same place. Staying busy is just that. It doesn’t get you anywhere. Vietnamese Buddhist guru Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) 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, just to be himself, and the situation can change,” he says.

I lean on Thay’s teaching for my everyday living. I practice ‘just being’, as follows:

  1. Being in the moment, engaged, mindful. Thoroughly involved. Which is a lot of action.
  2. 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 soaring. Despite the storm, despite the chaos, you are soaked in grace, energy and momentum!


‘Just being’ is mindfulness. In fact, the Chinese character for mindfulness, nian, reveals its meaning. The upper part of the character means ‘now’ and the lower part means ‘heart’. Literally, the combined character means the act of experiencing the present moment with your heart or ‘just being’. Just being’ connects you to the source of your creation, it helps you drop anchor and find peace in whatever you do, wherever you are!