Have you ever struggled with ‘doing nothing’?
As in the days when you don’t have a lot to do and it is a perfect time to relax and take a break.
Yet, you cannot. Because it just feels weird to do nothing.
Over the past few days, I did not have any immediate deadlines or urgent things to do. So, most of my daily work used to get finished in 4-5 hours.
But I was not happy. On the contrary, I felt anxious.
Call it the conditioning that one must always be working or the notion of being lazy, I just couldn’t feel at ease with the idea of not doing anything.
I found some solace later while reading a new book called The Pathless Path. In one of the chapters, the author talks about the concept of Wu Wei– a phrase in Chinese that literally translates to “non-doing” but not exactly in the sense of doing nothing.
It refers to the idea of non-action and letting things go their own way. In the words of Lao Tzu,
“Less and less do you need to force things until finally, you arrive at non‑action. When nothing is done, nothing is left undone. True mastery can be gained by letting things go their own way. It can’t be gained by interfering.”
I am yet to unpack this intriguing idea but it somehow reminds me of the ideas of Karma Yoga or the surrender experiment.
Book of the Week: The Pathless Path
Has it ever happened to you when you are reading a book and you feel like this book was just written for you? It is as if the author knows you on a surprisingly deep level and speaks directly to you.
It might sound exaggerating but this is how I felt reading this book.
I felt as if someone has just validated my decisions over the past few months and understood my concerns, worries, and fears like nobody else in the world.
It is difficult to express my feelings about the book in this newsletter as I just finished it last night. I do plan to write a detailed post about the ideas and my reflection soon!
Meanwhile, you can check out the Boundless newsletter by its author, Paul Millerd.
Experiment with Fasting
I read another book last weekend called, Ultimate Guide to Fasting.
After finishing it, I realized that Navratri (a 9-day Indian festival of worshipping 9 forms of Goddess Durga) was starting the next day. Many devotees observe a 9-day fast during this time while eating Sattvic food once a day.
Now, I am not really religious and have rarely followed any customs or rituals except during major festivals when I am at home with my parents.
But this time, call it the influence of the book or just the coincidence of the festival starting just the day after I finished the book, I felt a calling to give fasting a try for 9 days during this auspicious period.
The first 36 hours of fasting were really tough because I was doing a water fast on the first day.
I am on day 3 today and plan to have one meal every day with 18-24 hours of fasting for the next 6 days.
I do feel already lighter and more alert, especially during meditation.
But I am reserving my judgment till Wednesday next week and will probably write more about it in the next week’s edition.
Let’s see what happens!
Until next time