Best-selling self-realization author
How often do we “dive” headlong into the river of thoughts rushing through our mind? Maybe it’s to find relief from a struggling relationship or another personal concern, but the results seldom vary: we realize—too late—that it isn’t we who are holding onto what we thought would save us, but rather our own thoughts and feelings have a firm grip on us. They’re dragging us under with them. The more we struggle to resolve our negative reaction, the more wrapped up in it we become.
The evidence is clear: struggling to save ourselves from a torrent of thoughts and feelings by adding more to them doesn’t just diminish our chances to be free—it ensures we will only be swept further downstream by the very thing we reach for to save us.
Now, if we can see the truth of this, the solution to our struggle—as surprising as it may seem—is right before our eyes: we must do nothing. Let me explain the beautiful power and simplicity of what it means to “do nothing.”
All our life experiences have been trying to teach us—trying to reach us, right in the midst of our trials—this grand lesson: Liberation from our captive condition can’t come by further deliberation of it. We see the wisdom in doing nothing toward our own troubled thoughts as we realize the only way not to be dragged under by our negative reactions to life is to stay out of their life.
Learning to “do nothing” means we don’t jump into the river of thoughts as they rush by, even though it looks as though they carry what we need to be free. To “do nothing” means we meet any kind of conflicting movement within us with the one thing that can’t be carried off by it: stillness.
In many ways, this kind of watchfulness—our willingness to do nothing save be still in the face of our flooding reactions—is real meditation. Meditation isn’t just sitting someplace with our eyes closed, quietly contemplating something of a spiritual nature. Meditation is a direct relationship with the sum of ourselves in the moment, where we stand as a witness to what moves through us instead of becoming its captive through our reaction to it.
When it’s time to step back from some reaction that’s tempting you to jump in to get out of some jam—remember to do nothing but watch. Be as inwardly still as you can be toward what you see there. This includes watching your own inability to be still. You need do nothing else to start seeing all that isn’t you—not that fitfulness pulling you left and right, nor the sound and fury of ten thousand thoughts and feelings coursing through you. Just watch it all. You will soon understand the goodness of stillness, and you will know the mystery, calm, and majesty of the true meditative life.
For over 40 years Guy Finley has helped individuals around the world find inner freedom and a deeper, more satisfying way to live. His in-depth and down-to-earth teachings cut straight to the heart of today’s most important personal and social issues –stress, fear, relationships, addiction, meditation, and peace. His work is widely endorsed by doctors, business professionals, celebrities, and spiritual leaders of all denominations.
Guy is the author of 45 books and video/audio programs including his international bestseller “The Secret of Letting Go” which has been translated into 30 languages and sold millions of copies worldwide.
He is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit Center for Spiritual Discovery located in Southern Oregon, with over 40,000 online newsletter subscribers. https://www.guyfinley.org
Through Life of Learning, Guy has presented over 5,000 unique self-realization seminars to thousands of grateful students throughout North America and Europe over the past 30 years and has been a guest on over 700 television and radio shows, including national appearances on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and NPR. Guy is a faculty member at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York and 1440 Multiversity in Scotts Valley, California. He is a regular expert contributor to Beliefnet, Insight Timer, Simple Habit, and many other popular spiritual sites.
Finley holds regular classes at Life of Learning including two free talks each week that are live-streamed www.guyfinley.org/online. These classes are open to all. For more information about Guy Finley and Life of Learning Foundation visit www.guyfinley.org
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