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Choosing to do nothing-is it an action?


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#16    StarMountainKid

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:00 PM

Midyin said:

Choosing to do nothing is not only an action, but it's the worst action a person can do(or not do)...

If you see a guy trying to kidnap a little girl I would like to think anyone worth a crap would step up and do something.

Of course anyone would intervene in such a situation. I think the idea is that the guy trying to kidnap the little girl is not practicing the action of non-action. There are people who are always stirring up trouble, sticking their nose in where it doesn't belong, themselves in trouble all the time, thinking of ways to manipulate others, imposing their will, arguing, complicating existing situations that are already complicated enough, etc.

This kind of action always creates a negative result. Oftentimes it is better to do nothing and allow a situation to play out as it will when action will only make the situation worse or prolong a conflict. Dealing with events with calm understanding oftentimes is a better method than using some opposing action that will not be as helpful in resolving a situation.

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#17    White Crane Feather

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:54 PM

I think it's a wonderful idea. A state of observation and gratitude is a wonderful way to live. I couldn't do it totally myself, I'm to opinionated and I  like to act and get my hands dirty, but many many times I have held back involving myself in something only to realize that my involvement would have been a complete mistake. It makes me wonder how many things would resolve themselves if I just let it be.

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"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#18    scowl

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:18 PM

View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 23 April 2013 - 01:16 AM, said:

Our schools traditionally have focused on intelligence while neglecting creativity, measuring one but not the other, encouraging a script filled with plans and goals but discouraging independent thought and exploration.


That's because creativity can't easily be objectively measured. I wrote lots of great stuff in English classes. Or I thought it was great, however some instructors didn't like it so I got plenty of average grades.


#19    Beany

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 02:53 AM

Being challenged this week at work. I want to step up & intervene, say my piece, but I remind myself every 5 minutes to chill. In AA they say "turn it over to a higher power", I'm not sure there's a higher power, but I'm going to turn it over and see what, if anything,  happens without my intervention.


#20    sutemi

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 08:05 AM

Sorry to take so long to post but I’ve been really busy redesigning my garden. It’s nice to see threads like this on UM Beany.
‘Choosing to do nothing’ this is very much like the Chinese saying Wu Wei as many have posted. If you ‘choose’, it becomes an action.  There are many translations of this saying, the most common is ‘Not Doing’ but this is not very clear to those who do not practice meditation, for them it is mistaken for passivity. In fact, it refers to ‘Spontaneous and Effortless Action’.
TTC 15 “Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?
The Master doesn't seek fulfillment. Not seeking, not expecting, she is present, and can welcome all things”.
To try to understand it with the analytical mind leads to confusion, it should be looked at from a spiritual point of view. Wu Wei is action without desire, motivation or intention or just ‘being natural’ in any situation. This is best developed through meditation or ’No Mind’ yet again a misunderstood saying, many people think it means being almost dumb or stupid.  ‘Wu Wei’ has also been translated as "creative quietude," or the art of ’letting-be’, as Seeker posted. Meditation is the foundation on which Wu Wei is built, to be ‘in tune with nature’ as Star Mountain posted all very good points.
TTC23 “Open yourself to the Tao, then trust your natural responses; and everything will fall into place”.
Choosing to follow any rule is not Wu Wei this is how religions come about, it is a common failing, we are brought up to use the intellect but the illusive natural state of being cannot be achieved through thought . It is something all humans can experience in fact it is the missing piece in the modern world, one should meditate everyday learning to focus the mind/thoughts so that spontaneous actions just happen without effort.
TTC 35. She who is centered in the Tao can go where she wishes, without danger.
She perceives the universal harmony, even amid great pain, because she has found peace in her heart.
Music or the smell of good cooking may make people stop and enjoy. But words that point to the Tao seem monotonous and without flavor. When you look for it, there is nothing to see.
When you listen for it, there is nothing to hear. When you use it, it is inexhaustible.
TTC54. “Let the Tao be present in your life and you will become genuine. Let it be present in your family and your family will flourish.
Let it be present in your country and your country will be an example to all countries in the world. Let it be present in the universe
and the universe will sing. How do I know this is true? By looking inside myself”. take care.
‘The fish are thirsty in the water when I hear this it makes me laugh’ Kabir


#21    Beany

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 05:34 PM

Thanks for the post, Sutemi & everyone else. It's been helpful to my understanding of what I'm trying to do. I've found it's very difficult at times to remain unmoving and let the right action reveal itself, my mind/ego always wants to pitch in and help. And why not, since there are times when it's been very helpful. I guess this "doing nothing" fits really well with my practice of last year, which was to believe in nothing that I didn't know to be true for myself. It seems once I cleared that field down to a handful of basics, it left a lot of room for other ideas & concepts to blossom. It's funny, I spent a lot of time reading & studying metaphysics, and filled my head up, and now it seems I'm emptying it. Where I'm at right now is at odds with a lot of my friends, so it's comforting that I have somewhere to turn to talk about these ideas without someone trying to persuade me I'm wrong. I don't need to be right, but I would like to talk about it objectively.


#22    xFelix

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 05:54 PM

Doing nothing is inaction, and however wrong it might be at times for us to NOT act, we cannot sit here and say that not acting is acting, that is an oxymoron.

My posts consist of my opinions, beliefs, and experiences, feel free to disagree in a respectful manner.

I have a right to my beleifs, just as you have a right to not agree with them.

So long as we respect each other's beliefs, we won't have a single problem.


#23    StarMountainKid

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:48 PM

xFelix said:

Doing nothing is inaction, and however wrong it might be at times for us to NOT act, we cannot sit here and say that not acting is acting, that is an oxymoron.

In my view non-action is different than inaction or doing nothing. Non-action is the conserving of energy by not wasting action where it doesn't belong or using our energy in superfluous ways. I think it relates to conserving one's effort until the moment requires action.

In this sense action is without effort and spontaneous. "When there is nothing to do, do nothing." This is also a kind of action, just being quietly and alertly aware. It's kind of paradox. All sound arises from silence, as all action arises from non-action. There is a difference between sound and noise, as there is a difference between this kind of action and just business.

When we are always busy busy busy, action arising from our true self has no space to develop, and our activity becomes an imitation of the activity around us. What we do is who we are. If we pretend to be everyone else, who are we?

Ok, I'm done. :)

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#24    xFelix

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 09:35 PM

View PostStarMountainKid, on 14 May 2013 - 06:48 PM, said:

In my view non-action is different than inaction or doing nothing. Non-action is the conserving of energy by not wasting action where it doesn't belong or using our energy in superfluous ways. I think it relates to conserving one's effort until the moment requires action.

In this sense action is without effort and spontaneous. "When there is nothing to do, do nothing." This is also a kind of action, just being quietly and alertly aware. It's kind of paradox. All sound arises from silence, as all action arises from non-action. There is a difference between sound and noise, as there is a difference between this kind of action and just business.

When we are always busy busy busy, action arising from our true self has no space to develop, and our activity becomes an imitation of the activity around us. What we do is who we are. If we pretend to be everyone else, who are we?

Ok, I'm done. :)

Quote


inaction  
Main Entry: inaction  [in-ak-shuhn]  Show IPA
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: state of doing nothing
Synonyms: acedia, deferral, deliquescence, depression, doldrums, dormancy, ennui, fecklessness, idleness, inactivity, indolence, inertia, inertness, lassitude, lethargy, otiosity, passivity, quiescence, quietude, slothfulness, stagnation, stasis, suspension, torpidity, torpor
Antonyms:  action
http://thesaurus.com...se/inaction?s=t

Your opinion vs my fact.

I think my fact wins.. :P

My posts consist of my opinions, beliefs, and experiences, feel free to disagree in a respectful manner.

I have a right to my beleifs, just as you have a right to not agree with them.

So long as we respect each other's beliefs, we won't have a single problem.


#25    The Id3al Experience

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 10:44 PM

Now since a person can not by defintion do nothing for they could have to cease to excist.

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#26    StarMountainKid

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 12:01 AM

xFelix said:

Your opinion vs my fact.

I think my fact wins.. :P

I think we are defining two different things. :) In meditation, for instance, there is no overt action, yet the mind is sharp and alert, aware of its surroundings. In this state one can jump into immediate action if the circumstance arises. I would also say in the martial arts, before one's offensive or defensive action, one is in a state of alert non-action.

Inaction is something completely different.

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#27    shrooma

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 12:54 AM

View PostxFelix, on 14 May 2013 - 05:54 PM, said:

Doing nothing is inaction, and however wrong it might be at times for us to NOT act, we cannot sit here and say that not acting is acting, that is an oxymoron.
.
I guess you failed to notice the name of the thread 'choosing inaction' then huh felix?
or would you like me to copy & paste something showing that choosing is an act....?

View PostxFelix, on 14 May 2013 - 09:35 PM, said:

.

Your opinion vs my fact.

I think my fact wins.. :P
.
or maybe not, as the case may be....?

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#28    Beany

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 02:06 AM

I wasn't referring to not acting in an emergency, but to not immediately react to problems or stressors in my daily life. As it turns out, since I've adopted this practice, most things have worked out quite nicely without my intervention. How or why that is, I'm not sure, but it is working.


#29    xFelix

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 03:05 AM

View Postshrooma, on 15 May 2013 - 12:54 AM, said:

.
I guess you failed to notice the name of the thread 'choosing inaction' then huh felix?
or would you like me to copy & paste something showing that choosing is an act....?

.
or maybe not, as the case may be....?

Choosing is an action, I stand corrected when it comes to the title.

My posts consist of my opinions, beliefs, and experiences, feel free to disagree in a respectful manner.

I have a right to my beleifs, just as you have a right to not agree with them.

So long as we respect each other's beliefs, we won't have a single problem.


#30    4dplane

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 06:02 AM

When I read the title of this thread I immediately thought of a Ted Talks that describes how inaction results in an action because:

Start it at 5:00 - about 4 min
http://www.ted.com/t..._decisions.html

In summary of Dan Ariely’s video, Are we in control of our own decisions? He shows many countries, with a similar cultural, have vastly different organ donation percentages and it has to do with how a countries DMV form is worded. If the form looks like this:

“Check the box below if you want to participate in the organ donor program”  

There is a low percentage of people who sign up, because the act of doing nothing defaults to a result of no organ donation. If the DMV from looks like this:

“Check the box below if you don’t want to participate in the organ donor program”  

There is a high percentage of people who sign up, because the act of doing nothing defaults to a result of many organ donations.

In all cases the greatest action taken was the act of doing noting. Ariely proposes this is not a result of people just being lazy to lift a pen and check the box, but rather the question they are being asked is too difficult to answer, so they just leave it alone; “do nothing”.  


Quote

“So I decided to back off, be still, and pay attention.”


All three of these are decisions and continued actions for as so long as you continue them. Action has been had, so I think the point is, if you want to live life with a backseat approach, don’t surround your creed with vows of mindlessness and apathy, but rather use your mind to make the decision, to do nothing when that is the best option. If there is a better option then a rational person would take that route vs doing noting when someone’s be attacked or a house is on fire etc ... The big idea to me is doing nothing should absolutely be an option on the table when approached with a problem, but you need to take action first to decide whether you want to take action or not. So, in the end, I’m for using your head and not meandering off to an endless sea of ..... ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ...

Any belief is a self protecting device through which the mind disconnects itself from truth. Only a mind that is free from any anticipation, hope, and belief can act justly and in alliance with truth and reality.
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Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.
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