Photograph by Lumitar on Unsplash
In our ongoing exploration of Alexander Method and non-doing, final week I had my faculty college students learn and talk about Ross Homosexual’s essay “Loitering is Pleasant” (warning: profanity). Then I assigned them a difficult job: take 20 minutes to do… nothing a lot. Loiter, take their time. Take a stroll on campus or wander the stacks within the library, or take a look at a portray within the campus gallery. However no telephones, no homework, nothing that feels “productive.”
I additionally challenged myself to do the task, however not like my college students, I didn’t go quite a lot of toes past the classroom, as I felt compelled to remain and guard their issues. So I seemed on the posters on the music division noticeboard. I stood within the solar. I walked on cracks within the sidewalk. I wound out and in of chairs within the classroom. I entertained myself the best way a three-year-old may, resisting the lure of my telephone and even the ebook I had in my bag.
Not surprisingly, I bought bored fairly quick. However I’ve cultivated curiosity about boredom. This curiosity is facilitated by three children who don’t have any compunction about coming to me and asserting, in a loud whine, “I’m bored!” As if that’s an enormous burden. As if I’m supposed to repair it. “Good,” I reply, annoyingly. “Now one thing attention-grabbing can occur.”
Now, I assumed, one thing attention-grabbing can occur.
And one thing attention-grabbing and pleasant did occur. As I walked the cracks, as I wound by the chairs, the ever-present psychological chatter quieted. I had a way of enlargement, openness, presence. The kind of stuff that’s promised us by meditation. Which is possibly a elaborate phrase for forcing myself to cease doing stuff lengthy sufficient to get bored and see what occurs.
It occurred to me within the dialogue of Homosexual’s essay that there’s a deep irony in taking 20 minutes out of manufacturing/consumption when these minutes are ticking by at personal faculty tuition price. I’ve but to test in with the scholars about whether or not they really feel these minutes have been “wasted.” However the objective of non-doing is to not by no means do something. It’s not a “activate, tune in, drop out” mentality. It’s as an alternative an interruption from compulsive doing lengthy sufficient for one thing attention-grabbing to occur. To have a selection, to have an concept, to listen to myself assume.
The rat race is fairly predictable. If I hold frantically doing at my regular tempo, I’ve a reasonably good concept of what “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” brings. But when I cease… If I take my time… If I do nothing for lengthy sufficient to get bored… It would result in something.
It would result in all the pieces.