Walking the stage at graduation may not be as much fun as, say, running naked beating a drum at Burning Man, but it has its merits.
But all too quickly, reality sets in. You know, like the next morning at Burning Man. But this time, it’s more than just photos posted online. It’s job search time, baby.
I have a suggestion. A most unusual suggestion. In fact, my suggestion runs deeper than just job search advice for December graduates. It refers to life in general. And, it is respectfully submitted for a wider community than just December college graduates. This one is for all of us. So, here goes…
In all of your doing, practice “non-doing”. Do what, you say?
More than a play on words, non-doing is a Zen tradition that I think needs wider practice in the world right now. It means simplifying your life by purposely including some inactivity. Quiet time. Down time. Time for reflection. Contemplative time. Time devoted to nothing more than thinking.
We need it. For example, observe students when they leave class. The first thing they do is grab the cell phone. Heck, it’s been over an hour since they were able to talk or text. That’s like an eternity. There’s no telling what might have happened to friends. Next, it’s fire up the iPod. Gotta have that stimulation. Repeat cycle until next class. And so it goes.
Business people are worse. Renowned Blogger Buddy Steve Crescenzo posted a piece on being “Bluetoothed” when he tried to engage a fellow in conversation. We all need to put down the appliances at times and just be.
One of the most famous Haiku says this:
Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes, and the grass
Grows by itself.
In other words, let go. Stop doing. Cease talking. Turn off all the appliances. Listen to your inner voice for a time.
One of my favorite authors, Marsha Sinetar, says, “In silence and solitude our individuality is affirmed.” You have to be still and know, as the Bible says. Taking time out for reflection and contemplation is the greatest way to recharge your batteries for the battles you must fight.
Lao Tzu added his wisdom by saying, “He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” This requires inner work, accomplished in the quiet of contemplation and/or meditation.
Lao Tzu would have been cool with your texting friends, maybe even timely Bluetoothing. But he would have you balance it with time for your own inner work.
Marsha Sinetar says something else of great value: “The advancement to wholeness is the real occupation of human existence.” To be successful at this occupation, you must detach yourself from the world for a simplified and more contemplative life posture. You will be enlightened, enriched, enthused, and energized for your effort.