The Big Difference Between Non-Doing and Doing Nothing | Q&A With Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Big Difference Between Non-Doing and Doing Nothing | Q&A With Jon Kabat-Zinn

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Foreign [Music] [Applause] [Music] Is an afternoon of practice This sometimes looks like practice on The chair on the cushion or whatever but The real practice is life itself okay so I just want to emphasize that eyes open Eyes closed when we're in conversation We're not in conversation the moments Are unfolding the Timeless moments are Basically here can we live inside them In ways that make sense to us So because so many of you have been Meditating and so many of you for so Long at least by that calendar uh One of the things that I think would Make sense at this point is to get those Microphones circulating and we will have A conversation about what your Experience was right now you can also Frame it within How many of you were at the conference For the past three days okay well that's Like 70 or 80 percent of you and you are Crazy enough to stay for this day I just want to point that out to you I Mean that's non-trivial it's a Non-trivial commitment to something so One of the things that I'm interested in In terms of framing our conversation or Our inquiry together Our dialoguing together

Um Is your motivation What your what the impulse was to come Today when you could have very easily Said I've had it I'm burned out I've Heard enough mindfulness and I need to go to movies And you didn't You came here I'm interested in that And not because I'm sitting up here on This cushion I'm interested in What motivates us To align with what's deepest and best in Ourselves even though and I think we can All recognize that this is non-trivial Work this is the hardest work in the World framed in a certain way And on the other hand it's not work at All it's play it's love it's effortless But it's kind of a funny kind of Tuning of the instrument this is a Classical image you know where too tight The string is too tight you don't get a Good sound the string is too loose don't Get a good sound so it's a kind of Continual sort of tuning of the field of Wakefulness And it's got to be the hardest work in The world for us human beings to even String two moments of mindfulness Together Um would you agree I mean it's Non-trivial right and yet look how many People are here for an extra day and not

Just that you could have all left after Katie I mean God wasn't that enough You want more So this is really important to sort of Not think about but to recognize The love affair inside yourself and how The coordinate system is actually Already available to all of us it's like We it's not like we're incomplete and we Need to complete ourselves although of Course we'll have those narratives up The wazoo Right but what if you're already whole What if there's no improving on you what If this like you're absolutely complete And the only thing that will happen from Here on is that you'll be older And there's a whole story line that will Go along with that but what if for now It's just like this just like this The Good The Bad and The Ugly And we've seen just countless Demonstrations of it just this morning In that laboratory of how easily the Mental frame will actually generate a Prism That alienates us from the the world in Very very strong ways that will actually Predetermine what we will and will not Do And wind up creating infinitely more Suffering than necessary and in blaming Of course everybody but ourselves So where are those microphone runners

And I don't want to just keep the Microphone where it's convenient for the Runners so I don't know exactly how this Will work but I would really like You to be able to voice what's on your Mind or in your heart uh for now and We'll just go back and forth and I have To tell you when I'm controlling the Space which I really like to do I'd be Sitting here Okay but they say that if I sit here Then in terms of the filming and the web Thing and everything that I'll look uh Like in darkness or whatever but I like To be as close as possible I'm like So good to see you Um and so good to see so many old Friends and new friends and and new Faces and to to actually feel the Embodied intentionality of An enough of a dose of wisdom To know that it might be worth Practicing non-doing together with seven Or eight hundred other people or how Many other people practicing non-doing Non-getting anywhere Non-striving For once So who's got a mic Talk Okay I'm just yes why we came back today yeah Hold the microphone a little closer yeah That's why we came back today and for me

It's uh I didn't ask I just observed That you did but it's fine if you want To say I'm sorry I thought that was what The question was well I'm here because I'm curious Foreign Can you say a little more Curious about I don't feel like file or Why I'm laughing or you know Why are you what are you curious about And good question if I knew that I Probably wouldn't need to be curious Okay and who and who is who is curious I'm not saying you should answer that But I think that it might be interesting For you to ah even ask What is this curiosity how is it Emerging what is the feeling tone of it Even in the body Because you may you're making you know Sort of major decisions like you know None of us have time to waste so when You're curious and you opt or you choose You opt in to something that if a lot of People walked in from you know the Tourists that are walking around this Building they came in here and they saw What we were doing they think they were In a lunatic asylum Seriously And they would say oh however many People in the room doing nothing We're not doing nothing we're doing the Hardest work in the world

We're practicing non-doing big Difference between non-doing and doing Nothing A lot of the people who are meditators They extremely accomplished people get a Lot done it's not like oh just like Slackers But from the outside it looks like Just a bunch of loafers So anything else coming up for you well You said two things that strips strike Me one you said that um You know maybe we're over we've had too Much of this uh wisdom stuff and Actually heard that comment several Times yesterday and even this morning I Thought it's very interesting to hear That Wow you know had so much wisdom and I Think it's I don't know why we would why That would come up But um I remember I was just sitting With that wow that's interesting that That would come up You know I've had three days of this Wisdom well I was joking I know you were Joking I thought you were joking but I Actually heard that yeah And you know I don't know if it's Serious or not but it's just kind of I'm Sitting with that it's so serious that It's too serious to take too seriously Seriously I mean it's that serious and I think we

Would all agree I mean you know again It's like look around you I mean these Are real people with real things to do I Mean Does anybody not have anything to do you Just like Kane because like you you ran Out of your to-do list I don't think that happens nowadays The very fact I hope you've all shut off Your devices let me just say because you Could be here pretending to be here but Just checking or your whatever accounts You don't do that for the rest of this Time I I should have said it at the very Beginning but I was too busy I was too busy coughing actually that's Why I'm here because it's the best Excuse I can think of to get rid of my To-do list Wonderful okay yeah and so so this is Number one on your to be list Yeah you'd only need a number two Thank you thank you thank you


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James is a content creator who works in the personal development niche.