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Chapter 3: Meditation Is Non-Doing

Why do you call meditation a non-doing? Is it not an act as well?

Look here, please. My fist is closed. To close my fist I must make a positive action. Closing is an action, a doing. But when I wish to open it, what must I do? I don’t have to do anything to open it. If I simply drop the effort of closing the fist it will open on its own and the hand will return to its natural and normal state. Therefore I won’t call opening one’s fist a “doing.” It is a “non-doing,” or if you like you can call it “negative action.” But that makes no difference; it is the same thing. I have no insistence about words, just that you can understand my point, my intent.

By calling meditation a non-doing, I wish to indicate that you should not regard meditation as a task or an occupation. Meditation is a state of non-occupation. It is a naturalness and you do not have to turn it into some kind of mental tension. If meditation were also a mental tension, a “doing,” it would not lead you into your self-nature, into peace. Tension itself is a restlessness. And in order to enter the realm of peace one has to begin with peace. If there is no peace at the very first step, there will certainly be none at the last. The last is just the culmination of the first.

I see people going to temples and I see them worshipping gods and goddesses there. I also see them sitting in meditation, but it is all an activity, a tension, a sort of restlessness for them. And if they expect flowers of peace to bloom in this restlessness, they are utterly mistaken.

If you want peace, if you wish to be peaceful, it is essential that you start out in peace from the very first moment.