Re: Not-doing LO1215

David E. Birren, MB/5, 608.267.2442 (
Mon, 15 May 1995 09:20 CST

Replying to Charles Barclay LO1179:

I've been in the not-doing dialogue from the beginning, so I'll try
responding to Charles' ideas.

>Is there any significance that it takes years of practice to achieve
>the skill of not thinking or not focusing on any thought even for a
>minute. All the whimsical musings on Not Doing are pretty far
>fetched coming from folks who have failed to actively Not Think.
>While a few of you are undoubtedly practiced in certain aspects of
>asian religious practices, most are not.

I see this comment as addressing an underlying spiritual practice that is
consistent with not-doing. But is that the domain of this list? My
intent in this discussion has been to share what little I know about
not-doing and its value in everyday life, and hopefully learn something,
too. One thing I've learned is that there are folks out there who have a
much fuller understanding of this than I do. The point, for me, is not to
discuss meditative practices ("not-thinking") but to learn in some
practical ways how to apply the holistic and humble concept of not-doing.

>Please keep in mind that it is impossible for persons who have not trained
>diligently for a couple of years to even get to the point where they can
>Not-Think for a few minutes of meditation.

This is true. Those who practice yoga and meditation can work on that
privately. By its nature, not-thinking cannot be shared, only
experienced. However, I'd be happy to listen in on a discussion of the
social and organizational effects of not-thinking.

David E. Birren Phone: (608)267-2442
Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources Fax: (608)267-3579
Bureau of Management & Budget Internet:
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"To know, and not to act, is to not know."
--Wang Yang Ming, 9th-century Chinese general