Rebalancing Doing and Being


From Fully Present, a book on meditation by Susan Smalley and Diana Winston:

As obvious and simple as mindfulness can be, and despite its beneficial effects, doing it is another story. It is very simple to be mindful. Take a moment right now, stop reading, and feel your nose and body take one breath. You are present with that one breath. You are mindful in this single moment in time. It is simple to be mindful, but remembering to be mindful can be very difficult.

Modern society tends to condition us to be anything but mindful. The dominant American culture validates virtually mindless productivity, busyness, speed, and efficiency. The last thing we want to do is just be present. We want to do, to succeed, to produce. Those of us who are good at the doing seem to fare well in many of our institutions and corporations. Those who are not, well, they tend to fall behind. But this is life in America in the twenty-first century and, to an increasing degree, around the world. We are so focused on doing that we have forgotten all about being, and the toll this takes on our physical, mental, and emotional health is palpable. As the saying goes, we have become "human doings" instead of "human beings." ... Mindfulness is a means to rebalance doing and being.

(cf. Dimensionless and Therefore Infinite (2010-02-03), Being with Your Breath (2010-02-20), ...) - ^z - 2011-02-28