How do you DO not doing?

My Zen teacher once gave me a little pep-talk when my meditation practice was flagging. He said, “you really have to DO your practice of non-doing.” What he really meant was that thinking and reading about meditation were not going to get me where actual meditating would. Nor would remembering past meditative experiences fondly help me to reap the benefits of a true daily practice. Similarly with the Alexander Technique, it is more useful to practice inhibition with a certain amount of discipline, rather than thinking about it in the abstract or relying solely on the teacher during the lesson.

How do you practice inhibition? It’s a conscious choice not to do something. With a teacher, you are asked not to sit yourself in the chair, but instead to allow the teacher to move you into the chair in an unfamiliar way. You give up control in order to bypass your habit and uncover a better way to do something. But learning inhibition requires practice away from the guiding hands of the teacher.

How do you DO not doing, when you want a specific result? You have to give up on that goal and just inhibit. You have to trust that the practice will take you where you need to go, instead of struggling mightily to make what you believe should happen, happen.

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