It is often said mindfulness is about: “Just being and not doing.” In being, one is with the present moment just as it is without having a need to change it. It is a direct experience of what is happening with equanimity. There is no preference making. You may have spontaneously experienced this when you have engaged in the flow of doing something that you are completely engrossed with. Listening to music, photography, art, singing etc. When we are DOING there is a conscious effort to achieve something. One is actively thinking and acting for a certain goal. The big question is what to do in order to be. It is not so simple as saying “just be.” This requires a lot of effort. The first problem is that we are just not aware of what is happening. We may be angry, sad or happy but we just don’t know that we are angry, sad or happy. Furthermore, our normal instinctive response is to judge all our experience against our personal arbitrary belief system. We are constantly identifying with our sense of self. In being, we are asked to suspend judgment and respond in a way that runs contrary to our normal reactive way. It initially requires a lot of doing to develop intentional and sustained awareness and continual reflective inquiry into the true nature of self in order to be in a mindful relationship with non-attachment with the sense of self. There is a lot to do in order to just be.
By Dr. Philip Blustein