“To be or to do, that is the question” of The Mindful Word’s new blog “Aimless in India.” The meaning of aimlessness, according to Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, is “that you do not put something in front of you and run after it, because everything is already here, in yourself.”
“Does the rose have to do something?” Nhat Hanh asks. “No, the purpose of a rose is to be a rose.” Like the rose, we are perfection, just unrealized. “Do” dominates the world, resulting in a culture where future-oriented thinking is the norm, not the present moment. Doing has its benefits, and at times is necessary, but more often than not, it brings discontentment. A discontentment on the personal scale that leads to overconsumption, war, and environmental destruction on the global scale.
With a history of spawning spiritual traditions, India has a tradition of “being” that runs deep in its collective unconscious. That tradition is fast changing as Indian society rapidly transforms into an industrialized society of “doing.” With these two conflicting ways of life co-existing in a country of over 1 Billion, India provides an interesting setting for exploring the spiritual and secular – how they interact, clash, combine.
This blog approaches aimlessness in its broadest sense: what comes from doing less and being more. It’s not so much a travel blog, but a forum to explore qualities such as mindfulness, equanimity, fear, and acceptance as well as the practices of meditation and yoga.