On the high art of not doing
Rani Kaluza (Author)
Publisher: Kamphausen Media
Hardcover / 184 pages / 115 x 210 mm / with many atmospheric color photos and humorous illustrations by Friedrich Mayer / ISBN: 9783958835351 / € 18,00
The German book can be ordered here (see form on German Book page). From 20 August 2021 then also in all bookstores.
Doing Nothing is the high art of simply being here and a deeply moving experience. You could call it purposeless meditation, consecrated time, or celebration of life. Pure Doing Nothing is courageous, intelligent and very alive – a way for everyone to discover the true happiness that is basically always there and hidden in all life situations.
„…Only if I am still doing nothing, nothing to grab it, nothing to manipulate it, will it reveal itself very gradually.“
Rani Kaluza has been exploring being present in the here and now, in everyday life and intensively in retreats for decades. The Way of Not Doing is the fruit and quintessence of her long spiritual journey. What she found out and experienced along the way, she tells in an exciting and wonderfully inspiring way. Her poetic language reveals a mysteriously simple wisdom.
- Being Here (Five days of doing nothing Retreat)
- Sacred Time
- The Song of Doing Nothing
- Outer Doing Nothing (sitting – lying – walking)
- Inner Doing Nothing (Silence – thinking)
- Three steps into Nothingness (step 1 – feeling)
- The bones of Doing Nothing (Not wanting – Not knowing)
- The ten fingers of Doing Nothing
- Gaps (Discovering Nothingness in everyday life)
- The children of Doing Nothing (Kindness – Devotion – Bliss)
- Doing Nothing and animals
- Doing Nothing in Retreat
- Practical hints
- Alone in the wilderness (my very first Retreat)
- The Heart of Doing Nothing (silence)
- The Shrine of Doing Nothing (space)
- Three steps into nothingness (step 2 – opening and showing oneself)
- The fear of Doing Nothing
- Is Doing Nothing a Meditation?
- The fruits of Doing Nothing
- Three steps into nothingness (step 3 – Giving up the practice)
- appendix (literature list – Address list of recommended Retreat places)
„And then you have to have time to just sit there and look in front of you.“ (Pippi Langstrumpf)
Doing and not doing are two sides of the same coin, one could say, like sleeping and waking, speaking and remaining silent. Active doing is as much a part of life as passive not doing. But while occupations play a recognized and predominant role in our culture, less attention and value is given to unintentional not doing. And while the offers to be active become more and more manifold and being absorbed in virtual worlds takes up the rest of the time, the pure doing nothing – pushed into the background – appears to many people like a sublime absence of something, like an unfulfilled longing for silence, for time, for nature.
Much like sleep creeps into the day as latent fatigue, when neglected at night, just-being-there acts like an unnoticed need in many ways to reclaim its rightful place in our lives.
Sleeping is extremely important for the survival of the body, moreover, in deep sleep our spiritual essence, also called the soul, finds the special cosmic nourishment it needs. If you deprive a person of sleep over a longer period of time, he will eventually go insane and then also die quite soon. By the way, this is true for all living beings on this earth. Without sleep, without phases of deep rest and relaxation, none of them would survive. Dogs, by the way, die without sleep after about four days.
Being there without intention is also not a superfluous luxury, but a source of regeneration, intelligence and joy. It enables us to dive into the primordial ground of being, in order to return afterwards strengthened back into the world of activities. A person who is continuously active for a long period of time and disregards his need for inner rest does not die immediately, but he does become a little strange and not infrequently sick. In a time of rest, life provides us with important energetic nourishment. Without us having to do or perform anything for it, it connects us without circumstance with that source from which all beings, also all plants, even the stones and the stars draw their strength. In this contemplative, silent time, which does not even have to be very long, our organism is given a connectedness that makes it easy for us again to love life in its simplicity.
Being here, not distracted by anything, and looking directly into the boredom can be liberating. It is beautiful to experience this openness, to allow ourselves to fall into this moment, and to surrender with confidence like a cloud to the clear sky.
In this book, I talk about the treasures and stars to be discovered in not doing, but also about the difficulties and traps one can fall into. I also try to show, with references to Western and Eastern spiritual schools, that the open heart of pure Being is beating in all mystical traditions, and that pure Not Doing, Doing Nothing – in everyday life, but especially in retreat – is a practice that makes it possible to experience a direct encounter with universal love.
In other words, my aim is to arouse curiosity, inspire and enable readers to make their own discoveries. To that end, I offer my 30+ years of meditation experience. And yes, sometimes it is an adventure, a journey into the unknown. Similar to what happens to an artist, who stands in front of a white canvas and does not know which painting will happen shortly, not doing is always a dance with the open space.
Furthermore, with this book I would like to contribute to a better understanding of that inner restlessness, which is responsible for so many problems in our lives. To do this, I bring the daily feeling of being driven out of its shadowy existence into the light, in order to make it comprehensible and to transform it. Inevitably, the fear of idleness is also illuminated, the fear that, for whatever reason, there might suddenly be no plan left – of situations when the series of continuous occupations breaks off and everything is open. Small and large moments, quite everyday, in which the nameless nothingness stands there like a ghost and we often enough do not know whether we can accept this invitation. That it is possible to appreciate empty spaces of time, and that they can even be highly enchanting, is what this book is about, above all.