Don't be alarmed if you're doing the Basic Minute and you experience nothing. That nothing you experience is a good nothing, not a bad nothing.
It's a bit like that moment on vacation, just after you arrive, when—suddenly freed from your routine and schedule—you realize that there is nothing that you have to do just then. For a moment, it's as if you are suspended—not having the usual demands on your time and not yet knowing what else you want to do.
Of course, when you're on vacation, you quickly fill in that moment of nothing with snorkelling, skiing, reading, hiking, swimming, dancing or shopping. But when nothing happens in the Basic Minute, I suggest you hang out in that experience. Let yourself have nothing to think, feel, do or even be. Let there be pure, unadulterated nothing.
It won't be like that all the time.
Much of the time when you do a Basic Minute, you will be aware of everything but nothing. However, that doesn't mean that nothing wasn't there or that it wasn't working.
Even in the busiest Basic Minute, you probably did have a moment of nothing, a moment in which you were free of thinking, concerns, hopes and plans, projects and fantasies. Since it was nothing, you probably didn't notice it. However, if you feel even a little bit refreshed after your Minute, this is probably due to that moment of nothing—it gives you a tiny vacation from your mind.
Don't get me wrong: There's nothing wrong with your mind. But all the hopes, expectations and assumptions you carry around can be a big source of stress—they can stop you from living in the moment. To live in the moment requires much more of nothing.
In a world where there are so many interruptions and distractions (and so much competition for your attention), having a moment of pure nothing is quite a luxury. You couldn't buy it for anything.
So today, I want you to treat yourself to nothing. Please don't start looking for nothing or holding on to nothing, because that would be doing something. Your challenge today is simply to give yourself permission to experience nothing, whenever it appears, if only for a moment.
Get started with the Basic Minute now
Martin Boroson is a playful, practical new voice in the next wave of meditation teachers. Author of One-Moment Meditation: Stillness for People on the Go, he lectures on the benefits of a meditative mind for decision-making and leadership. Marty studied philosophy at Yale, earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management and is a formal student of Zen. Visit his website for One-Moment Meditation® help and resources or tweet him at @takeamoment.
Find out more about the 30-Day One-Moment Meditation course
Don't miss a moment! Go to the archive page
Do you have any questions about "nothing" or anything else you've tried so far? Leave your comments and questions below!
Published on April 05, 2010