Let’s do …. nothing!

The restorative effect of doing …. nothing.

A week ago I published a post called On quietness.  It was predominantly comprised of a republication of a much earlier item written by Jon Lavin.

However, in the way that things happen, shortly after that post (last Friday’s one) was published I came across this TED video of Andy Puddicome.

I’ll say no more – enjoy the video.  (Beautifully delivered in ten minutes, by the way!)

When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Not texting, talking or even thinking? Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: Refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day, simply by being mindful and experiencing the present moment. (No need for incense or sitting in strange positions.)


 “Most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind. But actually it’s … about stepping back, seeing the thought clearly, witnessing it coming and going.” (Andy Puddicombe)

The TED profile of Andy P. offers this:

Andy Puddicombe
Andy Puddicombe

Why you should listen to him:

Andy Puddicombe wants you to take a break — not just from work, but from your own mind, which is so full of anxieties about the world and anxieties about its own anxieties. To help you do that, Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk, co-founded Headspace, a project to make meditation more accessible to more people in their everyday lives. Puddicombe also writes prolifically for the Huffington Post and the Guardian, on the benefits of mindful thinking for healthy living.


So as someone who seems to have real trouble relaxing, I mean real relaxation in the letting go sense, I’m flirting with the idea of committing 10 minutes of meditation each day.  Andy offers a charmingly easy way of doing this, as you will discover if you go to his website Headspace.  Here’s a quote from the ‘What is Headspace‘ page.

Here at Headspace we’re on a mission to get as many people in the world as possible to take 10 minutes out of their day, to practice a simple and easy-to-learn meditation technique.  And if you like the way it makes you feel, then we’d love to show you how to make that a life-long skill.

This is meditation for modern life – simple, scientifically-proven techniques, that you can use every day to experience a healthier and happier mind.

Those articles published by the Guardian as referred to above may be found here: The Guardian, if you want to browse around some more.

Stay tuned as to the outcome of me and meditation; I’ll share with it you via Learning from Dogs.  Let’s face it, dogs are very good at chilling out for ten minutes!  Oh dear, something else to learn from our doggies!


13 thoughts on “Let’s do …. nothing!

  1. Blast. When I saw this Puddicome chappy holding those balls at the beginning of the video I thought he was going to say that all one needs to do is ten minutes’ juggling a day (which is easy*, and quite fun), but instead it turns out I have to learn something about being ‘mindful of the present’.

    Ah, and I would have to sign up for the ‘free’** ‘headspace’ course, which, I suspect, would probably mean being pestered forevermore to continue (on the paid version) (as I am for Lumosity). In case you’re wondering why I don’t just cancel the spam on such things, it’s because I recognise that I might actually want to sign up at some time in the future; I want them to remind me. Or, rather, I think I do…

    I suspect I also need to be reminded of a similar ‘ten-minute-a-day improve your willpower’ system. And no doubt there are other things I can do to improve myself ‘in just ten minutes’. Trouble is, you can be ten-minuted to distraction in the same way as you can find yourself short of cash after four weeks by all the cheap tenner-a-month deals you sign up to.

    It’s got to be great to be hawking a system like this. A few years in the Himalayas practicising celibacy and arcane arts while admiring the views, then a few high-profile presentations followed by the proverbial gravy train for life.

    Dammit — I thought this guy was talking about a way of relieving stress, not adding to it!

    I’m only half-serious. But then, I hope you already knew that 🙂

    * as with all things: only when you know how


  2. In my evangelical days, I was always very wary of anything that sounded like advocacy for transcendental meditation. I think this was primarily because of the writing of St Paul – who often emphasised the importance of being in control of the self (hence most evangelicals are opposed to hypnotherapy too). Nevertheless, St Paul also implored his readers: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2). However, I think St Paul would have had a very specific view about how this renewing of the mind was best achieved.

    Therefore, despite the fact that my faith in God has been severely damaged by the failure of my marriage, I am afraid I remain very wary of anything that smacks of trying to empty the mind (as opposed to meditating upon the meaning of some wise words from somewhere). In addition, there is the very real practical difficulty of thinking about nothing, which must be as difficult as obeying the instruction, “Do not think about bananas for 5 minutes!”


    1. There’s clearly something that is holding me back as despite going to the web link, I hesitated when the first page required a full registration with User name and password. Nevertheless I sense the need to find some mental rest from what has been a tumultuous few months. If I’m going to sample his wares it will have to be this weekend.


  3. An excellent video Paul and as one who often sits in that silent space for a few minutes each day, I can whole heartedly recommend what is being conveyed here.. Peace has to be found within for it to be felt on the outer side of our lives.. Thanks for sharing Paul


      1. I think in my blog I may have written about that silent space more than once Paul.. You can find the quiet by sitting in the garden, or even looking through the window on a snowy day like today… and connecting back in nature.. To hear the sounds of nature is Peace in its self..
        To find total silence you will be hard pressed to find that space, but I did recently write post recently about listening to the beat of your heart and listening to the space between beats.. a trick I learned a while back..
        Like listening for that Pin to Drop!…
        The post you can find here 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.