SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the author's thesis that originality springs forth when people do things that they are not required to do, but enjoy doing? Can you share a personal experience of a time that the harmfulness of hard work without any leisure became clear to you? How do you create a space for adequate leisure in your life?
I truly believe that creativity will sprout when you are relaxed and involved in activity where u are 100% joy ful and head is empty or preoccupied with planning and calculating other events personally I have found this while. Teaching
art of living happiness program. Where spontaneously things happen and more creative ideas flow in because iyou are independently happy and not attached to outcome where doing nothing effortlessly spells meditation
"Time for reflection and thinking is being squeezed in favor of increasing action." I think that is a comment
that reflects much of current western civilization and for me it is sad. It does take leisure and reflection
to be creative and to look at problems and find solutions. Our need for more "stuff" created by advertising
is an illusory vicious cycle that robs us of real joy and satisfaction and connecting to the land that sustains us.
Read "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn.
I have been a "do-er" and in constant "active, productive mode" since I was a kid. But, the last 30 years, I have taken these qualities and been like a work-horse in the work world. I am exhausted. Luckily my husband got a 6 month contract that supports our family financially, so I am finally giving myself permission to rest. I have even noticed myself being "lazy" which has such negative connotations. Being Idle brings up "wasting time", and "not being productive' is something of which to be ashamed. It is a chronic habit that I am trying to change. IT IS TORTURE walking by the load of laundry that needs to be folded and saying, "I'm really not up for doing that right now." Our society doesn't know HOW to "do nothing" never mind "relish" in it. Let's start breaking that habit!
I work as a consultant to many large corporations and in the past year or so i have been sharing a quote from a dear friend and colleague, Patrick O'Neil: "What if we are moving too slowly to solve the challenges we face, because we are all moving too fast?!" Time for reflection and thinking is being squeezed in favor of unceasing action.
Aboriginal people were very wise. The "working time" was dedicated to feed themselves and taking care of mother earth( who was providing the food) and used the time left for singing dancing painting and sharing with a deep sense of transmission (dream time)
My name is Dave, and I'm a workaholic -- whether I'm doing something that I think should be done or something I enjoy. I think workaholism is in one's attitude toward an activity as much as whether the activity is imposed or chosen. At least many activities can be approached with an attitude of enjoyment that is genuine, not made up, and it makes a big difference. Learning to do what I want more often, learning to relax, learning to smell the roses has been a long uneven process for me. A favorite saying of mine is "If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live, said Lin Yu-t'ang -- I'm still learning to spend more time living uselessly. I definitely believe that originality and creativity spring forth when people hang loose, relax, enjoy what they are doing. There is a story that happiness (and peace, and wisdom, and an answer) is like a butterfly,and the more we chase it the more it eludes us, and when we quit trying and relax, the butterfly comes and gently sits on our shoulder. Most of us work too much, maybe because we are afraid to let go and be. Doing can definitely be a way to avoid being (and happiness, originality, peace), and being is becoming.[Hide Full Comment]
When I was in college, I had a great reverence for the romantic poets of the 19th century, Wordsworth and Coleridge. I wasn't aware that there is a gulf between the thinking class and the working class. The thinking class gets to avoid the heavy lifting of the working class. Bertrand Russell was, of course, a member of the privileged thinking class, as is everyone involved in contemporary western Buddhism. We get to avoid the drudgery and rhapsodize about doing nothing.
we consider meditation as EFFOERTLESS CHOICELESS AWARENESS as a deep leisure or doing nothing...no aim, no controle or judgement of WHAT IS in this very moment....at rest....in those periods of time various spontaneious creativities NATURALLY arise.....like in one situation we were overwhelmed w joy and created beautiful flower-branches- all from nature collected art arrangements without ever having done it before and not knowing the outcome..... incl. writing poetry....as more as we give ourselves to SILENCE & BEINGNESS creativity will naturally arise incl. not to create anything at all and just BE.......
I completely agree with the idea of idleness. I also agree that in earlier generations there was a sense of lightheartedness and play. So life was worth enjoying rather than worth working. As he number of hours of work per day has increased, all the lightheartedness and play has weathered.
Life has become more of a race rather than a stopover to enjoy. I remember very vividly how my grandfather in a salary of â¹ 5000/- could enjoy relatives coming to our house. He did not feel that relatives are "overhead expenses". I worked for a corporate for 13 years and have experienced this. It was repeated that long hours of work means "success". From last 03 years I have left job and am working on my own. I want to say that I am earning at par with what I would have earned but 50% less efforts. And with personal ease end enjoyment. I am NOT saying that quality of my work has decreased but on the contrary it has increased. I enjoy the idelness which this work has given me. Thanks for sparking a revelation in me.
This is a fantastic passage and one that very accurately captures that malaise of our civilization at this current time. Idleness is frowned upon as if its a crime while being busy is put on a pedestal. If one were to pause and observe our daily lives, the benefits of leisure will be very apparent. In the presence of leisure, daily life develops a beautiful wholesome flavor. This is totally missing if one is leading a harried, busy life.
Bertrand Russell is one one of my favorite authors, thinkers and activists for social justice and fairness. I read what he writes with respectful attention. Work hard, don't be lazy, don't be a bum, has been a modern person's mantra. To write about " In Praise of Idleness" is by itself a bold and out-of-the box kind of thinking. The title of the article was good enough for me to read, reflect and respond.
The Bhagvad Gita-The Divine Song- is one of the few books that have made me think about balance, equanimity, excellence in action, and fulfillment. The book for me is about asking deep questions about living a happy and fulfilling life. It is about discovering and practicing the Yogic way of living.
A mindful and balanced way of living has been very helpful to me. i have learned that there is a time for work and time for leisure; a time to be alone and a time to be with others; a time to be serious and time to be silly; a time to be sad and a time to be glad; a time to receive and a time to give; a time to talk and a time to listen. These stances may seem opposite to each other. To me, they are complementary, like back and front, day and night, yes and no, right and wrong. They are not absolute. Either/or dichotomous way of thinking and way of living and relating is not my cup of tea. I like the "and" between two apparently opposites; to be able to see them as different. A lot of unnecessary and harmful pain and suffering has been caused by the either /or- stance-either you are with me or against me- a way of thinking and living and relating. The differences do not have to cause distances if we keep our mind and heart open, to be empathic to others.
So work is worship and play is also worship. It is indeed simple unless we make it complicated and difficult. Simplicity is easy to understand but difficult to practice. Small is beautiful but difficult to implement. We all are familiar with conditioning, hypnotizing and brain washing. Liberating oneself from these powerful external forces is difficult.
I always appreciate getting such weekly gifts, reading reflective comments by other friends and remaining connected with them.
Jagdish P Dave