By Steven G. Mehta

Today, 30 years ago, John Lennon passed away.  His creativity and passion for life were unparalleled.  I thought I would look at some one of his quotes today and see what popped out after a particularly hard few weeks of mediations.

The one I found: Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.
John Lennon

Sometimes down time is exactly what you need.  Time to do absolutely nothing.  This is time that you can use to recharge your batteries.  Time you can use to center yourself, and time you can use to be mindful of life.  In doing so, you can then be better able to handle the complex stresses put on you during mediation and litigation.

According to the article, the Art of Doing Nothing, you can’t just jump into doing nothing.   You must start small.    Do small nothings at first. Focus on 5-10 minutes at a time, and start your practice sessions in a safe place — at home, not at work or in a busy public place. You may also not be ready to do nothing in the middle of nature, so do it in your bedroom or living room. Find a time and place where there are not many distractions, not much noise, not a lot of people to bother you.

This is actually harder than you think.  I have tried to do absolutely nothing — shutting off all distractions — and have failed miserably many times.  But in failing miserably, I have also become more centered simply in my efforts.  In prior posts, I have written about how mindfulness can help in conflict resolution.  The mere act of doing nothing can help become more mindful.


The first place to start doing nothing when you find that nice spot is to simply breathe.  Deep in and out breaths.  I actually use an Iphone app called  Destress which shows you when to breathe in and out and shows you how many breaths per minute you are doing.   There is a a good article identifying 50 Iphone apps relating to destressing.

An important part of doing nothing is being able to completely relax. If we are tense, then the doing of the nothing is really for naught. Relaxing starts by finding a comfortable place to do your nothing — a soft chair, a plush couch, a well-made, clean bed. Once you’ve found this spot, lie in it, and wiggle around to make it fit your body better.  Then breathe.

One advanced technique of relaxing is to take a bath. I, however, have not mastered this advanced technique.  I can only handle 10 minutes in a bath at a time.  However, I have modified this by going into a jacuzzi and lying on a flotation device in the warm water for 30 minutes simply relaxing.  You should try it and see how you like it.  It is amazing how many shooting stars I have seen doing this.

Finally, taking this art of relaxation to your daily life is also fascinating and beneficial. Today on my way home today, I felt like I should look up at the tall buildings in Downtown.  They were truly beautiful with their lights, geometry, and holiday spirit.  Taking in the sights, especially in routine places, can help you focus on the small things in life.

So with that said, I am going to go upstairs right now and do absolutely Nothi……