Meditation Techniques: Do Nothing

By Leo Gura - August 17, 2015 | 64 Comments

The simplest (yet effective) meditation possible.

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Ramona says:

Do you suffer a lot, Leo? If not, why do you want so much to kill the story you are telling yourself about you? I must appologize to you because I did not experience that scary feeling you were talking about, while taking a glance at the emptiness. But last week I did and had a panic attack. It seems to me like a lonely and stiffed place to be. I don’t know…

karen says:

Leo, This is a great video!! DO NOTHING. I have been trying diff. techniques though the years and struggling with making it more complicated than it needs to be. You have just simplified it for me and others. I get it! and am starting today! thanks!!! karen

Denis says:

Alright Leo I have homework for you. I need you to make a video about how to kill your ego and transcend. Lets make it a Christmas special lol. Something like Eckhart Tolle experienced. Man I would pay you with everything I have for a video like that hahahaha

Kathy says:

IMO, we don’t need to kill the ego, the more we expand/transcend/evolve/(insert favorite term here) our selves, the ego then transforms-transmute into something that works with us not against us. Am I off on this? Leo?

Tiago says:

He’s already done that! Check out his enlightment videos

Andrea says:

Hi Leo,
I’m at stage 2 as per your deeper meditation video, and like you say, active detachment is very difficult to do! I had to restart this stage after 27 days, because I missed a day and also it seemed like I was doing it ‘wrong’ – kept getting caught up in thoughts instead of letting them go. Do you recommend continuing with stages 2 and 3 before going onto the doing nothing technique?
Thanks

Leo Gura says:

You weren’t doing wrong. The only wrong thing you did was miss a day. The rest was fine. Don’t expect the skills of a 20-year meditator in 1 month. If it’s difficult, that also means it’s growing your mindfulness muscles a lot.

Lewis says:

Hey Leo,
Good video mate. Meditation in essence is what you have explained in this video, there is no technique, meditation is simply freedom, do nothing, and when you can do nothing enough, and realise the mind when it isn’t being attached to with consciousness, is simply nothing… It is a process. And when you are not processing; which is a habit for most people, it is their sense of identity, this processing; when you are not processing you simply just are, and that’s when you get to know who you actually are: consciousness. That’s when we can see that all misery is of the mind. And to know yourself, your eternal nature, is to be completely free. And implement the mind. When the mind is the slave, everything it touches is beautiful, because it is not its own entity;it has no bias, it has no interest in gaining off others, or seeming better, it is simply implemented from the deep eternal spring of consciousness, which is love.

Great technique, if you can call it that. To me, this is the only meditation there is, all the rest of these so called techniques are just games for the mind to occupy it in a certain way that you can experiment with, play with, to get some sort of idea of its illusive nature. But meditation ultimately, is simply ‘do nothing’, but feel and be everything, uninhibited. Radaradarada
Nice work Leo the lion

Iryon says:

Hi Leo,
I’ve just tried this meditation technique and what became clear for me, is that I diligently meditate every day for half an hour JUST SO I CAN TICK IT OFF MY TO DO LIST. I don’t seem to be able to get anywhere in life with this mindset, obviously: I’m stuck in the ‘must get things done’ pattern. I (probably) started meditating with the intention of freeing my mind of this ‘must get things done’ modus, but instead, meditating just became another thing that must be done!
How can I turn this mental circle jerk around? Thank you!!

Kathy says:

Im confused with your previous meditation videos on when you catch a thought, recognize it and then release it, like clouds going by and this video where you let your mind do whatever it wants. I guess I don’t have a handle on this yet.

Leo Gura says:

They are different techniques. Both work very well.

Amanda Bastos says:

Hi Leo. Yesterday I tried this new meditation after watching your video, but before this I had tried the regular meditation. I like the regular meditation because it helps me to work on mindfulness, but I really liked this new one, it seems to work. Is there any problem if I do both? Because I understood we struggle a lot with the regular one and the other you release this effort, both are very different from each other.

Leo Gura says:

You can alternate between them. Both will develop your mindfulness.

Tony says:

Hi Leo,

When doing this technique, should we be watching/observing our thoughts? Or would that be “doing something”? I did this technique without watching and I felt like I was just sitting there not doing anything worthwhile for my mind. It was just thinking like always. For the most part anyway. I know you said this is what it would be like, but I still had to ask. It seemed like all I was doing was keeping my body as still as possible and really nothing else. I barely noticed my mind at all for most of the meditation. Which doesn’t seem right. Shouldn’t we be aware of the voice? Or is that one more activity we should be letting go?

Also, with the open eye technique, I’m noticing that the need to blink is distracting. Does this part get easier with time or is there something to do to mitigate this?

Thanks a lot,
Tony

Leo Gura says:

Hence the technique is called DO NOTHING!!!

You’re doing it exactly right. When you notice a desire to “be more aware” or “I should notice my mind more”, let that go, if you can. It is perfectly legitimate to sit there lost in thoughts for 60 minutes straight.

Yes, you will have A LOT of monkey mind at first! Hence I told you that it’s like giving a bag of hand-grenades to a crazed chimp.

Let your eyes blink naturally, normally, without manipulation.

Lance says:

Doing nothing is self imposed extinction a self imposed dezincification to a thought or feeling Try using a light source in your mind as the stop thought focal point. I find this very healing used to stop thought very powerful feelings, destructive compulsions. leaving nothing but inner peace , joy satisfaction.

Nicole says:

Hey Leo,
So I know you have a lot of meditation techniques, so is it imperative that I do JUST this mediation technique for a month straight, or can I mix it up? Will the results be scattered if I do so?

Bailey says:

Can you talk about why it is important to enter the present moment? Everyone can benefit from this but not everyone sees the reasons behind why they should.

Bailey says:

Edit: Just watched the rest of the video. That was pretty good, in depth would be even better. Thanks!

Question says:

Dear Leo or anyone else on this site, Im not financally secure i need another job yet live under my parents so it shouldnt be that big a deal.
Also i SUCK with social intelligence especially with women.
Not so confident with school,academics.
So if Im taking action on this stuff(gym) could I still pursue enlightenment

Eelco says:

I can remember you or some other source said that meditating is not the same as daydreaming. What is the difference between “Do Nothing and let the mind wander” and Daydreaming?

Carlos says:

Hi Leo this technique makes me very sleepy. I think this is what i do when i go to bed because doing nothing makes me sleepy. Should i quit this technique or do the others?

Jason Phaneuf says:

Hey Leo, long time no speak. Just wanted to comment and say in the past when I meditated by trying to silence my mind, I got into some deep meditation where I rocked back and forth uncontrollably and my mind was almost silent. And since trying this “do nothing” mediation I’ve found myself going into deep meditation like I described above. Just thought it was a bit bizarre, but interesting and wondered what you thought.

Leo Gura says:

Hey man

That’s why in Jewish and Eastern Orthodox Christian traditions they have a practice of rocking back and forth while they pray. It helps stabilize and focus the mind and eventually can lead to experiences of Nothingness or “God”.

Jason says:

I want to know why are experiences such as self-transcendence, subject-object dissolution and enlightenment important. Why is it important to know the selflessness of consciousness? What will all this do?

Lili says:

Dear Leo, I really love your videos and watch them in the daily basis. From all the subjects, you are talking about I haven’t seen anything about INTIMACY. I have and still struggling to be close to people anywhere I an but it’s a challenge. I don’t know if it’s insecurity, anxiety, or not trusting people.
Thank you and have great present moments

Johnny says:

Hello Leo,

Is it necessary to keep my eyes open during meditation? Just wondering.

John says:

Hi Leo,

I’ve been maybe medidating for 7 days so far with the ‘do nothing: technique and I would like to thank you for your advice and this method, as I am just a newbie.
I’m a sales rep, so I spend a lot of time in my car and I take advantage of being alone to meditate once a day.
the last six meditations were really relaxing and what I would call ‘effective’ in the sense of I feel a really pleasant ‘inner sensation’ after each meditation everyday.
I really want to see what daily meditations are going to bring in my life.
Yet, I tried today a 20 minutes meditation instead of 10 minutes so far. And around the 17th minute my hands that were on my knees started to be really numb as if all my blood was accumulating in my hands. My beat rate increased a lot and I had to stop the meditation.
My hands were crippled and shaking. It took me maybe 10 minutes after that to get my hand in a normal state.
I was just sitting down in my car in a normal sitting position, my hands on my knees.
It s quite worrying. Have you ever experienced this problem ? Should place my hands ‘higher’ ?
Thx for your help

John

Leo Gura says:

Place hands down in your lap, near your crotch. They shouldn’t get numb in 17 minutes.

Numbness usually leads to no physical injuries. Even extreme numbness. Of course I am not a doctor so if you have a condition then consult your doctor.

craiger says:

Murdering children and detonating a nuclear bomb haha! I’m glad my mind doesn’t go there! anyway, thanks and thanks again

Leo Gura says:

Liar!

Peter says:

My GF pushed me away because ” I want to believe in GOD and he is real.. i told her the GOD that you think is in heaven above us in not real… She said all your new BELIEF systems arent they just like religion just different beliefs… then i said no its not about believing in anything… then she starts crying and doesn’t say a word to me…

Im taking time trying to teach her the concepts about mindfulness and truth of no self and she gets very irritated and annoyed and says that its too much for her sometimes… THE EGO fucken hates it … and i hate it because i like the girl a lot …. but idk sometimes i think fuck man we are on two different realms of reality…. she wants her distractions and me and want to fucken leave abandon all my distratcions which i have…. except one HER! shes the biggest distraction i have and i want to help me i really dooo but it causes friction / arguemnts… don’t know what to do… when i say i dont know what to do i really mean , theres nothing that can be done…. gotta let it play out , the future doesnt fucken exist that is crazy

Amir Samir says:

WOW! Really worked in my first try! I ALWAYS think about stuff and can’t stop no matter how hard i try, usually leads to more thoughts, but while meditating my mind barely went anywhere it didn’t go like a monkey at all like you said and that’s my first time! THANK YOU

Letty says:

Hi Leo
Thank you so much for this video and your inspirative work.
I am not good at english so I can’t understand 100% what you said
Coul you send me transcript of this video “Meditation Techniques: Do Nothing”
Once again, thanks alot!

Elena says:

Is it OK if I close my eyes? Otherwise I have to blink a 1000 times… My eyes get so dry.

Jim says:

All spiritual teachers point to meditation as an important component of enlightenment, but there are also many ideas about what meditation actually is. To avoid another meditation comparison, I am going to call the Do Nothing exercise as my daily Acceptance Practice. To develop the habit, I MUST practice acceptance as many times as possible every day.

arrangemonk says:

well, when you let go of control watching youtube videos it gets you to “that part of youtube” XD

Heather says:

Hi Leo,
I’ve been meditating for almost 3 weeks and have been struggling and overcoming anxiety, I started watching your videos not to long ago and they’ve helped me a lot, the only issue I’m having is acknowledging my thoughts, sometimes I force myself not to think subconsciously, but when I do have a thought during meditation I have a hard time letting it go, weather it’s about what I’m gonna eat for breakfast or what I have to do 3 days from now things unimportant, I cannot acknowledged accept and let it be or let it go.

Jade says:

Hello Leo! First of all thanks for sharing so much info, I have still many of your videos to see, but I’m taking my time to assimilate each one. The Do Nothing technique is absolutely fantastic! I am second level Reiki, did autohypnosis lessons, and kind of do meditation/reiki auto treaments since two year, but with ups and downs, and the main reason is my freakin’ monkey mind… in some periods it’s easier to concentrate in others I just couldn’t manage to even get centerded and start a treatment. I tried today this new technique and what I find incredibly relieving is not having to control my thoughts… I am much more used to control my body, since I do sports and body building (great example on the video by the way!). So I loved to just have to stand still and endure eventual fisical pain, but leaving my thoughts go. I had my cats batteling in front of me, my dad entering the room, and I just stood there completely still, and the great thing is that free to go my mind was actually a lot quieter than usual!!! And when I started a train of though I when I noticed it I sometimes though I had to stop it so I’d say no don’t think, but immediately after I said oh no wait ok go where you want to go…. MENTAL SILENCE!!! I will share this interesting fact with you: my swiss mum used to tell me “go on cry” when I’d hurt myself as a little kid, or if I was being a bit capricious, well guess what happened most of the time… it completely blocked my will to cry. While I’ve noticed that the more you tell someone even an adult “don’t cry” the more you trigger it. Fascinating isn’t it? Anyway thanks again and I really hope that’s finally it and i’m going to start meditating more wilingly and never stop again!!

Ania says:

hi Leo,

I’m watching your videos for a long time now.
I think what you do is amazing, because you help ppl to find themselves again, so thank you for that.
I’ve started “do nothing” meditation recently and Ive noticed im not starting to think about stuff even after good 10 mins as Im fixating my eyes on the little red light my dvd is projecting? My question is can I carry on doing this or by concentrating on looking at it and stopping my thoughts process?
Could you please advice me.
Many thanks
Ania

Petter says:

Hi Leo. Tried this method yesterday and it really worked for me! Tried lots of different meditates techniques, but this one made me more calmer.
I just watched the video again, just to see if i got it all right yesterday. And i did everything as you explained, except having my eyes open. I had mine closed.
How important is it to have them open? Am asking because it felt so good yesterday, but if it aint right, am having them open next time.
Would really appreciate an answer on this one

Been following you for some months now, and really enjoy your videos.
Made some good progress in my life. Thanks for that!

Sagar says:

Hi Leo, I want to ask some point, if possible please reply. Can I use light music while doing this technique of meditation. And other point is i have dry eye problem, is it ok if i do this in close eye?

dawsar says:

hi there,thanks for all of these valuable information.
i just have a question,
is this video more like a beginners thing? and im better off starting with this technique than the one explained on “How to meditate” video?
anyone is welcome to answer,thanks.

Leo Gura says:

I think this technique will actually be better for beginners. It will be less frustrating.

Sagar says:

Hi leo
Give some advance procedure of meditation, I am doing meditation for last 2 months folowing your do nothing video. Its very helpful, it calms me down and feels refreshing. I do 2to 3 times a day 35mins per session. Now i think to advance for the next level i should ask for your guidence. Please help me.

dawsar says:

Thank you.

Matthew Collis says:

I’ve sot a meditation cd of some gyoto monks chanting …would it be OK to have this playing during the meditation?

Conny says:

Hey Leo,

I’ve just started meditating daily and I’m struggling a bit with this “do nothing” technique. Everytime I sit down for my 20-minute routine, I start thinking things like “Am I doing it right? am I controlling my thoughts too much? Does it work? What should I be thinking about? What did Leo say I should do?…”

So obviously, it’s hard for me not to control my thoughts and I can’t really get out of that “meta-level”. So when I think these things and I can’t let them go easily, should I just accept and watch them? Do you think it will get easier to let go of control if I keep practicing meditation?

Thank you so much for your work Leo, your videos hit me at the perfect time in my life. I can’t even tell you how grateful I am, you basically saved me and gave me hope again! I have never been more motivated to change my life in so many ways. Lots of love from Germany!

Dave says:

Always wanted to do this! Today was day 1 and I actually felt something after 20 minutes. I’m not sure what it is yet but it was a good feeling. I cant wait for tomorrow!
Dave in Kuwait

avi says:

Hi Leo,
in the video: “How To Meditate – The No Bullshit Guide to Meditation”
you describe a technique where one lets go of thought like clouds in the sky (watch the thought pass through…)
while in this one you actually say not to try to let go, (or to try to
do it easily and if not successful to watch…)
Any way, both movies make me confused on if to try to let go or not. can you be more clear about it?
and thanks for your amazing videos!

Bernardo says:

Hi again irmao, so i have been doing the do nothing consistently for 30 min a day about a month now, and i notice that i don’t struggle with monkey mind, maybe because of past meditation, but on a big chunk of the session, my mind almost shutdown on a sleepy unaware state. Is really a challenge to deal with this. Is it supose to be normal?

Leo Gura says:

Yes, totally normal. You will eventually outgrow the sleepiness after a year or two of really sleepy sessions. Sleepiness is a defense mechanism. Best way to out-maneuver it is by meditating right after taking a short nap. Otherwise, just meditate right through the sleepiness. You will dip in and out.

Bernardo says:

Thank you again I will try the nap tip, have a nice week irmao!

Khouloyd says:

Hi Leo the meditation video of meditation fir beginners are similar, I like the do nothing meditation but feel comfortable closing my eyes during practice. Is that still beneficial?
Thank you

Khouloyd says:

Sorry I ment the meditation for beginners and the do nothing meditation are similar. Ist it ok to keep eyes shut when practicing the do nothing one?

Chirag says:

Is it okay to do nothing with eyes closed as long as I don’t feel sleepy? Also I keep moving alot to keep my spine erect. Is this okay?

Chirag says:

I have a tendency to look at a point on the wall and just maintain that focus on the point while trying to be present in the moment. Is this wrong?

vaibhav says:

Why not just do it with closed eyes.Closing eyes may induce sleep.Isnt it because we may be sleep deprived.
I like closing eyes.I think we go into peace with closing eyes.

Chirag says:

I have been doing meditation for a month now, but for the past few meditation sessions I have literally been breathing heavily for like the whole session. Is this normal? Plus I’m healthy.

peter says:

Thank you so much for providing us with all this content! THanks for being LOVE thank you the universe loves you!

evangeline Yumul says:

HI Leo,
I am doing this meditaion 2weeks now.Is it normal to feel that my body is getting numb and feel harden.i need to take a deep breath and my body is shaken.very anoiying and it makes me question myself if i’m doing something wrong.Hope you can clarify and help.i am dedicated in doing meditation for the rest of my life.
THANKS AND MORE POWER!

Leo Gura says:

See my video: The Dark Side of Meditation

evangeline Yumul says:

Hi Leo,

I have watched the video and im doing it right.it is normal.Thanks!!More Power!

Kevin says:

Leo,

I did the detachment and the vipassana and I felt calmer and more social. Now, I do the do-nothing technique and will continue doing it, but the calmness is completely gone, I am annoyed all the time. After I did the meditation it feels like I am outraged and going insane. It really takes some time my thoughts resettle.

I do not feel peacefull at all, not once during the do-nothing. It feels like the presence I built is gone too. It doesn;t feel as if this technique helps in any way.

Kevin

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