The importance of being

Today I’ve been thinking about “being” – as opposed to “doing”. Many great spiritual traditions teach the importance of being: just being, existing, feeling that one has no where to go and nothing to do. The Christian tradition of rest on Sunday is one example of this. The Buddhist tradition also teaches us to be love, to be peace (e.g. Thich Nhat Hanh’s books, “Being Love” and “Being Peace”.) In yoga, this teaching is expressed in the phrase “sat-chit-ananda”. This phrase conveys the essence of our true nature, as well as the nature of the Divine.

“Sat” = truth, existence
“Chit” = consciousness, awareness, knowledge, wisdom
“Ananda” = bliss

Making time and space for just “being” is very important. It balances and grounds the “doing” that constitutes do much of our lives. When we can just be, we can begin to discover that Divine part of ourselves that is sat-chit-ananda. And then we can allow this being, this non-doing, to be the basis of our doing. We can allow the doing to come from the being, rather than the being (who we think we are) to come from the doing. So instead of “I am doing X, Y, and Z, therefore I am happy”, we can understand “I am happy, therefore I am doing X, Y, and Z.” This slight change in thinking can free us immensely – we are no longer depending on doing something to be/feel a certain way. Instead, we are able to be ourselves at all times, regardless of what we are doing, and to infuse all our acts with the essence of true selves.