Non Thinking as a Strategy

Today, continues the guest posts from Consider This blogger Mary H. Ruth.

One of the questions I asked Mary is When is the best time to be a non thinker? Her answer follows:

If non thinking is a strategy, it is best applied strategically, at scheduled times. You don’t want to have your non thinking get out of control. Unless it insists. But for the everyday, there are appropriate times to allow non thinking. Remembering that the most useful non thinking is focused in some way, you can choose part of your day to use for the exercise: when dressing or eating or driving, or walking. In this light, non thinking is mindfulness. It’s the habitual part of your day when attending to the tasks at hand is an opportunity to non think.

On a broader scale, the time to non think is when you are confused. If the issue slumps you, the first step is to walk away, forget about it, and let life work you over a bit. confusion indicates it’s time to step back from your assumptions and non thinking is a short cut to doing that.

Since we all sleep, we are experienced non thinkers. Most of us have many ways and levels at which we non think every day, though we may not be so aware that’s what we are doing.

The point here, though, is that strategic non thinking is part of healthy living., and not just a time waster. And strategic non thinking means consciously doing it and consciously trying to realize some benefits from it (as opposed, say, to hours wasted in front of the TV).

So meditation is the obvious answer. Or, if you don’t meditate, just do your non thinking in a focused way. If you’re using your time getting dressed, for example, as your non thinking time, you focus on what you are doing (getting dressed) with utmost commitment. When the mind wanders you pull it back.

Non thinking is not a known or accepted concept in western traditions, but it’s important for us to consider today, as part of a global society. This consideration is also true because we individually may be sensing a lack of balance. It seems convenient and even promising to begin the search for balance by relinquishing our scattered thoughts to the devoted concentration of non thinking.

To see the first part of this series visit Non Thinking


1 Comment

Filed under Knowledge, Philosophy, Productivity, Terms, Thinking

One response to “Non Thinking as a Strategy

  1. Fred

    Non-thinking is a very valuable concept – just as Mary describes so well – in its similarity to meditation. Also as she indicated, we have too much external mental stimulation from visual screen media which seems to assume the human attention span is 2 seconds or less. Consequently our mental “scales” get way out of balance. Non-thinking helps us to “zero” the scales so that our true unique inner voice can be heard over the wail of the “sirens” beckoning to us everywhere from the outside world. Having routines when we non-think, as well as walking and sleeping, are ways to seek that balance and benefit of non-thinking. Thanks for introducing this very intriguing concept!

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