Doing Nothing is for those who have found themselves religiously following practices that have not fundamentally changed their lives: new therapies, ancient meditations, exotic religions, or old-time religion. It encourages them to find the truths of life through the simple act of stopping the search. What do you do after you've tried everything to find enlightenment or happiness? "Do nothing," writes Steven Harrison. "As it turns out, nothing is a surprisingly active place, but it is here that we discover who and what we are."
Here's some contemporary Turtle Island dzogchen-cum-Krishnamurti style of pithy, unadorned, already-present insight. As a longtime student of the nature of consciousness, Steven Harrison has danced with Sufis, sat zazen with Buddhists, chanted with Hindus, met his animal guides with African and South American shamans, meditated with the sages of India and Tibet, and visited power sites, magical people, and sacred centers throughout the world. He writes: 'I studied the world's philosophies and religions. I spent long periods in India and the Himilayas, searching, contemplating, being. Through the past 25 years, I have been a student and teacher of all that I have discovered.' 'And it was all useless...' 'Even though I was discovering greater and greater depths of the mind and consciousness, no experience could solve my dilemma. No matter how far I traveled, no matter how intensely I practiced, no matter what master I found, I was still the center of the experience. Every experience, no matter how profound, was collected by the 'me.' The problem was the collector... The very grasping for an answer, for a response, for a solution that relieved me of a burden of feeling, was the problem.' 'You're already there,' Harrison writes. 'Do nothing. Nothing is a surprisingly active place. It is there that we discover who and what we are.' Doing Nothing is for spiritually interested readers who have found themselves avidly following practices that have not fundamentally changed their lives: new therapists, ancient meditations, exotic spiritual practices. It's about discovering life directly for ourselves, about being here now. Branches of Light: News and Reviews from Banyen Books & Sound, Spring/Summer 2008 In his lively introduction, Harrison tells us how he 'left the security of an Ivy League university...and sought out every mystic, seer, and magician I could find.' He spent 'long periods in India and the Himalayas searching, contemplating, being,' and finally finding-after years of frustration-that 'it was all useless.' Then, in a calm moment of self-enquiry, he discovered that it was him as a seeker that was causing his discord. He saw that the 'very grasping for an answer' was taking him away from any marginal peace that he may have been occasionally experiencing. Shortly thereafter, Harrison's apparent 'me' passed into 'the vastness, the magic' that was his own, ever-present awareness. In this handsome and penetrating collection of 20-plus essays, Harrison speaks passionately about various aspects of that vastness. The chapters include The Collapse of Self, Language and Reality, The Crisis of Change, Teachers: Authority, Fascism, and Love, The Nature of Thought, and Health, Disease, and Aging. The chapter entitled The Myth of Enlightenment deserves an extended quote. The slashes are meant to indicate a new paragraph in the original text: 'We will spend a great deal of time looking for this enlightenment. But looking is useless, because it is not there./We can sit on cushions facing walls, dance in ecstasy, pray, chant. We can travel the world looking for this enlightenment. We can find the greatest of gurus and the most secret doctrines. It is useless.../Enlightenment is a myth because the self is a myth.' The author has also penned the very fine What's Next After Now?: Post-Spirituality and the Creative Life (Sentient Publications, 2005). For Harrison, the expression 'post-spirituality' points (and justly so) to presence itself. And once that presence is recognized, you see how clear and creative you life can truly be. -- Rodney Stevens Nonduality Highlights Written in disarmingly unpretentious style, this book is a profound inquiry into the nature of humanity. -- Dr. Thomas Szasz, author of The Myth of Mental Illness Go beyond therapists, gurus, gods, and techniques, he tells us, to investigate our true nature in silence. Harrison's uncompromising voice is a welcome companion on our journey toward being fully human. Yoga Journal Discard your ideologies and dogmas, your gurus and ritual, argues Harrison in this caustic exploration of our psycho spiritual obsessions. The solution lies in not seeking a solution. Utne Reader A persuasive argument for stopping the perennial search for enlightenment. New Age Journal