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Doing Nothing!

      To the Editor:
      “Dolce far niente–it is sweet doing nothing”
      • Alpert J.S.
      Dolce far niente–it is sweet doing nothing.
      is an important editorial in a fast-paced life. It reminded me of a saying of Yogaswami,

      The Full Wiki. Yogaswami. Available at: http://www.thefullwiki.org/Yogaswami. Accessed August 18, 2014.

      an ascetic from Sri Lanka whose American disciple started an institution in Kauai, Hawaii.
      Yogaswami is known for the quote in Tamil language, “Summa iru,” which translates to “do nothing” or “be still.” It connotes a deeper meaning of not worrying, or accepting. Your worrying is not of any help. Just be. Bhagavad Gita advises to do one's duty.

      A simple, modern translation and explanation of the Bhagavad Gita with shloka (verse) meaning. Bhagavad Gita verse 47, chapter 2. Available at: http://journeygita.blogspot.com/2011/11/bhagavad-gita-verse-47-chapter-2.html. Accessed August 18, 2014.

      One does not own the result of any action, good or bad. I like to combine these two pieces of advice. Just do it. Just be.
      Doing nothing does not come easily. The guidelines in this editorial piece are good to start with.
      By “doing nothing,” the author meant doing something other than professional work. Thus, one will be rejuvenated to be effective in the job ahead. It is difficult not to think about what happened or about the future. Being mindful of the present moment is a skill. Consciously training to be mindful of the present moment is the key. There are few publications about mindfulness in the medical literature.
      • Ludwig DS1
      • Kabat-Zinn J.
      Mindfulness in medicine.
      • Paulson S1
      • Davidson R.
      • Jha A.
      • Kabat-Zinn J.
      Becoming conscious: the science of mindfulness.

      References

        • Alpert J.S.
        Dolce far niente–it is sweet doing nothing.
        Am J Med. 2014; 127: 569
      1. The Full Wiki. Yogaswami. Available at: http://www.thefullwiki.org/Yogaswami. Accessed August 18, 2014.

      2. A simple, modern translation and explanation of the Bhagavad Gita with shloka (verse) meaning. Bhagavad Gita verse 47, chapter 2. Available at: http://journeygita.blogspot.com/2011/11/bhagavad-gita-verse-47-chapter-2.html. Accessed August 18, 2014.

        • Ludwig DS1
        • Kabat-Zinn J.
        Mindfulness in medicine.
        JAMA. 2008; 300: 1350-1352
        • Paulson S1
        • Davidson R.
        • Jha A.
        • Kabat-Zinn J.
        Becoming conscious: the science of mindfulness.
        Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2013; 1303: 87-104

      Linked Article

      • Dolce Far Niente – It Is Sweet Doing Nothing
        The American Journal of MedicineVol. 127Issue 7
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          After a hectic 6 months with hardly a day free from clinical, academic, or editorial work, I suddenly found myself with a weekend with nothing scheduled. As much as I love what I do, I could hardly believe my good fortune! So, I slept late both days instead of climbing out of bed between 5 and 6 am. I took a leisurely pace with my daily exercise program and spent time talking about nothing particularly important with family and friends. Saturday evening we had dinner in a restaurant followed by a viewing of a thoroughly fascinating play followed by bedtime at a very reasonable hour.
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