I practiced in the Thich Nhat Hanh (TNH) for 3-5 years before shifting towards EBT/Theravada a year ago. TNH encourages the practice of ‘doing nothing’ - for me, this is lying down with my eyes open towards the ceiling or outside, letting my mind wander and think through/about whatever it pleases. Depending on if the mind is meditative entering this period, I can sometimes (20% of the time) effortlessly remain with the breath as the mind goes about it’s wandering and playing, or be naturally aware of the thought processes as they occur.
My thoughts are often positive / productive, or nuetral / random. When hindrances clearly arise, my mind often effortlessly applies the three perceptions / characteristics and addresses the matter skillfully.
As a respite from longer hours of practice and/or study, I find it brings energy, refreshment, and space into the mind. I understand that humans and other species naturally engage in this kind of downtime as a means for the brain/mind to regulate itself or rest. This said, I worry it is contradictory to the dhamma.
Does the Buddha speak to the idea of letting the mind wander in a relaxed way, how to rest / relax, or if there is a time for letting go of effort or the application of will and just letting things be as long as they are not harmful / negative? My understanding is that the Buddha does not encourage this behavior, and rather encourages a vigilant mindfulness and right effort at all times. With this, I sense there is a fine balance between energy and effort. I’d be grateful for any thoughts and suttas on this matter.