Something to Ponder

I have written previously on the concept of “being and doing unto becoming”, and my favorite source for this reflection has been Dr. David G. Benner. This week, I will share an excerpt from one of Benner’s weekly “Something to Ponder” e-letters. As is often my experience, I find his words here powerfully succinct.


“Action and contemplation are two faces of the same coin. Contemplation without action is escapist. But action that is not grounded in contemplation is dangerous because the result will always be raw reaction rather than truly free action. Sometimes spiritual writers put too much distance between being and doing. Contemplation grounds us in our being. It allows us to return to an identity based on “I AM” rather than “I have” or “I do.” It is a place of stillness that can uniquely prepare us for action. We should be able to live with more fierceness and passion when we emerge from it. And we should then be able to carry that inner stillness into the midst of the action that flows from it. Being without doing is meaningless.” (Dr. David G. Benner)

Some of us naturally lean to being, others to doing. it is neither, but rather the combination that leads to fulfilling life. In which direction do you find yourself leaning? What steps can you take to include the other? When will you begin?

Ultimately contemplation (pause & ponder) should facilitate honesty within our self so that we may own our thoughts and actions and the impacts that they are creating in our life. This is the root of change. There can be no personal mastery, no maturity, without honest ownership through contemplation. “Fierceness and passion” without contemplation is potentially disruptive and dangerous. “Being without doing is meaningless” – and doing without the knowledge of being is destined for regret.