My first introduction to the concept of non-doing as a virtue came from an unexpected source.  Sophia Loren at her peak of gorgeousness, kicking her feet languidly as she fished from the edge of a houseboat.  Cary Grant (equally at his peak of gorgeousness…actually, he never had a peak, he was forever Images3
gorgeous) anyway…Cary Grant in an all American tizzy because "there’s work to be done!"  Sophia shrugs and says, with Italian accented vowels, "Dolce far niente.  It is sweet to do nothing."  In post-war 1958 that was a joke.  Ha, ha, lazy European; what does she know but how to look outrageously sexy while fishing.  But for me in the 80’s, an overworked graduate student
at the time, descended from a long line of overworked workaholics, a light went on as if the Dalai Lama had spoken to me.  "It is sweet to do nothing."