Everything is an action.
Actionlessness is also an action.
Sitting quietly, not moving the body to be doing some physical movements, and not making any speech, is an action of restricting the physical action and speech.
Quieting the mind, bringing the mind to rest in the inner chamber of the heart, restricting it from running out to chase after objects of names and forms or desires, is an action of restricting the thought waves.
Everyone has to be performing some sorts of actions all the time consciously with certain amount of free will and self-effort, whether it is sleeping, dreaming, awaking, sitting, standing, walking, talking, thinking, worrying, speculating, planning, imagining, remembering, eating, playing, looking, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, reflecting, meditating, introspecting, and etc. On top of that there are lots of ceaseless autonomous actions are going on all the time in the physical body that are not in our will control (whether we are aware of it or not), like breathing, heartbeats, blood circulation, immunity, hormones secretion, regeneration, and etc.
There is not a single moment that the body and mind is not performing some sorts of actions, or there’s isn’t any actions at all, unless this body and mind ceased functioning or existing.
If we know about non-attachment or non-identification with the body and mind, if we are free from egoism, then all these actions is not different from inaction, which doesn’t generate karma, or cause and effect, or birth and death, even though there is some pleasant and unpleasant, or agreeable and disagreeable consequences derived from all these actions.
If we don’t know what is non-attachment or non-identification with the body and mind, if we are influenced by egoism to be performing all these actions, then all these actions will generate good and bad karma, or cause and effect, or birth and death, even if we choose not to act, it is still an action that will generate some consequences.
The difference in all actions (to act and not to act) is depending on the purity of the mind.
If the mind is influenced by egoism, attachment, ignorance and impurities, then all actions being performed through the body and mind (whether they are good or bad actions, to act and not to act) are influenced by egoism, attachment, ignorance and impurities, and will be bound by good and bad karma, and generate birth and death.
If the mind is free from egoism, attachment, ignorance and impurities, and is identical with the attributeless, nameless and formless Self, then all actions being performed through the body and mind (whether they are good or bad actions, to act and not to act) will not be bound by good and bad karma, and be free from birth and death.
Whether all these actions that we think and believe is good or bad, the consequences of these actions (to act or not to act) are not necessarily the way that we think it should be.
For example, if we think we have performed some ‘good’ and ‘right’ actions, and we should be receiving something ‘good’ in return, and we refer ‘good’ as something that is pleasant and happy, but then the consequences of our ‘good’ actions are not necessarily will be something pleasant and happy, as it can be something very unpleasant and unhappy.
If we think we didn’t do any ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ actions, and we shouldn’t be receiving something ‘bad’ in return, and we refer ‘bad’ as something that is unpleasant and unhappy, but then the consequences of not generating any ‘bad’ actions is not necessarily will be something free from unpleasantness and unhappiness, as we still can be experiencing something unpleasant and unhappy, even when we think we didn’t do anything ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ as what we think and believe.
This doesn’t mean that there is no good and bad karma at all, nor there is anything wrong with the law of karma, cause and effect.
It is about whether we are free from egoism and ignorance, or not. As what we think and believe what things are, is not necessarily the truth of what things really are. Our thinking and beliefs are being conditioned and limited by ignorance and incorrect information. By knowing a lot of things doesn’t guarantee that we are free from being ignorant about the truth of things.
The conditioned thinking and beliefs in our mind about what things are, whether ‘this is something good and right’, or ‘that is something bad and wrong’, is not necessary the truth of what things really are. As all these thinking and beliefs are based on relativity and subjectivity, unless the mind is completely be free from egoism, dualism, attachment, ignorance and impurities.
When the mind is free from egoism, dualism, attachment, ignorance and impurities, the mind will perceive the truth of names and forms as they are, free from qualities, differences or separateness that are generated by the mind, being conditioned by what the mind believes what things are. Everything is just being what it is. They are not something good or bad, positive or negative, happiness or suffering.
That’s why even if we think we have done something ‘good and right’, but it’s not necessarily the truth of what things are, and we expect some ‘good’, ‘pleasant’ and ‘happy’ consequences in return, but we will be so disappointed, when reality, or the result of our action of doing something ‘good and right’ doesn’t turn out the way that we think it should be.
If we think we haven’t done something ‘bad and wrong’, but it’s not necessarily the truth of what things are, and we expect there won’t be any ‘bad’, ‘unpleasant’ and ‘unhappy’ consequences in return, but we will be so disappointed, when reality, or the result of our action of not doing anything ‘bad and wrong’ doesn’t turn out the way that we think it should be.
In the end, it is about non-identification as the doer of the action nor the enjoyer of the fruit of the action. It is about non-attachment towards all actions being performed through this body and mind (to act and not to act) and renounce the fruit of action, without expectation of anything in return.
If we want or expect something good in return, or we don’t want any bad in return, and that desire motivates us to perform good actions, or demotivates us to perform bad actions (to act and not to act), even if there is something good and nothing bad in return, but we are not free from the bondage of karma, birth and death.
There’s nothing wrong with to act and not to act.
But we accept all the consequences of all actions (to act and not to act), as they are.
It is for sure that there will be consequences derived from any actions, but all these consequences is not about good or bad. They are not something good or bad. The consequences are just being what they are.
There are many other elements that will affect the outcome or result of any actions. It is not just about if we believe it is something good, then it will bring something good in return according to what we believe what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
Even if we have planted the same batch of seeds on a piece of land at one time, but still not all the seeds will grow at the same speed and in the same size and shape, nor will all plants bear fruits at the same time, nor the fruits from each plant will be ripen at the same time, nor all the fruits will look and taste the same. When we planted the same type of trees as our neighbours, we cannot expect the qualities of the trees that we planted on our piece of land will be exactly the same as our neighbour’s trees planted on their piece of land, even though we got the seeds from the same source, and the trees are getting the same amount of sunshine, and same amount of water from the same source.
Just like in the same religion, or spiritual practice, or cultural background, there are still many people having different types of thinking and understanding, personality and behavior, actions and reactions, and different degrees of ignorance and attachment. We cannot judge anyone or anything based on a specific names and forms, or based on certain action and reaction.