Meditation & Relaxation

Meditation And Concentration

When can you rest? When is rest possible?

Rest is only possible, when you have stopped all activities. When you stop moving around, when you stop working, thinking, talking, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting… - when all these activities stop - then you get rest. When you stop all voluntary activities, then, you rest. You are left with just the involuntary activities (breathing, beating of the heart, digestion of the food by the stomach, blood circulation, etc.) – this is sleep.

Sleep gives rest – but is it total rest?

Recollect your own experience, when you did not have deep sleep:

  • There was some restlessness, agitation, or desire
  • The mind was planning, and planning, and planning
  • Your ambitions made you restless
  • You were anxious about doing something: “Oh, I must do this”

In all these instances - your mind was not free.

Only when the mind settles down, meditation happens. Meditation gives total rest and relaxation.

How to be free from desires

As long as some desires linger in your mind, you cannot be in total rest. In the Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna says, “You cannot get into yoga (union with the Self), unless you drop the desires and hankerings in you.”

Enlarge your desire

Another way is to extend your desire – make it so big! Then too, it won’t bother you. It is the tiny sand particle that irritates your eye – a big stone, a rock, can never get into your eye; it cannot irritate you.

Be dispassionate

As long as you hold on to “doing” something (doer-ship), as long you hold on to some planning ('I want to do this, I want to do this'), your mind does not settle down. Every desire, or ambition, is like a sand particle in your eyes – it irritates. You cannot shut your eyes, nor keep them open. If there is a particle of sand in your eyes – it’s uncomfortable either way.

Dispassion is removing this particle of dust, or sand, from your eye, so that you can open or shut your eyes freely – you can enjoy the world freely, you can relax, and get relief from it.

Dispassion is not apathy

'Oh! Anyway everybody is going to the grave, so what can one do now? This is apathy, not dispassion. There is incompleteness in the state of apathy.

Dispassion is full of enthusiasm and joy! It brings all the joy to your life… and it allows you to rest so well. When you rest well – when you go deep into meditation… and then when you come out of a deep meditation, you become very dynamic - you are able to act better. The deeper you are able to rest, the more dynamic you will be in your activity. Even though deep rest and dynamic activity are opposite values, they are complementary.

From deep rest=> into deep meditation=> out of meditation=> to dynamic action

Learn to let go… and relax

When you learn to let go, you will be joyful… and as you start being joyful, more will be given to you. Those, who have, will be given more - that is meditation.

To fall asleep, you’ve to let go of everything - only then you can rest.

Why not do the same things with respect to activity, moment by moment? At least, when you want to sit for meditation, or during meditation, let go of everything.

The best way to do this is to think or feel: "The world is disappearing, dissolving, dead. I am dead!"

What is that you can hold on to? You cannot even hold on to this body forever! Whatever care you take of it, one day it is still going to bid you goodbye! You will be forcefully evicted from this place - out of this world - with no prior notice! Before the body leaves you, you learn to leave everything. That is freedom.

Meditation is:

  • Letting go of the anger from the past
  • Letting go of the events of the past
  • Letting go of all the planning for the future
  • Accepting this moment
  • Living every moment totally - with depth

Meditation is the art of doing nothing… and the rest in meditation is deeper than the deepest sleep that you can ever have! It is several times deeper, because in sleep, desires still linger somewhere. But in meditation, you transcend all desires. This brings such coolness to the brain! It's like overhauling or servicing the whole body-mind complex.

Let go and see. Just this understanding, and a few days of the continuous practice of meditation - that brings so much relaxation - can change the quality of your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. Read More