Once a student of mine asked, “ Santidevi if you could only say one last word to the world, what would that word be?” I said, ‘RELAX!’ I think she was expecting something more profound. But the truth is it’s actually a necessity if we want to truly awaken, to expand our consciousness, and experience happiness.
Relax the mind, and you relax the body. A body free of tension is like the beginner’s mind, fresh. It is able to move fluidly, to adapt spontaneously, and naturally. When we are relaxed we are aware, connected, open and receptive; in essence PRESENT.
There is a direct relationship between deep states of relaxation and the initiation of a ‘present state of BEING.’ Why? Because when we are truly relaxed thinking recedes, resistance to our experience lessens and we become receptive to ‘what is.’ It’s difficult to be fearful, angry, or violent if you’re relaxed. Imagine if in addition to ‘mindfulness’ we all practiced deep relaxation, nothing would be more revolutionary.
In our modern world it seems an impossibility to ‘let go’, to surrender so fully that we would actually feel relaxed. But the truth is every moment affords us the opportunity to breathe, to soften, to let the space between our thoughts be a widening expanse. This gap is the still point to all of our “incessantness,” the freedom of emptiness, of this no mind, no body, no this, no that. I invite you to take a break from thinking, contracting, grasping, clinging, and controlling these are the habituations of mind that exhaust and overwhelm, that create stress and anxiety. So experiment, see what happens in your experience when you make ‘relaxation’ a practice.
January 21, 2013