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Too Stressed? Just Relax!
Relaxation is a dream in today’s fast pacing stressful lifestyle. It’s just like a mirage. Everyone wishes to relax. And everyone is too stressed up to relax. People try to find their relaxation in different ways. Someone goes out to watch a cinema or attend a music concert. And yet another person goes just for a walk or tries out various cuisines and restaurants.
Someone would like to quit to a remote place to be on his own. And yet another person would do exactly the opposite of this; he might go to a fate or maybe a trade fair where throngs of people are piling on one another. When the crowd walks, you get pushed to walk. When the crowd stops, you stop. And you find relaxation in this?
Everyone is looking for relaxation but everyone has a different way to achieve that. I have heard about Mulla Nasruddin. He had become very old and was inflicted with insomnia. He couldn’t sleep. Now everything was tried on him; hot baths, massages, pills, tranquilizers, hot milk. But nothing was of any help. Everything was of no avail because Mulla neither slept himself nor did he let anyone in the house sleep. So, nights became a nightmare for the whole family. They searched desperately for any method, any medicine that would help Mulla to sleep. The whole family was suffering with him.
Someone suggested, “Why don’t you give a try to a hypnotist.” So a hypnotist was brought. People said, “He is a miracle man. He creates sleep within minutes. He knows the very magic of it. So don’t be worried. Just pay him his fee and don’t keep any doubt. He will put Mulla to sleep.” Now the hypnotist was brought home. He showed a watch with a chain to Nasruddin and said, “You will have to keep a little faith in me and see what a miracle will happen. You have to trust me. And if you do so, you will fall asleep like a baby.”
Mulla said, “Yeah, even I wish I could sleep like a baby but nothing is working in my case.” Hypnotist said, “Don’t worry. I am here to solve the problem. Just look at this watch.” And he started moving the watch left and right and Nasruddin looked at it and the hypnotist said, “Watch is moving left to right. See it. Now your eyes are becoming tired, tired, tired. Now you are falling asleep, asleep, asleep.”
Everyone was happy as Mulla’s eyes closed and his head leaned down. And it seemed he is going to sleep like a baby. The rhythmic breathing started happening in Mulla’s body. Hypnotist gave a very satisfying smile, pleased with his mastery and took his fee. He asked everyone to leave the room after him. As he was about to sneak out, Mulla Nasruddin opened one eye and said, “That nut, has he gone yet?”
Mulla was making an effort to relax. He had started acting. He was breathing rhythmically. He closed his eyes. But it was just an effort. And you cannot relax with an effort. Relaxation can only occur in effortlessness. Mulla was making an effort to relax and to go to sleep. He was trying to help the hypnotist with all sincerity. But this very helping and this very effort created a bigger obstruction in his relaxation. Nothing could happen. Only if Mulla could passively hear what was being said, sleep would have happened. No effort on his part was required. It was absolutely unnecessary for him to do something.
You are unable to relax fully. If you stay passive, positively inactive, and be effortless in whichever situation you are, you will feel the relaxation. Awareness and agitated mind cannot be in the same wave length. As your awareness increases, you begin to take things as they are – neither expecting nor acting on others’ expectations. When you live on the periphery (mind is periphery), you lose touch with your center, and then you cannot relax. Don’t let the mind rule your life, rather you take the reins in your hands.
Before going into exploring the ways to get rid of tensions, you must understand that why are you tense in first place or who is making you tensed. Hold your breath! It isn’t your situations which are making you tensed, it is your own mind. You are so obsessed with tomorrow that you are always dreaming about it, frame after frame you play the scenes in your mind thinking how will it feel when your desires will see day of reality. Your cravings agitate you, your ego frustrates you and not anyone else. On the top of it, what others think about you bothers you more than what you want from life. In light of such mental state, how can you ever relax? You can’t ignore these issues, you have to deal with them and you have to do something about them. Once this is done there won’t be any reason for you to feel tensed.
Learn to appreciate life, and rejoice. Every passing moment is never going to come back again. How can you lose precious moments for little things which have no meaning at all? What others say or do shouldn’t matter to you. Everyone has the right to speak what they think. What you are, you know it. Why let a statement spoken by someone bother you? Live your life and let go of the desire to gain appreciation and applauds.
Currently your mind has taken charge of your life and you have lost connection with your being. You have lost your center and it has to be rediscovered. It is right there but because of the opaque film which your mind has created you aren’t able to see it. As you will begin to nurture the practice of awareness, for the first time your center will be revealed. As you will begin to live with awareness, being in your center, only then will you taste what real relaxation is. Center of our being is the ocean of stillness and joy. Be in the present, be in this Now. See the present moment which is happening around you: the blue sky, giggles of children, chirping of birds, floating clouds and if what you can hear is just noise then even noise will be rhythmic.
Effort is needed if something externally has to be done. If you want to achieve anything or create anything or reach somewhere, effort is needed. But if you want to relax, then definitely no effort is required. Only one thing is required to relax: Your non-doing. Don’t do anything to relax. Just relax. Let go of all bondages, let go of all desires for the moment at least, then nothing can agitate you. Just keep it in mind that you have to leave every effort and you have to go on just leaving them. Now even leaving is an effort. But a moment comes when everything is gone, and you are there! Simply there, not doing anything. Just there! Just in your being. And in this very being ness, the real relaxation will pour upon you. And this relaxation will come to you for free. No charge, no traveling. You don’t have to wait. You don’t have to reach somewhere. You don’t have to go somewhere to experience it. You don’t have to even lift your finger. Just simply be in passive alertness. Just be silent. Not doing anything. Not thinking; just being in the moment and that is enough. So here is the key for relaxation. Just be passively aware and alert.