When we live in the mind, we will rely on information.
Why do we do this?
Because we want to make sure that we are “right” when we encounter something that we don’t know about.
For example, how many hours do we need to sleep at night?
What the expert says? What is the information? What can I google about it?
How much cardio exercise do we need to be lean? How many times a week do we need to have sex to be “normal”?
What are the right kind of foods to eat? What is the proper form to breathe? How do we meditate?
All of those questions are only looking for informative answers, so the mind can be satisfied; but at the same time, it tells how much UNAWARENESS there is. We are disconnected with ourselves.
A what moment, to drink a bottle of soda became more important than to drink plain water? We are disconnected and heavily conditioned, but we thrive in being “right.” However it is not “being right” but just following the accepted information.
When to be “right” is the sole purpose of living Life, we cannot relax and without relaxation our mental health and physical well-being are at stake.
Relaxation is not something that we “learn.” It is something that we “fall into” like “falling in love.” There is no DOING, it happens as we provide or nourish the proper environment. Then, it happens. It is KNOWN.
For instance, to have a busy schedule of people to see and places to go, is in fashion. We need to have something to DO, even though it may be meaningless, still that will offer us a sense that we are part of things by escaping from ourselves.
One activity after another offers no room for relaxation.
In our society, we believe that to relax means to sit in front of the TV.
That will give the illusion of relaxation, because our minds can forget about the self and its problems to deal with Life.
That is not it.
Relaxation implies ample time to observe the self, to explore it and to BE comfortable with ourselves.
What are the benefits?
Conscious living. That is not a small thing!
We function much better when relaxed. Conscious movement is part of it, in this way we could avoid hurting ourselves.
When we are relaxed, we could deal with other people in a peaceful manner, because we ARE peaceful. That is without trying to be peaceful, without “practicing” peace.
Eating and sleeping have great benefits for the self, when we are relaxed.
The gist of sexuality resides in utmost relaxation: That gives the time and space to explore, to feel and to enjoy the sensations; which in turn will give more relaxation, what stops this from happening is our own mind full of conditioning.
A relaxed individual enjoys mental health.
Anyone wants to learn how to relax? Anyone wants to “practice” it?
That cannot be possible for relaxation is a state of BEING and it is not a 2 hour daily practice, although; try it at home, experience the “practice” then there is knowing.
But, how do we start? By DOING NOTHING.
That creates the space, the environment for SOMETHING to happen naturally: Relaxation.
For how long? When Can I go back to my busy life?
RELAX. Take it easy. The answers will come to you not through informative words, but through experience.
By Frei Betto
(translated by Google and Avyakt7 from a Spanish translation.)
When traveling to the East, I came into contact with the monks of Tibet, Mongolia, Japan and China. They were calm men, diligent, thoughtful and at peace with their saffron robes.
The other day, I was watching the movement of the Sao Paulo Airport: the waiting room full of executives with cell phones; they were worried, anxious, often eating more than they should.
For sure they had breakfast at home, but because the airline offered another breakfast, everyone ate that voraciously.
That made me reflect: “Which of the two models produce happiness?”
I met Daniela, a 10 years old girl; in the elevator, at 9 am, and asked: “Didn’t you go to school today?” She replied: “No, I go in the afternoon.”
I said, “Good, then you can play in the morning, sleep late… Right?”
“No,” she replied, “I have so many things in the morning …”
“What things?”, I asked.
“English classes, dance, painting, swimming,” and she began to detail her agenda of a robotic girl.
Then, I thought, “What a pity, Daniela does not have meditation classes!”
We are forming super-men and super-women, fully equipped; but emotionally childish.
A progressive city in Sao Paulo had, in 1960, six libraries and one Gym. Today there are sixty fitness centers and three libraries!
I have nothing against the improvement of the body, but I am worry about the disproportion in relation with the improvement of the spirit. I think we will die slender, “How was the deceased?”. “Oh, in great shape, she didn’t have any cellulite!”
But how do we answer the questions of subjectivity? the spiritual? and Love?
Today, the word is “virtual”. Everything is virtual. Locked in his room, in Brasilia, a man can have a girlfriend in Tokyo, but no worries about meeting his next door neighbor!
Everything is virtual. We are virtual mystics, virtually religious, virtual citizens; and we are also ethically virtual …
The word today is “entertainment;” Sunday, then, is the national day of collective stupidity.
Stupid is the program conductor, stupid is the one who sits in the audience to watch the program, stupid is the one who spends the whole afternoon in front of the TV screen.
As advertising fails to sell happiness, then, it creates the illusion that happiness is the result of a sum of pleasures: “If you take this cola, if you use these shoes, if you purchase this shirt, if you buy this car, you will be happy!”
The problem is that, in general, we do not get to be happy! Those who follow the trend, will develop their own desires in such a way, that will end up needing a psychoanalyst. Or a drug. Those who resist will increase their neurosis.
The great challenge is to begin to see how good it is to be free of that global conditioning, neoliberal, consumerism. Then, we can live better.
For good mental health three things are essential: Friendship, self-esteem and lack of stress.
There is a religious logic in post-modern consumerism. 🙂
In the Middle Ages, the city acquired a status by building a cathedral. Today, in Brazil, we construct a shopping-center- “mall,” instead.
Curiously, most of the shopping-centers have stylized architectural lines just as cathedrals. To visit them, we need to wear special clothes. It is necessary to wear Sunday mass clothing. Inside you feel a sense of paradise: No beggars or street children, and dirt …
You enter those places hearing a post-modern Gregorian tune, just like the one you hear while waiting for a dental appointment.
There are several niches to observe, all those chapels with venerable objects of consumption, accompanied by beautiful priestesses.
Those who can buy in cash, will feel in the kingdom of heaven.
If you must pay by post-dated check, or credit, you will feel in purgatory.
But if you cannot buy, certainly you will feel in hell …
Happily, it all ends in a post-modern Eucharist, brothers sitting in the same type of tables, with the same juice and the same McDonald’s burger …
I usually tell employees who approach me by the doors of their business: “I’m just doing a Socratic walk”. Then, before their frightened eyes, I will explain: “Socrates, a Greek philosopher, also liked to rest by walking by the commercial center of Athens…
When sellers like yourself besieged him, he would reply to them … “I’m just looking at how many things are there, I do not need to be happy”!”