Timeless Bliss Timeless
Creative Commons License photo credit: h.koppdelaney

Relaxation is the absence of unnecessary effort. Resistance to situations and the flow of existence is unnecessary effort. Resistance is non-freedom. This is so because resistance is reactionary. Anything reactionary is bound to events. If one is bound one cannot be said to be free.

When a person is free they are able to move through life with less mental tension, worries, uptightness and fear. These properties or states of the mind generate fatiguing physical tension which feeds back into the mental state. The potential for a downward spiral increases. Momentum can be a hard thing to arrest.

While Descartes may have differentiated mind and body into two distinct categories the experiential and observable truth is these things are not separate. So called tension of the mind associated with worrying thoughts occurs concurrently with tension in the abdomen or elsewhere in the body. This type of phenomena occurs to such an extent that in essence the two cannot be delimitated.

I once mentioned to someone that the way they were was a result of what they ate. Literally, you are what you eat. Another person replied that they believed a person is what they think. I do not see these statements as two mutually exclusive ideas. To me they are two sides of the same coin. Literally, you are what you think and your world is what you think of it. If you happen to not think anything of it, having no opinion for or against, then things just are as they are.

What you eat directly affects your physical chemistry and composition. This affects the apparatus of consciousness and thus affects how you think. Eat crap food and chances are your thinking will be crap to. Nothing is happening in a vacuum. It is my opinion that everything should be treated as a drug. The food you eat, the fluid you drink, the air you breath, the environment you live in, the company you keep and the media you consume. All these things alter your consciousness and your physicality. For better or for worse.

Similarly, as I’ve already described what a person thinks will affect their physicality. Think in a focused, deliberate and calm manner and you body will be calm. Think panicked thoughts and the body panics to. Physically breathe deep and slow and mind calms. It is, I feel, easier to alter physical behavior than it is to alter mental behavior. So I like to use the physical as a guide to lead the mental where I want it to go.

Mind and matter. They are not two and not one. Mind and matter are both one and two. This broader type of inclusive perspective brings great insight into the nature of life and the art of living. Yin and Yang are two forces and yet they are also one. Balance does not necessarily always mean equal and growth often occurs when things are out of balance.

Anything can be broken down, such as your being into mind and the body. The mind has been further broken down into conscious and unconscious and so forth. However, consider for a moment the conditioning impact the idea that consciousness and physicality are distinctly separate has had on your life and how you experience the world. Now look at your hand and make a fist. Consciousness is clearly deeply entwined with matter. Not two and not one. Distinctions with their power to separate are of limited usefulness particularly when they dominate perception without holistic perspective to balance the scale.

So my message is for you to learn, grow, wonder and celebrate life. Learn to perceive how things fit into a bigger picture. Practice considering the other side of the coin. And there almost always is an other side. However, most of all begin practicing the art of relaxation by letting go of unnecessary effort. In time your life will become less a fearful battle tinged with quiet desperation and more a relaxed flow.

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