RELAX

I've organized some quotes that point to the value of relaxation as a part of a spiritual journey. Anyone who finds relaxation to be difficult might benefit by a practice of inquiry asking themselves "What limits my ability to totally relax?" or "What do I fear might happen if I totally relax?"

Here is my favotite quote from Pamela Wilson :

"You have only one job to do. Actually two: relax and enjoy. It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it. We are designed to be delightfully imperfect. Any attempt at perfection is not trusting the Beloved. So actually you have three jobs: rest, enjoy and be imperfect."

and on another occasion she wrote

"Life is totally taking care of everything. Who I am, who everyone is - is life. We can all relax, and let life do all the work."

Many years ago I resonated with a similar understanding expressed in the Bible:

Matthew 6: 26-34. (ESV) "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 Forlthe Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

 

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Throw everything away, forget about it all! You are learning too much, remembering too much, trying to hard. . . relax a little bit, give life a chance to flow its own way, unassisted by your mind and effort. Stop directing the river's flow!

~ Mooji

 

Making tremendous efforts teaches the futility of effort. It is like trying to escape from a pit by digging downward. No effort is required in the sense that no effort is required to be aware. Just relax, without making an effort to relax. In that natural relaxation, what one needs to know will present itself. No one can do it for any other, just as no one can eat for any other to appease his hunger.

~ Wu Hsin

 

When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment.

~ Pema Chodron

 

From time to time, to remind ourselves to relax and be peaceful, we may wish to set aside some time for a retreat, a day of mindfulness, when we can walk slowly, smile, drink tea with a friend, enjoy being together as if we are the happiest people on Earth.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

 

To enjoy this peace and absolute security we do not need any dogma, belief systems, rituals or practices. All that is necessary is to abandon the external search for this. We must stop "seeking for love in all the wrong places"; just recognize, and totally relax into, that pure awareness that we already are.

- Colin Drake

 

Essence is not an object we find within ourselves; it is the true nature of who we are when we are relaxed and authentic.

~ A.H. Almaas

 

Metaphysical or super-relaxation consists in freeing the human consciousness entirely from its identification with the physical body, money, possessions, name, fame, family, country, the world, and the human race and its habits. Metaphysical relaxation means disengaging your attention by degrees from consciousness, subconsciousness, the semi-superconscious state felt after meditation, and Christ Consciousness; and in identifying yourself completely with Cosmic Consciousness. Metaphysical relaxation therefore consists in releasing consciousness from the delusion of duality and truly resting the mind by keeping it identified with one's own real nature: unity with Spirit. Man has hypnotized himself into thinking that he is a human being, whereas in reality he is one with God.

~ Paramahansa Yogananda

 

Just Relax. Stop trying to change anything, and recognize what is already here. There may be changes, or there may be no changes, but that is secondary to what is always here.

~ Gangaji

 

You are not to do anything to be happy. In fact you have done too much to become unhappy. If you want to be unhappy, do too much. If you want to be happy, allow things, allow things to be. Rest, relax, and be in a let go. Let go is the secret of life. When you are in a let go many things, millions of things, start happening. They were already happening but you were never aware.

~ Osho

 

Here's some very good news.Right here, right now, in this moment, you don't have to 'figure out' the rest of your life, no matter what anyone says. In this moment, you don't need all the answers. They will come, in time, or not, or perhaps the unncecessary questions will fall away. There is no rush. Life is not in a hurry. Be like the seasons. Winter is not trying to become summer. Spring does not rush towards autumn. The grass grows at its own pace. The choices that will be made will be made, and you've no choice about that. The decisions that will happen will happen, events will unfold, but right now perhaps you don't need to know the solutions or the outcomes or how best to proceed. Perhaps not knowing is a welcome guest at life's banquet. Perhaps openness to possibility is a beloved friend. Perhaps even confusion can come to rest here. And so, instead of trying to 'fix' our lives, instead of trying to neatly resolve the unresolveable and quickly complete the epic story of a fictitious 'me', we simply relax into utter not knowing, unravelling in the warm embrace of mystery, sinking deeply into the moment, savouring it fully, in all its uniqueness and wonder. And then, perhaps without any effort, without any struggle or stress, without 'you' being involved at all, the true answers will emerge in their own sweet time.

~ Jeff Foster

 

At the core is the transmission into deep silence I received in the cave that was home to Sri Ramana Maharshi on Mount Arunachala in southern India. "We can't do spiritual transformation. When we relax the interference, it finds us." I call this the practice of ego relaxation. It guides you how to surrender. You might have tried to annihilate your ego with its sense of insecurity, fear, guilt, lack, weakness, in attempts to transcend the seeming problem of 'me'. This only deepens our suffering and increases frustration. To be, do, get, become, seek for, and relinquish nothing is not only a transmission of the deep silence but a very practical path that invites us to simply be here, be now, rest undefended with what is.

~ Miranda Macpherson

 

We have a choice. We can spend our whole life suffering because we can’t relax with how things really are, or we can relax and embrace the open-endedness of the human situation, which is fresh, unfixated, unbiased.

~ Pema Chodron

 

So can you let yourself be? I am not suggesting that you let yourself be to get anything or do anything, even to understand anything. I mean just to be. Are you giving yourself the simple privilege of being, of existence? Why do you think that what you do, what you have, what you get or don't get are more important than just being here? Why are you always wanting to get something or go somewhere? Why not just relax and be here, simply existing in all your cells, inhabiting all your body? When are you going to let yourself descend from your lofty preoccupations, and simply land where you are? Stop striving after all kinds of things; stop dreaming, scheming, planning, working, achieving, attempting, moving, manipulating, trying to be something, trying to get somewhere. You forget the simplest, most obvious thing, which is to be here. If you are not in your body, you miss the source of all significance, meaning, and satisfaction. How can you feel the satisfaction, if you aren't here? We miss who we are, which is fundamentally beingness, existence. If we are not here, we exist only on the fringes of reality. We don't sufficiently value simply being. Instead, we value what we want to accomplish, or what we want to possess. It is our biggest mistake. It is called the 'great betrayal.'

~ A.H. Almaas

 

everythingisimpermanentknowingthisjustrelax

 

Relax your body and drop whatever idea is creating stress. Relax your face, your body and than relax internally, in this sequence. Repeat through the day. This develops the habit of letting go.

~ Jac O'Keeffe

 

As often as possible today, relax every thought that tries to change how you feel, fix yourself or change others. Peace/love/bliss are fancy ways of saying, "the war with my experience is over."

~ Scott Kiloby

 

Let go of what has passed. Let go of what may come. Let go of what is happening now. Don't try to figure anything out. Don't try to make anything happen. Relax, right now, and rest.

~ Tilopa (11th century tantric master)

 

The ordinary mind can never know the Self. The Self can never be known by the ordinary mind. Therefore what is the solution? More sadhana? More intense meditation? No. The solution is to have a cup of tea, to relax. The metaphor, "to have a cup of tea" really means to let go. Stop thinking about it. Relax completely. The Self will make itself known to you in it’s own time. You really do not have to do anything.

~ Robert Adams

 

The burden of this return back to naturalness is not on us - it’s life’s pleasure; life’s pleasure to play the role and then relax out of it. Know that there’s full support as we return back into our naturalness. We actually can relax. It does help to be curious about our true nature, it does help to go to Satsang, it does help to sit in the park. Know that you will be led uniquely back to this naturalness. . . .Join with your fellow sages in satsang, sharing what you are noticing is an act of love.

~ Pamela Wilson

 

If you take your hand off the tiller the boat will steer itself and do a vastly better job of it than you ever could. Relax into the moment and let the universe do the driving. If there were a secret to happiness in life, I'd say that was it.

~ Jed McKenna

 

This teaching has come to get you. Relax if you can. The harder you resist The more it hurts!

~ Wayne Liquorman

 

If basic trust informs your experience, your psyche is relaxed. Your soul is at peace with itself and with your situation, resting in the unquestioned confidence that the universe provides, that you have, and will receive, what you really need, and that things are workable. If we really have this trust, this deep inner relaxation, it becomes possible to live our lives out of love, out of an appreciation of life, out of enjoyment in what the universe provides for us, and out of compassion and kindness for others and ourselves. Without it, we live our lives defensively, in conflict with others and with ourselves, becoming self-centered and egoistic. To find our basic trust is to reconnect with our natural state that we have become separated from. When we are innately infused by reality, our soul or consciousness is completely transparent to the truth that we and the universe are one, that we are supported by reality and that reality is by its very nature good, and that what happens is inevitably right since it emerges out of that inherent perfection. When you understand this, it becomes obvious why it is so difficult to relax and let go, and why it is so important regain our basic trust.

~ A.H. Almass

 

While all great mystical teachings agree on the importance of surrender, it is not a thing to be done, but a compassionate relaxation of the learned tendencies of mind. In the same way that your body knows how to heal and repair itself — so your soul is homeostatic. It contains the inherent intelligence to know its own nature.

~ Miranda Macpherson

 

Don't seek, don't search, don't ask, don't knock, don't demand -- relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it.

~ Osho

 

Making tremendous efforts teaches the futility of effort. It is like trying to escape from a pit by digging downward. No effort is required in the sense that no effort is required to be aware. Just relax, without making an effort to relax. In that natural relaxation, what one needs to know will present itself. No one can do it for any other, just as no one can eat for any other to appease his hunger.

~ Wu Hsin

 

Relax. Resting mind activity disarms gross identification. There is no 'how' to stop thinking. Simply stop getting involved in the stories of your thoughts.

~ Jac O'Keeffe

 

Too lazy to be ambitious, I let the world take care of itself. Ten days' worth of rice in my bag; a bundle of twigs by the fireplace. Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment? Listening to the night rain on my roof, I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.” 

~ Ryokan (Zen master)

 

RELAX, YOU ARE NOT THE

 

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