The Still Mind

Our world observed from stillness

The Most Important Thing in Meditation: Relaxation

8 Comments

relaxmonkey_zpsb007629a_ah1_zps965ca4a6

Monkey Zen Relaxation

For some, relaxation is one of the hardest things to achieve due to seemingly endless stress, and worry as a result of the world that we humans have created for ourselves. Stress mainly manifests in the muscles, where an unalleviated sympathetic nervous system keeps the body in a virtually constant state of “fight or flight.” When the body is in this state, heart rate increases, stress hormones such as cortisol, as well as adrenaline will be released, and the digestive system slows down. Now, when one’s body is constantly under such an influence as this (as is the case with most in the everyday world of now), it is no wonder that many people find relaxation such an unobtainable hurdle when one is following the path of meditation (or just life in general). More importantly, if one does not attempt to alter their physiological state to lessen the strain of the “fight or flight” clamp down, over time the systems of the body will start to deteriorate due to the fact that, among other health effects, the body’s cells will receive insufficient oxygen and nutrients, and coupled with the erratic operation of the digestive system, will lead to disease–chronic diseases if left unchecked.

The body has special mechanisms to assist it in maintaining homeostasis (balance), however, if things get in the way of the body doing its job–i.e. constant, unrelenting stress; poor nutrition; too much of the wrong things, not enough of the right things (in diet, lifestyle, etc.)–then homeostasis will be harder and harder to achieve, and the body must then employ great reserves to attempt to remedy the problem. This also is a kind of stress–environmetal stress coupled with the strain of the body trying to cope with the stress it is enduring on a daily basis. Now one can see why relaxation is not just a good prerequisite to meditation, but can be an essential component in maintaining the overall health of the body.

How to relax the body

Sit, stand, or lay down and be sure that there are no distractions. The optimal environment for the promotion of relaxation is that of peaceful quiescence. Calm any impulses for extraneous activity, and notice that they are merely firings of neurons, and will pass. Once you realize this, you can train your mind to not attach, and to let things pass.

Scan the body starting from the top of the head, section by section, all the way down to the toes, eliminating tension as your focus descends, by envisioning it melting away like fallen snow in the mid-day sun. When dealing with matters of the brain, visualization is the most powerful tool that you have, for it is the brain’s access panel to the fabric of reality.

As you scan, breathe without attempting to train the breath. As you inhale, do not force it–simply allow it to occur naturally. On the out breath, as the air is moving out of the nose, let it parallel the release of tension in the place that the mind is focused on at the moment. Breathe it out like a deflating balloon. Do not use force.

Once relaxation has been achieved, simply sit in your body with your “empty” muscles, and the free flow of the blood pumping through your vessels.

With your newly relaxed body, you can proceed to meditate, or carry on with your day, or stay with the state as long as you wish. It is up to you.

^_^ yey!

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Author: Garrett S.

I am a writer, researcher, and 3D CG generalist, who developed a strong penchant for meditation and spiritual practices. I've incorporated that background into my current work manning the helm in directing my own personal animated projects, most notably of which is my "Mr. G" series, and "The Ville".

8 thoughts on “The Most Important Thing in Meditation: Relaxation

  1. AUhhh… I am relaxed now.. LOL Happy New Year!!

  2. Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog. 🙂
    Very interesting post. I should try to relax more often! Like that monkey!
    Happy New Year and have a nice day.

    • I’m glad that you like my post. Yes, relaxation is something that everyone can use. Very important for maintaining health, yet it’s something that most find hard to achieve. I hope you will be able to find time for relaxation if you feel that it’s lacking a bit.
      Happy New Year to you as well, and I hope everything is good with you ^_^

  3. Where did u pick up the points to create ““The Most
    Important Thing in Meditation: Relaxation The Still Mind”?
    Thanks for your time ,Mohamed

  4. Pingback: Scientists Confirm Perception and Genes Linked | The Still Mind

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