Oakville Zen Meditation

#407 The Art and power of resting July 24th 22

The art and power of resting

In this talk, resting is a relaxation exercise, different from meditation despite some similitudes.

We are always running around and struggling with time. Fighting time has become a kind of addiction.

We cannot resist being active, running around like a hamster on its wheel, giving us the feeling of being important, doing important things.

Feeling busy, being busy, and projecting to others that you are busy are essential to maintaining or social self-image. Our most common answer to the question: “ How are you?” is  “busy”

Besides our social self-image, being busy keeps the ego happy.

It is also the #1 excuse that we are using all the time: “Sorry, I was busy”.

Finally, many of us perceive taking a rest as laziness or a failure of not doing something.

A Zen approach to resting:

Being constantly physically and mentally agitated consumes a lot of energy to the point that it can

make us anxious, unhappy, tired, and even depressed.

That is why it is so important to learn to allow our body and mind to rest and recharge.

The main purpose of this exercise is to relax faster and more efficiently.

The type of rest I am talking about is an art and requires physical and mental discipline.

Also, it is different from the practice of short mindfulness meditation since this exercise is not spiritual.

I learned this technique while in retreat at the San Fran Zen center a few years back.

Practicing regular resting time during the day even for 2-3 min. each time is almost an impossible task because our ego hates it, telling us that we are important and should not waste our time “doing nothing” when, instead, so many important things should be done.

Resting is simple. Here are the 5 steps:

   Stop your current activity for 2 to 3 min. several times a day.

   Sit straight or lay down completely still, relax your body, and close your eyes.

   Slow down your breathing but don’t focus on it.

   Let your mind wander here and there w/o trying to analyze.

   Be aware of what is coming from outside thru your sensorial receptors w/o analyzing them.

It has been shown that blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol level (stress hormone) drop even during these short intervals.

 With practice, relaxation will be reached, and positive resting energy is generated.

It is like rebooting body/mind.

You will notice the difference very quickly.

As mentioned before, and despite some similitudes, resting exercise is different from a short meditation

regarding purpose – relaxation-   and technique.