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The Art of True Rest

by Swami Jyotirmayananda

Burdened by the ceaseless weight of worries and anxieties, it is natural that people consumed with the demands of everyday life crave rest – rest in which both the body and the finer network of the nerves and brain can acquire complete relaxation. Whether one suffers from physical ailments or mental disorders, doctors generally advise patients to take recourse to rest; yet, as simple as such advice may appear, it often presents as a most difficult objective to achieve.

The Self is the fountain source of all energy; it is the mystic and spiritual fact of human existence. It is not only the center of man, but is also the basis and the reality behind everything that exists. By illumining your mind through a life devoted to the knowledge of Truth, you enter into the Self, wherein individuality is lost, limitations are transcended, and your life is engulfed in the sweet, surging ocean of eternity. Movement towards that deeper center within gives rise to real rest, and movement away from the center augments the fiery winds of distraction and agitation.

The energy of the Self moves through the channels of the mind and inundates the brain by creating tiny ripples of vibrations. From there, the energy travels through the network of nerves and pervades the body, thus bringing health to the entire organism and vitality to sustain every movement in your life.

If you truly desire real rest, you must understand the mysterious phenomenon of the mind and its functions. You cannot rest unless you have the possibility of drawing from the deeper Self within your heart. Just as the eyes of a businessman sparkle when he sees his bank balance increasing, so too your life will exult with joy when there is a constant supply of energy from the deeper source within. If your mind lacks the art of drawing this Divine energy, it creates more and more tension in a vain effort to acquire it. This produces adverse effects throughout the body.

Cultivate Thoughts that Flow from Mystic Stillness

Learn to watch your thoughts, and observe whether they bring you peace or increased anxiety. Too much restless thinking can produce great tension and strain on the brain and nerves, and often results in various diseases of the body and mind. A persistent feeling of fatigue, insomnia, and depression can be a direct result of tension caused by excessive thinking.

However there are two kinds of thinking: creative thoughts that flow in the state of relaxation and stillness – the source of all creative and excellent actions, and confused thoughts that are burdened with grief. The majority of people experience mostly confusing and agitating thoughts that keep the brain in a state of tension.

Many people make the mistake of identifying the mind with the brain. It would be erroneous to think that electricity, which flows through the medium of wires, is the same as the wires. Similarly, it is an error to think that the brain is the same as the mind. Mind is a stream of mysterious energy proceeding from the soul of man and operating through the medium of the brain. At times however, the mind can withdraw itself from the brain and nervous system. It is then that one enters into an intuitional state of consciousness and is able to glimpse facts that are beyond the normal reach of the mind and senses.

In every walk of life, in religion, in the arts and the sciences, there are those who have unlocked  greater meaning to their lives in that state of mystic stillness. They enjoy a wider vision that has expressed through scientific discoveries, philosophical expositions, and artistic achievements. Such people enjoy creative thoughts – thoughts that are not the product of a tension-riddled brain – but thoughts that are endowed with angelic wings of inspiration and intuition. The majority of people however, are unfamiliar the art of sustaining thoughts that do not produce tension. They are largely unaware of the mysterious possibility of solving problems in day-to-day life without worrying or sinking into grief. Furthermore, they lack the capacity to widen the possibilities of mental life and live a life of peace and spiritual enrichment.

Be Active and Dynamic

When one takes recourse to laziness and procrastination, he or she is not resting at all. This type of mind is that much more enmeshed in the functions of the brain, and this produces tension in your life. This tension sometimes leads to the development of various diseases and the shortening of one’s lifespan. However, when you are active and dynamic, consciously putting your thoughts into action, and when harmony exists between the both thoughts and actions, your brain is given abundant rest. This is the secret behind many of the dynamic achievements that have been accomplished by great men and women in every sphere of life.

There is an endless fountain-source of energy deep within you. With this energy, you can work indefatigably for the betterment of your conditions, for the enrichment of your life, and in service to humanity. If you are inspired, your actions will not create exhaustion; rather, they will breathe into you the cooling breeze of relaxation and peace. On the other hand, if you are burdened with selfish thoughts and mental frustrations, then your actions and even your relaxing pleasures will lead you to ruin.

Learn the art of real rest. Rest peacefully in your deeper self through a life devoted to a dynamic unfolding of its hidden potentialities and to the service of humanity. Live a life inspired by Divine Love and illumined by spiritual understanding. You will undoubtedly experience peace beyond all human imagination!

May the Lord bless you! Hari OM Tat Sat!

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