Rest & Renewal – The Art of Relaxation

How do we shift from stress or stuck-ness into natural ease and fluid aliveness?

Resting is an art.  We continually try to relax but don’t really know how to do it. Often we feel that we should do more important things first, so that we can enjoy a well deserved rest later.  But somehow the time for rest never comes.

Rest brings a feeling of freshness, gentleness, ease and energy and benefits spiritual growth tremendously.

Our busy lifestyle leaves us disconnected even from the ability to feel how tired we actually are, so we often need to go through a period of feeling more tired the more we rest.  We need to ‘rest through’ our accumulated exhaustion to rediscover the abundant energy of aliveness.

Begin to discover restfulness by practicing the art of resting:

  • Give yourself permission and choose to experience deep rest.
  • Lying down for at least half an hour every day and doing absolutely nothing – not reading, not listening to music, not chatting to a friend.
  • Be aware of how it feels immediately upon waking before plugging into your persona, your list of things to do, or your limited sense of who you are!
  • Rest in the pause at the end of the out breath, waiting for the in breath to happen.
  • Rest in the pause at the end of the in breath, waiting for the out breath to happen.
  • Rest back home in your body at a red traffic light, in the queue at the bank or food store and any other time during the day that you remember!

Resting is not only relaxing, it is a profound way of renewing ourselves!

The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Barry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.