How to Relax
How to Get Peace of Mind
In my 5 Principles for Living an Enlightened and Good Life, number 1 is to relax and have a mind which is at ease with Reality. The key to this is having the right mental attitude, which in Tantra is described as Whatever Comes, Let it Come, Whatever Goes, Let it Go. But it is always great to hear this most important approach to living from different spiritual disciplines, and so I would like to present to you how Lao-tzu explains the importance of relaxation in his timeless text the Tao Te Ching.
Book: Tao Te Ching
Author: Stephen Mitchell
Do you want to improve the world?
I don’t think it can be done.
The world is sacred.
It can’t be improved.
If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.
There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.
The master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.
Analysis of How to Relax Your Mind
Of course there are many meditations, breathing exercises and yoga techniques for helping you relax your mind and body, but the above excerpt is how to stay relaxed at all times during the day. It is describing the right mental approach to life so that you can maintain your peace and composure no matter what comes your way. This is the sign of an advanced student or master. One who can be relaxed with life, no matter what.
Lao-tzu is pointing out here that you should stop trying to constantly change reality and instead try to life spontaneously and simply. "Residing in the center of the circle", means to not be caught in the changing tides of the periphery. It means to stay with simple moment to moment awareness and allow your responses to come directly from the challenges that the moment presents.
Although at first glance, one may think of this "acceptance" as a passive approach to life, it is really a very alive and active "acceptance". As this acceptance requires you to be free of your constant mental projections and embrace the moment completely. Approaching life in this way, means you are truly alive to what it is offering and ready to respond as demanded. Anything else is just escaping the moment and trying to manipulate reality in the futile pursuit of security and pleasure.
This attitude of trying to constantly shape reality as per your desires and fears, is what robs you of your relaxation and peace. The wise understand how to live in the moment and do what is needed, without concern for results or expectations, and this approach leads to the ease of being. So, if you are looking for true relaxation and peace of mind, heed the advise of Lao-tzu, understand that the moment is always in flux, life is ever changing and stop trying to poke your finger into Reality. Relax and go with the flow.