Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sitting Still: The Power of Relaxation

According to Peter Russell, author of Waking Up in Time, our world continues to accelerate with each passing year, month, day and hour.  As the world’s pace gets faster and faster, humans feel compelled to find ways of keeping up with it. 

Let’s face it, if you don’t keep up, you can’t really function in some respects.  Take, for example, the need to keep somewhat savvy about computers, or to adhere to the use of credit cards and electronic banking.  Without these, most would be unable to set up the daily use of things need to function, such as access to daily news and on-line job applications, or as equally important, the ability to communicate quickly by means of cell phones and texting.

There is a growing demand on us to hurry and rush as soon as we set our feet on the floor each morning.  Yet, despite the reality of these growing demands on us—and actually, because of them—it is all the more clear that there is a need to counter balance this growing pace with useful coping techniques that can help us find balance in a world that is spinning too fast sometimes.  We can choose to create our own daily schedule that has pockets of time in which we can go at our own pace.

The increasing pace of the world has also left many people with a restlessness about them.  It's not uncommon these days for people to feel uncomfortable with sitting still.  Literally... just sitting still.  Stillness not only seems unfamiliar to many, but leads to an internal dialogue that sounds something like this:  "This is a waste of time!", "There are so many other things I need to do", "I don't have time for this", etc.

In addition, our bodies have been so conditioned at this point to go go go, and been prodded to have endless tasks, chores, events and work, that we become restless with the very thought of sitting still.

That said, it's obvious that building some stillness back into one's life may need to be taken in small bits.  Reintroducing some time to simply sit in stillness may have to begin with just 5 minutes.  That's enough to start and can always be increased if you feel your getting somewhere.  Think of it as just what the doctor ordered, as the Zen saying goes:  "For quick, fast-acting relief, try slowing down."

Thanks to Moyan Brenn for his great photo - Meditation