It comes as some surprise to beginners and even to practitioners with experience that being relaxed is the best state in which to meditate. It is not always the case that we can relax. If you have experience of young children, you may know or remember the process of going to sleep. It comes naturally. If we try too hard we get stressed and tense. Yet if we make no effort, we risk falling asleep.
Meditation and Relaxation
Repeatedly you will hear or read about the importance of the balance between discipline and effortlessness, the two complementary states of being relaxed but alert.
Few people learn well or perform well under stress. The same is true of being half asleep and unaware. Neither stressed nor half asleep are efficient conditions for meditation. The balance between a relaxed and alert state takes time to develop. This is one of the valuable skills that meditation can teach you. To learn more about how you can increase your productivity through meditation, please read this article.
Everyone has different levels of stress and tension. We need a certain amount of tension and integrity in our body for it to stay in shape. We need a degree of wakefulness in the mind to remain alert and function well. The stress associated with pressure to achieve does not feature in meditation. There is a famous story about the Buddha Gotama. At a certain time in his life, he made the determination to sit and meditate and not stop until he had found his goal. This determination was useful to him because he was practiced already over many years and many lifetimes. His mind was easily composed and settled and it was not easily distracted.
During an interview, on a date, during any exchange with other people being relaxed is the best position, the most efficient way to achieve your goal. Athletes benefit from being relaxed at the right time. How much easier it is to reach our destination when we are relaxed. There is no hurry. If you can experience this in your meditation, this relaxed unhurried yet alert state, you will discover something very natural. You will make swift progress. Success does not come with stress.
Well directed effort is not the same as goal driven stress. Learn to gradually recognise the difference between well directed effort and stress. If you can begin to sense this as an experience during your meditation practice, you will be successful. If you are looking for more articles on meditation and how it can benefit your life, then you should read this article.