Tremendous post

By Leo Babauta

OK, calling this a “lost art” is a bit of hyperbole, because there are some people who actually rest these days. But I don’t believe most people do it anymore.

I could rail about the age of distraction (I’ve done that before), and social media and devices. Yada yada, you’ve heard it from me and many others. But whatever the reason is, we rarely rest anymore.

Think about it: when you get a break, what do you normally do? Go on your phone or computer? Check messages or social media or your favorite websites? Watch video online? That’s how most people spend their breaks — myself included. I’m part of this.

What happens when you’re done with work for the day? That’s if you’re ever done — many of us will work practically until we are falling asleep, if we’re allowed to. But if you’re done, do you read and watch and message online? Most people I know do that.

When do we ever truly rest, not only our bodies but our minds?

We need it. We really need it.

The lack of true rest creates a drainedness, where we’re never really fully energized, fully present, fully alive. It means that our relationships start to lack energy and connection. It means we sap the joy out of our lives. That might not be true for you, but you might relate to it somewhat.

I have caught myself taking breaks or finishing for the day, only to get on my phone or laptop for mindless stuff. It feels like the thing I want to do when I have rest time … but it’s not really rest. I don’t feel refreshed afterward, only more drained. It feels like I’m going to comfort, but not getting the rest I really need.

So let’s talk about the Lost Art of True Rest, and how to rediscover it.

Four Kinds of True Rest

For me, there are a handful of ways to rest that feel very nourishing and replenishing:

  1. Closing my eyes, lying down, and doing nothing. This might or might not result in a nap. It might be more meditation. But I’m not reading, doing, watching. More on this below.
  2. Going outside without using a device. Connecting to nature. Most likely in solitude. Letting my mind have some mental and physical space.
  3. Relaxing with someone else. Feeling connection with them. This can’t be a very active conversation — if we’re talking, it has to be something that makes us feel connected, relaxed. We might just be cuddling without conversation.
  4. Being fully present with a simple non-work activity, like having tea. This isn’t a time to think about work, though those thoughts might arise. It’s about nothing other than having the tea. Relaxing with the experience. Savoring it. Soaking in a bath or having a spa day is another example.

There are probably other ways to truly rest. Playing music, creating art, dancing, perhaps. But these four are my favorite.

You’ll notice that you don’t need much for these kinds of true rest — no equipment or devices (maybe tea if you have it), no special spaces (other than nature, if it’s available). It’s simple stuff.

We just forget to do it!

How to Truly Relax

When I’m feeling tired and I have a meeting coming up, I’ll drop everything else, and go lie down on a bed or couch. Set aside my devices. Close my eyes and get comfortable. Then I really relax.

When I say “really relax,” I mean more than we usually relax. I scan my body for any tension, and relax it. Then I scan some more, and relax that. I will usually notice small micro-muscles tensed in my chest area, in my abdomen, in my head. Sometimes its in the center of my body, right in front of my spine. I let those muscles completely relax.

The more I relax, the more I find other micro-muscles that aren’t relaxed, and I relax those. Sometimes it’s like my face is falling off my head, because everything starts sinking towards the earth.

I find that muscles will tense up as I start having thoughts. So I notice that, and relax them again. Over and over — thought and tense, notice and relax. It’s like savasana, if you’re a yogi.

I usually fall asleep. I have to set a timer a few minutes before my meeting so I don’t sleep through it! But sometimes I don’t sleep — it’s still incredibly restful to do this.

How to Relax While Doing Something Simple

Having a cup of tea, going for a walk, taking a bath … you can relax while doing something. You don’t have to be lying down, closing your eyes.

The key is to make this the one thing that you’re doing. Single-task. Be all in with this task, instead of jumping around.

Give the activity your full focus. Really be with the cup of tea, or with your walk. Do it slowly, with relaxation, savoring the activity.

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

That quote sums up the approach. You can do it with anything, not just drinking tea. Be fully immersed.

A Powerfully Simple Practice

With those relaxation approaches in mind … I’ll leave you with a simple but really powerful practice:

When you’re done with something, pause and notice if you need rest. Are you tired? Are you craving true rest?

If so, give yourself a few moments of true rest. Not checking your phone, not reading or watching online, not taking care of small tasks. True rest. One of the things discussed above, or your version of true rest.

Ask yourself this throughout the day. You might find that you need true rest more than you realize.

Great thanks a lot I really love method

The Opportunity in Adversity

By Eckhart Tolle

Life unfolds between the polarities of order and chaos. It is important at this time to recognize these two fundamental opposites, without which the world could not even be. Another word for disorder is “adversity.” When it becomes more extreme, we might call it “chaos.”

We would prefer, of course, to have order in our lives, which means to have things going well. We would like relative harmony in our lives. Yet, that very often is marred by the eruption of some form of disorder. And, usually, we resent that—we get angry, or despondent, or sad.

Disorder comes in many, many forms, big and small. When disorder comes it usually creates a kind of havoc in our lives, accompanied by strong underlying beliefs. “There’s something very wrong, this should not be happening, maybe God is against me,” and so on. Again, we need to understand that disorder, or adversity, is inevitable and is an essential part of a higher order.

 From a higher perspective, a higher level, the existence of order and disorder, or order and chaos, is a necessary part of the evolution of life.

 Many people have found that they experience a deepening, or a deeper sense of self or beingness, immediately after and as a result of having endured a period of disorder or chaos. This is sometimes called “the dark night of the soul,” a term from medieval Christianity used to describe the mental breakdown that many mystics experienced prior to awakening spiritually. There was an eruption of disorder, of destruction. Then, out of that, a deeper realization arose.

 And although that can be very painful, the strange thing is, it’s precisely there that many humans experience a transcendence. A strange fact is that it almost never happens that people awaken spiritually while they’re in their comfort zone. Or that they become deeper as human beings, which would be a partial awakening. It almost never happens. The place where the evolutionary shift happens, or the evolutionary leap, is usually the experience of disorder in a person’s life.

And so your life then moves between order and disorder. You have both, and they’re both necessary. There’s no guarantee that when disorder erupts this will bring about an awakening or a deepening, but there’s always the possibility. It is an opportunity, but often, it is missed.

 So here we are at this time, and our mission is the same: to align with the present moment, with whatever is happening here and now. The upheaval that we’re experiencing at the present time probably will not be the last upheaval that’s going to come on a collective level. However, it is an opportunity—because although this is a time for upheavals, it is also a time for awakening. The two go together. Just as in an individual life, you need adversity to awaken. It’s an opportunity but not a guarantee. And so what looks tragic and unpleasant on a conventional level is actually perfectly fine and as it should be on a higher level; it would not be happening otherwise. It’s all part of the awakening of human beings and of planetary awakening.

To learn more about Eckhart’s teachings on Conscious Manifestation, click here.

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The post The Opportunity in Adversity appeared first on Eckhart Tolle | Official Site – Spiritual Teachings and Tools For Personal Growth and Happiness.

who else really loves method

The Opportunity in Adversity

By Eckhart Tolle

Life unfolds between the polarities of order and chaos. It is important at this time to recognize these two fundamental opposites, without which the world could not even be. Another word for disorder is “adversity.” When it becomes more extreme, we might call it “chaos.”

We would prefer, of course, to have order in our lives, which means to have things going well. We would like relative harmony in our lives. Yet, that very often is marred by the eruption of some form of disorder. And, usually, we resent that—we get angry, or despondent, or sad.

Disorder comes in many, many forms, big and small. When disorder comes it usually creates a kind of havoc in our lives, accompanied by strong underlying beliefs. “There’s something very wrong, this should not be happening, maybe God is against me,” and so on. Again, we need to understand that disorder, or adversity, is inevitable and is an essential part of a higher order.

 From a higher perspective, a higher level, the existence of order and disorder, or order and chaos, is a necessary part of the evolution of life.

 Many people have found that they experience a deepening, or a deeper sense of self or beingness, immediately after and as a result of having endured a period of disorder or chaos. This is sometimes called “the dark night of the soul,” a term from medieval Christianity used to describe the mental breakdown that many mystics experienced prior to awakening spiritually. There was an eruption of disorder, of destruction. Then, out of that, a deeper realization arose.

 And although that can be very painful, the strange thing is, it’s precisely there that many humans experience a transcendence. A strange fact is that it almost never happens that people awaken spiritually while they’re in their comfort zone. Or that they become deeper as human beings, which would be a partial awakening. It almost never happens. The place where the evolutionary shift happens, or the evolutionary leap, is usually the experience of disorder in a person’s life.

And so your life then moves between order and disorder. You have both, and they’re both necessary. There’s no guarantee that when disorder erupts this will bring about an awakening or a deepening, but there’s always the possibility. It is an opportunity, but often, it is missed.

 So here we are at this time, and our mission is the same: to align with the present moment, with whatever is happening here and now. The upheaval that we’re experiencing at the present time probably will not be the last upheaval that’s going to come on a collective level. However, it is an opportunity—because although this is a time for upheavals, it is also a time for awakening. The two go together. Just as in an individual life, you need adversity to awaken. It’s an opportunity but not a guarantee. And so what looks tragic and unpleasant on a conventional level is actually perfectly fine and as it should be on a higher level; it would not be happening otherwise. It’s all part of the awakening of human beings and of planetary awakening.

To learn more about Eckhart’s teachings on Conscious Manifestation, click here.

Join for free and receive upcoming articles, teachings, special announcements, and more.

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The post The Opportunity in Adversity appeared first on Eckhart Tolle | Official Site – Spiritual Teachings and Tools For Personal Growth and Happiness.