The first step in relaxing is the body. Remember as many times as possible to look in the body, whether you are carrying some tension in the body somewhere – at the neck, in the head, in the legs. Relax it consciously. Just go to that part of the body, and persuade that part, say to it lovingly ‘Relax!’
And you will be surprised that if you approach any part of your body, it listens, it follows you – it is your body! With closed eyes, go inside the body from the toe to the head searching for any place where there is a tension. And then talk to that part as you talk to a friend; let there be a dialogue between you and your body. Tell it to relax, and tell it, ‘There is nothing to fear. Don’t be afraid. I am here to take care – you can relax.’ Slowly slowly, you will learn the knack of it. Then the body becomes relaxed.
Then take another step, a little deeper; tell the mind to relax. And if the body listens, mind also listens, but you cannot start with the mind – you have to start from the beginning. You cannot start from the middle. Many people start with the mind and they fail; they fail because they start from a wrong place. Everything should be done in the right order.
If you become capable of relaxing the body voluntarily, then you will be able to help your mind relax voluntarily. Mind is a more complex phenomenon. Once you have become confident that the body listens to you, you will have a new trust in yourself. Now even the mind can listen to you. It will take a little longer with the mind, but it happens.
When the mind is relaxed, then start relaxing your heart, the world of your feelings, emotions – which is even more complex, more subtle. But now you will be moving with trust, with great trust in yourself. Now you will know it is possible. If it is possible with the body and possible with the mind, it is possible with the heart too. And then only, when you have gone through these three steps, can you take the fourth. Now you can go to the innermost core of your being, which is beyond body, mind, heart: the very center of your existence. And you will be able to relax it too.
And that relaxation certainly brings the greatest joy possible, the ultimate in ecstasy, acceptance. You will be full of bliss and rejoicing. Your life will have the quality of dance to it.
The whole of existence is dancing, except man. The whole of existence is in a very relaxed movement; movement there is, certainly, but it is utterly relaxed. Trees are growing and birds are chirping and rivers are flowing, stars are moving: everything is going in a very relaxed way. No hurry, no haste, no worry, and no waste. Except man. Man has fallen a victim of his mind.
[Wo]man can rise above gods and fall below animals. Man has a great spectrum. From the lowest to the highest, man is a ladder.
Start from the body, and then go, slowly slowly, deeper. And don’t start with anything else unless you have first solved the primary. If your body is tense, don’t start with the mind. Wait. Work on the body. And just small things are of immense help.
‘You walk at a certain pace; that has become habitual, automatic. Now try to walk slowly. Buddha used to say to his disciples,’ Walk very slowly, and take each step very consciously. If you take each step very consciously, you are bound to walk slowly. If you are running, hurrying, you will forget to remember. Hence Buddha walks very slowly.
Just try walking very slowly, and you will be surprised – a new quality of awareness starts happening in the body. Eat slowly, and you will be surprised – there is great relaxation. Do everything slowly… just to change the old pattern, just to come out of old habits.
First the body has to become utterly relaxed, like a small child, then only start with the mind. Move scientifically: first the simplest, then the complex, then the more complex. And then only can you relax at the ultimate core.
You ask me, ‘Will you say something more about relaxation? I am aware of a tension deep in the core of me and suspect that I have probably never been totally relaxed.’
That is the situation of every human being. It is good that you are aware – millions are unaware of it. You are blessed that you are aware, because if you are aware then something can be done. If you are not aware, then nothing is possible. Awareness is the beginning of transformation.