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Old 08-03-2017, 12:36 PM   #1
Heidi
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Relaxing

Hello friends,
I wondered if you might have some suggestions on relaxing. Without of course going into details about the techniques, I have always had a much easier time "generating" energy (doing stuff--for example, creating tension) than relaxing.
I can "do nothing" like just veg ok, but I know that Master is talking about consciously relaxing. This is very hard for me. I can get up the willpower to do stuff despite how I feel and even its physical repercussions.

I am stuck when it comes to letting go. This has actually caused me great consternation. I have great desire to "do the right thing" and do meditation and everything, but I have a strong ego and allowing God to work through me is so hard.

Anyone?
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:34 PM   #2
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I have been thinking along the same lines today. I have come to the conclusion that things happen at the time they are supposed to and can't be forced. Does that mean not meditating? No. You can meditate for relaxation for sure. Just that will anything happen? God knows.

As for letting go and letting God, God knows.

To get the relaxation response *(Herbert Benson), you choose a word like God or Love or anything you desire, repeat it in your mind and when you notice you are off that word you gently bring your mind back to it again and again, without strain. It should start getting "fuzzy" sounding in your mind, and then you "wake up" to that and concentrate on the word again, very gently. Don't move the body at all for 20 minutes in a comfortable position to you.

That usually produces a very nice state of relaxation. If you have to work up to 20 minutes start out for 5 minutes and work your way up. Don't do more than 20 minutes. Near the end take some time to come out of meditation without using your special word. This is important.

Give it a shot and report back if you like.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:39 PM   #3
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"Every sorrow and hurt has brought me closer to God." ~ Master

There are two ways of 'letting go".... One way is learning from wisdom, like master's teachings, applying it to one's life. The other way is make one's ego suffer until its breaking point. For most, suffering is the chosen and almost default way because the ego is that formidable. Think of how hard it is to break a bad habit. It seems logical and axiomatic to just follow Master's teachings, yet how many of us actually are willing and able to follow some or all of the teachings? I'm sure everyone has tried and realized that it's hard to make it stick.

I think it's a blend of wisdom learning and suffering. If you can't "let go and let God", then God has a backup plan...karma and maya to control your ego through suffering. Once one has had enough of suffering, one will inevitably let go, in this life or the next. Think of that Ebenezer Scrooge story; he had a good break cuz he was guided by the angels in his mortal dreams. Or an angry person who suffers a massive heart attack, and lives to be a kind and gentle being.

It's the perfect system. So don't worry if your ego is too strong to let go and be guided by wisdom, cuz it will suffer to the breaking point where King Soul rises and takes over after the ego has self-destructed. After all, we all know why we're here in this world, right? It's to suffer and learn from it so that we don't anymore.

One day, Heidi, you will inevitably learn to relax. I am in the process of learning this lesson myself. Meditation and the SRF techniques help, but the time in between the morning and night meditations is a lot of time and opportunity for the ego to control you. So what's a devotee to do? When I find myself getting tight and controlling things and people, I try to tell myself to let it go. In those less than frequent moments where I do let it go, things work out and life turns out refreshingly accommodating. In the more frequent moments where I don't let it go, I suffer and those and things around me do too. I pray to God and Guru to help me to let go.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:26 AM   #4
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Heidi,
It sounds as if you already have some great qualities.
Don't be too hard and impatient with yourself. Remember, God is unconditional Love and Forgiveness. However long it takes you to learn to relax for better meditation is the perfect length of time for you, for the universe and for God.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:43 AM   #5
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prayer + affirmations / mindfulness

Another thought:
I didn't use to pray much, but now it's my favourite thing.
Anything that is an obstacle for you, one can usually find a little affirmation from Yogananda that one can say regularly. Gradually, as your will-power, third-eye chakra opens up, you'll find praying and saying afffirmations will gradually become easier.(Have just given away my affirmations booklet,) but if you feel insecure about letting go, just afirm that you are safe and surrounded by peace, if you feel sad, surrounded by joy - Yogananda has given us a wealth of great prayers, affirmations and meditations.

If you prefer, since you are a great doer, maybe take time to offer what you do unto Him. That is meditation in action, mindfulness or karma yoga. Not necessarily stopping the action, but just remembering to say in your mind that the action is for God and Guru.
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by yogagirl View Post
Another thought:
I didn't use to pray much, but now it's my favourite thing.
Anything that is an obstacle for you, one can usually find a little affirmation from Yogananda that one can say regularly. Gradually, as your will-power, third-eye chakra opens up, you'll find praying and saying afffirmations will gradually become easier.(Have just given away my affirmations booklet,) but if you feel insecure about letting go, just afirm that you are safe and surrounded by peace, if you feel sad, surrounded by joy - Yogananda has given us a wealth of great prayers, affirmations and meditations.

If you prefer, since you are a great doer, maybe take time to offer what you do unto Him. That is meditation in action, mindfulness or karma yoga. Not necessarily stopping the action, but just remembering to say in your mind that the action is for God and Guru.
I started praying yesterday and found myself using language like "shall" a lot, a long prayer of surrender and it was actually quite enjoyable! I used to feel at a loss for words so I didn't pray but strangely enough I found I had quite a lot to say and surprised myself. It is certainly something I plan on doing more of. And as you said, PY gave a lot of prayers. Whispers for Eternity is one of my favourite books.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:51 PM   #7
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Thanks, Yogagirl. And yes, I carry Whispers from Eternity with me everywhere. The scientific affirmations book--was that created by Yogananda in that form, or was that compiled from various writings after his death?

I wish there was just one complete set of Yogananda's writings, from start to finish, that I could just buy, rather than bits and pieces of things from different places put together or borrowed to make other books. I know there is a series of three (I have the Divine Romance) that is a basic collection but as far as the others some of them are sometimes condensed versions of things. Anyway, maybe one of you will know about the affirmations book.

Funny, today I got through more of the Energization Exercises than ever before...also received The Holy Science in the mail...and saw the news that Mrinalini Mata has died.

Love to all.
Heidi
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Old 08-04-2017, 03:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
Thanks, Yogagirl. And yes, I carry Whispers from Eternity with me everywhere. The scientific affirmations book--was that created by Yogananda in that form, or was that compiled from various writings after his death?

I wish there was just one complete set of Yogananda's writings, from start to finish, that I could just buy, rather than bits and pieces of things from different places put together or borrowed to make other books. I know there is a series of three (I have the Divine Romance) that is a basic collection but as far as the others some of them are sometimes condensed versions of things. Anyway, maybe one of you will know about the affirmations book.

Funny, today I got through more of the Energization Exercises than ever before...also received The Holy Science in the mail...and saw the news that Mrinalini Mata has died.

Love to all.
Heidi
SHA was written and published in PY's early years in the USA. It isn't selective quotations made after his death. If the modern version of SHA is edited with additional selective quotations I wouldn't know. I don't think it is.
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Old 08-05-2017, 02:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Heidi View Post

Funny, today I got through more of the Energization Exercises than ever before...also received The Holy Science in the mail...and saw the news that Mrinalini Mata has died.

Love to all.
Heidi
Hey Heidi, way to go with the EE's! Keep on and you'll get them memorized....over the years, being busy with working 12 hr shifts, and other personal obligations, I got to where I was only doing EE's once a day....

...about a year ago, might have been after reading an article in the SRF magazine about the EE's, I decided to start doing them twice a day (again)...was a bit of a struggle at first, but I've got the habit firmly formed again...can't say that I'm bursting with energy lol, but i definitely notice the difference on the (now) rare occasion that I miss doing them.

And BTW, the EE's done consistently, along with getting rid of local tensions in the body, actually help being able to relax....and definitely help to develop your will power.
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Old 08-05-2017, 03:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Heidi View Post

I wish there was just one complete set of Yogananda's writings, from start to finish, that I could just buy, rather than bits and pieces of things from different places put together or borrowed to make other books. I know there is a series of three (I have the Divine Romance) that is a basic collection but as far as the others some of them are sometimes condensed versions of things. Anyway, maybe one of you will know about the affirmations book.
Considering that there are thousands of pages of Master's writings and compiled from his talks (and apparently there is more still to be published), that would be one long set lol

But there is a lot, more than enough for me in this lifetime....as far as a start to finish set (are you talking about a starting from scratch to a self-realized soul lol) ....Brother Bhaktanandaji said if you could have one book (or maybe he said set of teachings) to have with you on a desert island, The Lessons would be all that you would need - they contain everything that you need to find God.

Besides The Lessons, I use Master's Gita God Talks with Arjuna as a life handbook, and it contains solutions to anything you will ever have to deal with on the path...I also like The Wine of a Mystic.....then of course, you have all the other books, volumes..sometimes when I feel troubled, or need guidance....all I do is just talk to Master and try to tune in and ask him to guide me - I then grab the book or The Lesson, etc that I seem attracted to...concentrate on the Guru and open the book at random, and invariably it's what i need...

Master's writings are living scriptures, meant for devotees of all levels of spiritual advancement....you can read them over and over again as the years go by and get some new understanding.

Really, Master's writings are meant to help millions, with all their different conditions and individual problems, so it's impossible to practice everything (I've heard many monastics say that, made me feel better

I think there's a quote from Master that I heard Brother Anandamoyji say "If you practice one millionth of what I say you will reach God."

Here's a quote by Brother T:

It is more important that you know at least 5% of the teachings and practice 95% of that, than know 95% of the teachings and practice only 5%.

In Master
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Last edited by mike1yogi; 08-05-2017 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:13 PM   #11
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Physical exercise just BEFORE relaxation mode. Also time alone, quiet time - even if you are doing something, do it slowly, mindfully - quietly. Painting relaxes me a lot. Practice the Presence in whatever you do! Remind yourself that all you need to be doing right now is THIS, this one simple thing, and think of God as you do it - cooking dinner, washing dishes - walking from point A to B. From that space it becomes easier to just think of God while doing nothing. Just some ideas, I am no expert. Love, love, love....
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Old 10-18-2017, 10:02 PM   #12
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Your situation could be a function of your innately developed gunas and/or your diet. I know people in my family who are a couple of generations older than me, yet they have more physical energy than me. They are wonderful and good people who just happen to have a very strong Rajasic guna developed from previous lives. This is not a bad thing, in fact, it is a very admirable position to be in. It is like Arjuna. Arjuna is the ideal yogi and the chakra that Arjuna represents, the swadisthana chakra at the navel is of utmost importance on the spiritual path, for it separates the spinal chakras from the lower to the higher, functioning as a gateway to moving the energy to the higher chakras. In "God talks with Arjuna", Guruji asks the devotees to be Arjunas (it is either in the end of the book or in his letter/testimony/prologue at the end).

Embrace your nature. You may have many fire elements in your natal chart that also support this rajasic quality. Ensure your diet is more sattvic than rajasic or tamasic - that means, vegetarian or as close to being vegetarian as possible. Ensure that your activities are sattvic. As was mentioned above by someone, even when doing non-meditative activities, transform them into sattvic activities by bringing the thought of God and Guru into those activity. Perhaps even when you can't let go of performing an activity, just spend 1 minute in meditation before starting the activity and then end the activity with another minute in meditation. By doing this, if you did 10 little activities that you couldn't let go off in a day, you would have still spend 20 minutes in meditation. Also read about Arjuna and about the swadisthana chakra in the GTWA, and reflect upon why Guruji urged devotees to be like Arjuna. I would recommend also reading that part in GTWA where Guruji asks us to be Arjunas.
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delsol View Post
Physical exercise just BEFORE relaxation mode. Also time alone, quiet time - even if you are doing something, do it slowly, mindfully - quietly. Painting relaxes me a lot. Practice the Presence in whatever you do! Remind yourself that all you need to be doing right now is THIS, this one simple thing, and think of God as you do it - cooking dinner, washing dishes - walking from point A to B. From that space it becomes easier to just think of God while doing nothing. Just some ideas, I am no expert. Love, love, love....
Great advice - hope you are well!
I am now moving the third time in three years, the most complicated one, and I am trying to do exactely like you tell - purity and peace.

Last edited by sulmonte; 10-19-2017 at 02:44 AM.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:10 PM   #14
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Hello friends,
I wondered if you might have some suggestions on relaxing. Without of course going into details about the techniques, I have always had a much easier time "generating" energy (doing stuff--for example, creating tension) than relaxing.
I can "do nothing" like just veg ok, but I know that Master is talking about consciously relaxing. This is very hard for me. I can get up the willpower to do stuff despite how I feel and even its physical repercussions.

I am stuck when it comes to letting go. This has actually caused me great consternation. I have great desire to "do the right thing" and do meditation and everything, but I have a strong ego and allowing God to work through me is so hard.

Anyone?
Just stay in the moment. If we're fully present in the moment, we will never be tense.

You don't really have to 'allow' God to work through you. He already is. You're not the one doing the breathing, are you? Or the one digesting the food, or the one making the heart beat and sending the blood through the veins. You may think those are your thoughts that you're thinking, but Sri Yukteswar said that all thought is universally rooted. So we're just tuning into thoughts. Just exactly what do you think it is that you ARE doing?
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:38 PM   #15
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Thanks friends

Hello all,
Thanks for the recent thoughtful responses to this question. I think you are right about doing more exercise! It's finding that balance...I'm still kind of an uptight person and can find it hard to relax. BUT I've had some major changes in my life including a move to higher elevation (just over 6,000 ft) and a job change, and all this affects how I function. I actually seem to have a harder time "meditating" the way I used to but sometimes just sitting not even approaching meditation of any kind is what I can do. Not really praying, not processing, not doing much of anything except....well. Except. I figure this is a start.

It's good to see some activity on this board and to hear you thoughtful, kind comments. Blessings to all.
Heidi
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Old 10-21-2017, 04:38 AM   #16
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Hello all,
Thanks for the recent thoughtful responses to this question. I think you are right about doing more exercise! It's finding that balance...I'm still kind of an uptight person and can find it hard to relax. BUT I've had some major changes in my life including a move to higher elevation (just over 6,000 ft) and a job change, and all this affects how I function. I actually seem to have a harder time "meditating" the way I used to but sometimes just sitting not even approaching meditation of any kind is what I can do. Not really praying, not processing, not doing much of anything except....well. Except. I figure this is a start.

It's good to see some activity on this board and to hear you thoughtful, kind comments. Blessings to all.
Heidi
Blessing to you as well Heidi
Don't worry about the up-tight part too much, in time it will improve, be patient with yourself. When I look back at my journey, since I started in SRF, a lot has improved, much more relaxed now!
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Old 11-22-2017, 06:21 AM   #17
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I find surfing to be very relaxing because it's fun and exercise helps. Some exercise is not fun but more like hard work. Otherwise, work on meditations to relieve stress, anxiety, worry, frustrations, depression. Then if you have enough time off to spend in the outdoors or some sort of exercise then hopefuly you can relax for awhile. I think time off where nothing is planned except a little hiking or what not can help

What are the obstacles or challenges ?

Perhaps you need a retreat up in the mountains for a week when the weather is pleasant and there are not a lot of crowds and noise, take some books to read and plan on doing nothing much but some hiking, meditation or similar. A place that is quiet but perhaps not too lonely otherwise you might feel scared at night etc

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