The term relaxed awareness has garnered quite some buzz lately. Technically it is a state when you are on a high alert (through the power of the mind) and that of an passive existence, wherein the mind and Its thoughts are working in an auto mode with your least attention. In this in between state you are aware of what is happening – attentive and listening, while being relaxed at the same time – hence the term ‘relaxed awareness’. As Osho put it nicely – You can call it mindfulness, awareness, or you can call it a state of no-mind. The words seem to be contradicting each other, but they are indicative of the same state. Again, you will know this state when you are meditating wherein you just let go. I realized this to be a very important state, and realization of which can do wonders.
For e.g. Here I was travelling in the train to a 5-hour distant location. In my normal unconscious mode of travelling, I will let the mind rule passively. Thoughts would pour in, and I would just let them evoke their corresponding emotions through most of the journey. This generally will not strike you as far as the going is good, when it is only the positive notes that surface. However, once you enter a rough tide, the thoughts will also change its course. Now the negative thoughts will dominate the positive ones. You will want to get rid of the thoughts but in an unconscious state, they will not, because the thoughts are finally emanating out of the chemical reactions in the brain that you have no control over.
However, if you bring a slight awareness at this point, the so-called ‘relaxed awareness’, you can mitigate this problem. It might appear as an effort in the beginning as one is pulled towards operating in the passive mind controlled phase. But with gradual practice, you can make this ‘relaxed awareness’ as the new default mode of operating. And when this state appears, the mind disappears and so do the thoughts (the unconscious pattern).
How you arrive at Relaxed Awareness
When you consciously arrive at relaxed awareness, it is generally through a sequence. This sequence is explained in the post – the journey to silence. It generally starts when the balance of power in your life shifts towards negativity. As it gains further power, you are pulled in further into the mess and you are looking for a solution to it as described in the blogs – Free from worry and negative thought patterns. As you continue your efforts, you realize the importance of a spiritual path and take a course as mentioned in the article – The 3 pronged approach for spiritual breakthrough. You might face some problems with meditation initially and if you are not in the best of health, you might look at some healing first or as a complementary step. Through continued effort of meditation and in turn further realization, you gain a deeper understanding of the mind and you enter the realm of relaxed awareness which is what this article is about. Relaxed awareness in a way, is the output of meditation.
Where do you go from here
The ultimate goal of life is to achieve the ultimate realization. The more realized you are, the lesser will be the pain and more will be the inner bliss. As you grow deeper into realization, this relaxed awareness will take you towards further feeling of oneness and towards love. Once the truth is known, there is no other path you can take. You will see where others falter. You can see through the illusory world that others are living in and the suffering caused to them through the hope of illusory gain. You might get the urge to play a pivotal role in bringing about awareness in the lives of people irrespective of caste, creed or gender.
Having the ‘will’ to realize relaxed awareness
The one important problem that you will face is that of having the ‘will’ to operate in this phase. You might as well think that ‘so what! I have the mind that creates the reality, and this is my reality, better live it and try to go for things that it likes’. On some occasions, the mind momentum will be so strong that it will completely shatter your will to stay in relaxed awareness. It is like a tsunami waiting to flood your mind with its original pattern of thoughts.
This ‘will’ cannot be attained through a theoretical understanding of the phenomenon of relaxed awareness. You will have to experience it. Only when you sit in silence and contemplate gradually do you grow in awareness. Only then can you get the insight into your mode of operating in life (through the unconscious mind) and only then can you acquire the necessary will to operate in this phase of ‘relaxed awareness’ while also realizing the futility of giving in to the mind momentum. You will know what ‘relaxed awareness’ actually is. And only then can you acquire the necessary strength to juggle between mind, heart, and soul (yes you can feel the three being distinct) and know when to operate from when.
Once in relaxed awareness, you can continue to remain in that state no matter how alerting a situation is and even if you just want to binge into the passive mode, you can do so while completely being within the radius of relaxed awareness. You are the master now who can direct the mind at will – to focus attention or let lie passively.
As mentioned earlier, meditation is an important part of this aspect and so is acquiring vitality for many. These concepts, mechanism behind them, their influence on the body scientifically, knowing the steps to expect during meditation and more topics that can render deeper insight and conviction are explained in depth in the book ‘Can You Play‘. Hence a recommend.