In these days and times how can we even define Stress? It has become so deeply rooted in our everyday activities that we simply don’t even notice it anymore and try to carry on. Unfortunately we feel the effects of being under permanent stress and simply forget the root cause. And it is not beautiful.
We eat, sleep, love, work, take care of or children, have social interactions, all under the umbrella of stress. Everything that we do in the end becomes a stressful activity.
What is the purpose of stress? Our brain introduced the concept of stress to us many millions years ago as a mean of protecting us. The periods of stress were limited in time and intensity. The context that we evolved in became more and more complex and with it the time and intensity of stress periods grew more and more until it became a continuous state of being. And just like that, a tool that the brain developed to protect us has become our biggest enemy.
I found in one of my journeys a brilliant depiction of stress in the book “God is a verb” written by David A. Cooper :
” There is a simple exercise: Stop reading for five minutes and do nothing but notice when you inhale and exhale. That is all. Do not think about anything. Don’t count on your fingers, don’t use a pad of paper. Simply close your eyes and be aware of your breathing. How long can you maintain this awareness without thinking?
“Thinking” means shifing attention to anything that arises that is not simply the experience of the here and now. A sound is simply a vibration; if we identify it in any way, knowing it is a “bird,” “airplane,” or whatever, that is a thought. If we ruminate about something that happened, or plan for something about to happen, that is a thought. If we find ourselves wanting more of something, or wishing something would go away, that is a thought. Are you able to notice your breaths for five minutes without having a single thought?
Most people discover that they cannot stop thinking for even one minute at a time. We are not the rulers of our own minds! This is a depressing experience for some people. Thoughts come and go on their own, and there seems to be nothing we can do about it.
This being the case, the mind takes us to places throughout the day which may not be related in any way to where we are standing or what we are doing. The mind takes us so fast and so far, we enter our own universes and play out our own dramas time and time again throughout the day. We lose sense of time and place; we lose awareness of what is happening around us.
This experience is not an aberration on that occurs a couple of times a week or at odd moments of the day. It is happening constantly, hundreds or thousands of times each hour! It is like a mind blink. Do you realize how many times you blink your eyes each minute? We don’t think about blinking because it is automatic. We don’t realize the number of excursions our minds take because we have become accustomed to them. Indeed, we believe that this is the normal condition of the mind. Unfortunately, this belief is profoundly mistaken.
In spiritual traditions around the world, the most elementary contemplative practices are designed to help the student realize the degree to which the mind is out of control. Sitting meditation, mantras, mudras, walking meditation, moving practices such as t’ai chi chuan , controled breathing, silence, prayer, and so forth quickly reveal the chaotic mind. Every meditator discovers this in the first session. Everyone who has attempted to meditate soon comes to the realization that the mind simply will not stay concentrated for long.”
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You have the power to change your status. We can show you how.