Friday, April 18, 2008

Relaxing in the present moment

'What is our idea of relaxation? After work, we generally say, 'let me go and relax.' What do we generally do to relax?', I asked these to a group of people who came for an introductory talk on meditation. Some answers were: sleeping, doing nothing, watching TV, gardening ...

Different kinds of answers but everyone agreed on one thing, 'when we are not working, we try to relax...'

Now the question is, 'are we really relaxing?'

General notion of relaxation is comparative, i.e. if I am an accountant, during the office hours I am busy looking at accounts, some numbers etc. After the office hours, I go back home and sit in front of a TV and spend some time watching something. I call this after-work process where I am not doing any accounts, relaxing. If the same evening, I spend meeting some client and discuss accounts, that again is work and not relaxation.

So if we are not working on something which we associate it with our profession, we call that relaxation.

The point that I am trying to put forth is - we are simply changing our object of thought process from one to the other but our mind is still busy with thousands of thoughts. At office, our mind was busy fiddling with thoughts about accounts, at home our mind is busy absorbing and working on horror and action that comes on TV.

What is relaxation supposed to do? Why would we want to relax? So that we are rejuvenated. Relaxation should refresh us. It should boost us with energy.

But after so-called relaxing by watching TV or by going for a movie or by partying, are we really energized and rejuvenated? The answer most of the times is - no.

All we are doing is just changing the place and object; that's all! Paramahamsa Nithyananda says, 'when you are at office and thinking, you call it work; when you are sitting on a beach and thinking, you call it vacation.' If we are thinking everywhere and everything, where is the relaxation happening?

The reason why we get tired is because we dissipate large amounts of our energy thinking about our past and future. That is when we look for relaxation. We believe that by changing the place, the object of work to another, we can stop the thought chain. We seek the help of external world to keep our attention diverted from something that we believe is taxing us. But the next object that we take up, the next place that we go to comes with its own set of thoughts and our mind is happy again. It has food to eat though we think we are relaxing and calming the mind.

Sleeping is another activity which we believe relaxes us. It is true to an extent but not always. Even after sleeping, we continue our thinking process through our dreams. And if we notice carefully, we feel tired and sick after we wake up dreaming all night. There are few moments of deep sleep (without dreams) that we enter into which helps us to relax and energize.

So the question still remains, 'how do we relax?' Paramahamsa Nithyananda says, 'Get a break from the inner chatter and experience deep relaxation.' Only when we are in the present moment, when we are completely within ourselves, we can be completely relaxed. Total relaxation is not obtained by changing the external environment like the work or the place. It can be obtained by changing the internal environment. Even while working, we can be in complete relaxation only if we are in the present moment and enjoying the moment to its fullest and with extreme enthusiasm. That is the reason why there are many people who feel relaxed and fresh after gardening and such activities because they enjoy every moment and where they focus only on gardening and nothing else.

Meditation helps us to experience great sense of relaxation in a conscious manner. It helps us to fall into the present moment and thus into low-thoughts zone in a conscious way, i.e we go into that state of relaxation being completely aware of it. The number of thoughts decrease drastically at the end of the meditation. When the thoughts decrease, the energy dissipation also decreases and we relax. In Nithyananda's monastery in India, we undergo hours of meditation and get hardly two or three hours of sleep but throughout the day, we are fresh and energized.

Meditation is the greatest tool for real relaxation. Try it and see for yourself :)


Annamalai said...

I loved your article but I seem to have some questions which may seem simple but very relevant. Very few enlightened beings have seem to be able to live in the present moment. 1) My question is how exactly do you live in the moment or how do we make ourselves live in the moment? Also how does one stop inner chatter? If somebody is dreaming at night there is not much one can do?
2) What can a person do to heal themselves who are hurt in relationships? what has swamiji told about this?

Thanks again for sharing your views to the world.

Sri Nithya Arpanananda said...

Hi Annamalai

Thanks for reading the post.

Firstly, if a person is enlightened, he/she lives in the present moment all the time. Otherwise, the person is not enlightened. After initiation from Swamiji, we are experiencing more and more of that everyday :)

Next, coming to your question on how to live in the present moment... Most Swamiji's techniques are directly or indirectly related to being in the present moment. The reason why we are not in the present moment is because of our unawareness and letting our mind freely to roam about in the jungles of past and future. Once we build that awareness, we can start experiencing the present moment.

If you want a specific technique, try this which Swamiji recommends - (1) Watch your breath: just bring your awareness to your breath, the ingoing and the outgoing. (2) Watch your boundary: be completely aware of your physical boundary, your body and the place where your body is. Keep reminding yourself where you are physically so that your mind does not roam anywhere else. (3) Watch your thoughts: Do not connect one thought with the other.

Watch the youtube videos on being unclutched. He talks beautifully on this.

Swamiji gives a beautiful Shiva Sutra discourse on going into sleep with awareness (unfortunately i am not able to find the exact youtube link).

If you get initiated by Swamiji, you will be initiated into a powerful meditation. You can be in meditation, present moment 24/7 365 days using that meditation. It is possible to have less disturbed sleep by entering into the deep sleep state (watch the youtube video - four states of consciousness). There are meditation techniques which you are initiated into during the initiation which help you enter that state easily with less dreams.

As for your second question, I would strongly recommend you to do Ananda Spurana Programme (ASP) in India or Life Bliss Program-1 outside India. He talks in great detail about relationships and why we get hurt in relationships. Infact the whole of ASP is an eyeopener for many who face these problems. In Chennai, Swamiji Himself is conducting ASP and the second level also. This is a rare opportunity because these are generally conducted by acharyas ordained by Him. So if you can, please attend the program.

I also recommend you to get a copy of a book - Guaranteed Solutions which also talks about this issue in great detail.

We are not sharing our views.. We are sharing our experiences of our Master's words.. :)

One of our next posts will be on this.. thanks to you :)

Let me know if you need any other information.. will be glad to help you.

In Nithyananda
Sri Nithya Arpanananda

Annamalai said...

Ma Nithya Arpananda:
Thanks a lot for sharing your views. I will follow your suggestions. Thanks again.

Annamalai said...

Ma Nithya Arpananda:
I apologize for asking questions not related to your blog but since blog is the only way I can contact you, I am using this forum. Can I contact you through this email Id that you have in your blog ""

I have started doing meditation as you have suggested. I have "Meditation is For you" book and its gives the instruction for ASP techniques. I started doing Dukkha Harana technique. It says I have to do chaotic breathing for 10 mins while STANDING. But swamiji gives entirely different instructions in the "Guranteed Solutions: For Sex, fear, worry" book. Swamiji asks us to bend our knees to semi squat position and straighten the knees while doing chaotic breathing. Which instruction should I follow. Thanks for taking pains in answering my questions.

Sri Nithya Arpanananda said...

Dear Annamalai


Firstly, feel free to ask anything you want related to Swamiji and His mission. The whole purpose of this blog is to spread His word :)

Secondly, I am 'Sri' Nithya Arpanananda and my wife is Ma Nithyananda Arpana :) We both write articles for the blog ...

Next, in my last comment, I did not recommend you doing the meditations from 'Meditation from you' book. Many of the meditations cannot be practiced straightaway.

Also, I suggested Guaranteed Solutions (GS) only for reading and understanding purpose. Please, please, please do not do the meditations directly from GS. You HAVE to go through Ananda Spurana Programme to understand and get initiated into the meditations.

The three meditations that I suggested in my comment are simple meditations to bring to you to the present moment only. Please do not do Dukha Harana, Divya Netra etc. without the guidance of a Dhyanapeetam acharya.

Please use GS as guide to get life solutions. The meditations listed in GS are meant only for people who have already attended ASP.

Thanks Annamalai for clarifying because this is important. I hope you understand.

If you want a daily meditation, do only the Mahamantra Meditation (the instructions are given in Anahata Chakra in GS). That is recommended in the initial levels before attending ASP.

I hope you understand. Please let me know if you need any information. Also pass me your email id. And yes, you can email me at

In Nithyananda
Sri Nithya Arpanananda

Annamalai said...

Sri Nithya Arpananda,
Thanks for clarifying. I am in USA and I have to see if they have an ASP program conducted near my place. Thanks so much for answering my questions patiently.

rajesh said...


I am practicing the dukkha harana program afetr LBP-I. I am practicing it in the morning.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

rajesh said...


I am practicing the dukkha harana program afetr LBP-I. While I am doing it in between I am opening my eyes 1 to 2 times every step. After the meditation I go to sleep but when I get up in the morning I am feeling dull and lazy and filled up with negative thoughts instead of filled up with positive thoughts why is it happening? I do nithya dhyaan in the evevning as well.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

rajesh said...


I am practicing the dukkha harana program afetr LBP-I. While I am doing it in the morning in between I am opening my eyes 1 to 2 times every step. After the meditation I go to sleep but when I get up in the morning I am feeling dull and lazy and filled up with negative thoughts instead of filled up with positive thoughts why is it happening? I do nithya dhyaan in the evevning as well.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Kamal Raaja Siva said...


Postings are fantastic...I've completed my ASP in Nov 2009..Since then I am feeling the swamijis presence with me.

Kamal Raaja Siva said...

Hi Sir,

I would like to ask you some questions....will you mind it...I completed ASP in November

Sri Nithya Arpanananda said...

Dear Kamal Raaja

Please send your questions directly to my email id. Will be glad to answer your queries.

In Nithyananda
Sri Arpana

john said...

Yoga is a way of life, a conscious act, not a set or series of learning principles. The dexterity, grace, and poise you cultivate, as a matter of course, is the natural outcome of regular practice. You require no major effort. In fact trying hard will turn your practices into a humdrum, painful, even injurious routine and will eventually slow down your progress. Subsequently, and interestingly, the therapeutic effect of Yoga is the direct result of involving the mind totally in inspiring (breathing) the body to awaken. Yoga is probably the only form of physical activity that massages each and every one of the body’s glands and organs. This includes the prostate, a gland that seldom, if ever, gets externally stimulated in one’s whole life.