"Relaxation is an Art!" - Foreword:
"There once was a scholar of Chinese thought who came to visit a village which was suffering from a most unusual prolonged drought. All the people were very worried, since everything had been done to end it. Every kind of prayer, charm and magic had been used, but all to no avail. So the elders of the village told the old scholar that the only thing left was to send for the rainmaker. The old scholar was very interested in this idea, since he had never seen a rainmaker before. The rainmaker arrived in a covered car. He was a small and wizened old man. He stepped out of the car and smelled the air in disgust. He then asked for a house on the outskirts of the village. He insisted that no one should disturb him and that his food should be placed outside his door.
No one heard or saw him for three days, when everyone was awakened by a heavy downpour of rain. It was even at times snowing, which was unusual for that time of year. The old scholar was deeply impressed and went to see him. The scholar asked, "So you can make rain?" The rainmaker scoffed at the idea and said "of course I can't." The scholar replied, "but there was the most persistent drought until you came, and within a few days it rains?" "Oh," replied the rainmaker, "that was something quite different. You see, I came from a region where everything was in order. It rains when it should and is dry when that is needed, and the people are also in order and Harmony with themselves. But that was not the case with the people here. They were all out of Harmony with themselves. I was at once ill when I arrived, so I had to be totally alone until I was once more in Harmony with myself and then of course quite naturally it rained!"
The essence of this little story is that when you are in Harmony with yourself the whole world begins to orchestrate with you. The Lazy Man's Guide to Relaxation is about finding this Harmony within yourself. You see, this is one of the great secrets of life, learning how to be in Harmony with yourself, and thus with the world. To do . this -- to be in Harmony -- to be yourself-- you must first know how to relax. If you are truly relaxed everything begins to change. There is no need for deep penetrating thought — only the Bliss of Relaxation.
In this little book written by a man with a vast knowledge encompassing various fields, the reader is treated to a nurturing and penetrating method of deep relaxation accomplished with simplicity and ease. After a few weeks of practice a new exhilaration will be yours. There will be joyousness in your heart and you will meet life with gaiety and vivacity. But, more importantly there will be peace of mind. You will be freed from the labour of worry.
So often the stress and strain of life makes us callous to friendship and love. We become short, sometimes even hostile. But it is very important never to forget that even though the frequent hardships of life cause pain, that asleep within — is Harmony, the Being at one with everything -- the profound graceful source that can turn everything into a symphony of Joy.
- Bhagavan Jivananda
Excerpts from the book:
"You must now begin to learn something of the gentle and invaluable art of relaxation. A few minutes, once or twice a day, spent in relaxation will work wonders. You will eventually come to realize that you should have done this long ago."
" One becomes accustomed to living in and with a relaxed frame which is not exhausting its vital energies in maintaining unnecessary and useless tensions. That vital energy, therefore, being retained within, goes towards heightening and clarifying the mind. Energy must do something. Energy is defined as that which can perform work. If energy is not being wasted in keeping your neck or your abdomen or thigh rigid and taut, it is still retained within your own system. What happens to the energy therefore? In physics, as I have remarked, energy is considered very concretely as that which will do work.
Now, if you are relaxed and there is no needless expenditure of metabolic energy, that energy must do something. Hence, the work it does is entirely psychological in nature & scope. All your latent abilities and mental powers and faculties become sharpened. A distinct exaltation must accompany the process. There should be a fresh acquisition of intellectual power and capacity."
"You must experiment yourself with your own body to obtain relaxation and observe these incidents, sensations, and psychological phenomena. Explain them afterwards if you wish. First relax."
Another book by the same author on the same topic: Be Yourself: The Art of Relaxation