The Effort of Release

I often hear people say that it takes them till about day 3 to wind down on a vacation and thoroughly enjoy it. I used to experience that as well many years ago before I really was able to check-in and connect to the felt sense of release in my body and the effort it takes to release the mind. Yes, it takes a great deal of hard work and effort to truly feel release, at least in the beginning.

I say in the beginning meaning in the beginning of tuning inward. In meditation we call the experience of tuning inward and going inward toward a concentrated mind, the dropping-in experience. What one may find when first starting to meditate is the great effort it sometimes takes to drop-in. It takes time after one closes the eyes to concentrate on the breath, the silence, and the busy mind. But over time, with great effort and practice, this dropping-in experience becomes easier and easier to the point that all one needs to do is close the eyes and you are there.

But until then there is effort, effort in attending, effort in concentration, and effort in stilling. On this path I encourage attention to the body as the first step in this path of effort. Take a comfortable seat and just simply close your eyes. Attend to this simple act of opening and then closing your eyes once again. Take notice of how just taking away the sense organ of sight immediately begins to signal the brain to slow down and tune inward. Just this simple act over time helps in this dropping in experience. The next time you open your eyes take in the visuals around you, close your eyes and now “see” the images and try to let them fade away as you attend just to your breath. Watch each one disappear so all you are left attending to is your breath. Now just notice the minds natural tendency to want to drift away and entertain story. Keep gently calling it back to your breath, just your breath and the sensation of breath in your body.

Watch what happens over time if you put the effort into this release. Over time the effort becomes less and less until it just is.

May all beings live in peace and ease.