Monthly Archives: March 2012
To understand what is meant by a “relaxed mind”, it is essential to understand what mind is. We, in the scientific, materialistic West, think of mind as an effect of the brain. We imagine that somehow the electrical impulses flowing along the neurons of the nerves and brain give rise to our consciousness and the experience of awareness, thinking, insight, memory and emotion that we call “mind”. However the timeless meditative tradition of yoga-meditation has a different view of mind. According to that Tradition, mind is an energy field.
It’s worth repeating, mind is an energy field, and so is like a magnetic field, or electrical field. Thinking about mind in this way has some advantages, one of which is that it helps us understand that mind can be stronger or weaker. We know that an energy field can be strong or weak. If you’ve ever been scanned on one of those nuclear magnetic resonance scanners, which has a very strong magnetic field, you know that you have to rid yourself of all metal object before inserting yourself into that machine. Similarly, there are weak magnetic fields, like those weak magnets that allow you to stick letters of the alphabet onto the refrigerator to make words.
Similarly, if you have the right equipment, you can make the lighting in your house brighter or dimmer by changing the strength of the electrical field that flows to the lights.
Similarly, mind is an energy field that can be strong or weak. You’ve no doubt experienced times when your mind seemed stronger, when you had greater recall, were more able to understand complexities and make decisions. You likely have also experienced times when your mind was weaker, when you couldn’t recall things that were normally easy to recall, and when you just couldn’t think clearly.
This definition of mind also helps us understand what is meant by a relaxed mind: It means a calm energy field, that doesn’t have a lot of waves in it. An example of this sort of energy field, in the physical world, is the laser. In a normal, non-laser light field, the waves of light are of random frequency and amplitude (strength), and go in different directions. In a laser on the other hand, the waves all go in the same direction and vibrate at the same frequency and amplitude. So, the laser light is very coherent, with all the waves being the same. So it might be said that laser light is calm, like a calm sea, compared to the incoherent normal light, which is much more like a rough sea.
As you know, this calm laser light is not weak. Rather it is more powerful and can be used to burn holes in distant objects, and shot great distances without losing power.
It is the same with the mind. When the mind’s thought waves are pacified, the energy field of the mind is strong. This is what is referred to in this context as a relaxed mind.