Relax Into The Bliss Of Oneness
Ancient shamanic systems, such as Hawaiian Huna, often give a profound yet simple answer to many life concerns – RELAX! That’s what the Hawaiians mean when they say ‘hang loose’ – relax, put your worries aside, let them go. Can it really be the answer to all our worries? Isn’t it too simple, too obvious? Relax is just another way of saying ‘let go’. And letting go, forgiving, or accepting is one of the qualities recommended in many spiritual traditions. When we let go of our resistances, we can experience states of oneness and connectedness with all that exists, a blissful state of unconditional love.
The Universe is cyclical
There is a natural cycle of life at all levels of existence, from molecules to planets: day – night, awake – asleep, breath in breath out, life – death, tide in – tide out, energised – tired, sad – happy, and so on.
In shamanic health systems, such as Chinese Chi Kung, the system behind Tai Chi, Kung Fu and Acupuncture, all energy exercises are based on two basic movements – push and pull – reflecting this cyclical, wave-like movement of the Universe. Research at the Beijing College of Traditional Chinese medicine shows thatthese techniques promote health, prolong life and assist healing,including healing illnesses which do not respond to othertreatments. The main function of these exercises is to collect andexchange chi (energy) between human beings and nature, in thisway affirming our inherent connection with all that exists.
We create all sorts of useful tensions in our lives when we achieve things in the physical world, focus our thoughts, play games and sports, etc. In the natural cycle, each tension is followed by relaxation. Serge Kahili King, a teacher and author of many books on Huna, says that this repeating cycle of tension-relaxation is natural; tension only becomes stress when it is sustained.
The modern lifestyle takes people away from nature with its natural cycles. People often ignore the signs their bodies are sending them, suppressing their basic need for rest. Under-sleeping, under-breathing, overworking and overeating ‘teach’ their bodies to stay stressed. Intriguing research has been done in America showing a correlation between obesity and under-sleeping. When the body is not rested, it produces ‘tiredness chemicals’ that are confused by the body with ‘hunger chemicals’. A person eats something in order to get more energised, but food cannot substitute the sort of energy that rest gives. So the person eats more... and more... and more... teaching their body to want more food, which often leads to obesity and then related diseases like diabetes, etc.
Resistance is the source of stress
So, what sustains tension? Huna teaches that the source of all stress is resistance. On the physical level, when a muscle tissue tenses up, itsconnections to the rest of the body diminish, reducing the bloodflow and causing this area to become more separated or isolated. For the tense area to feel better, it needs to release tension, i.e.relax. And this is what the body does naturally. In order to sustain tension, a person needs to actively resist the natural relaxation process. On the emotional level, an emotion in its natural way blossoms like a flower and then fades away. This idea is presented in many spiritual teachings. Each emotion naturally has its time and then relaxes. Sometimes a person keeps on ‘doing’ an emotion, because it might have seemed useful in their life (for example, a child crying long enough, hoping they may exhaust their parents and get what they want). Then, tension becomes sustained and natural relaxation does not happen. When a muscle tissue relaxes, the links – blood vessels and nerves – open up more and the blood flows more easily to and through the area. The tissue becomes more receiving, more accepting, connected to the rest of the body, being one withthe whole. Now, if you change the word ‘tissue’ to ‘person’ and ‘body’ to ‘Universe’, you may recognise the spiritual teachings of Jesus and others about non-resistance, non-judgment, i.e.acceptance and unconditional love.
Resistance = Judgment
Relaxation = Acceptance / Unconditional love
Huna teaches that “Love increases where judgment decreases”.
Forgiving is releasing, letting go of judgments and expectations. It is almost like relaxing the judgments. Spiritually, the experience of oneness is the unconditional acceptance of what is at this moment, including our own body, emotions and thoughts. In this state of acceptance, all resistances stop, and we fall into a relaxed state of being. We see our ‘self’ connected to everything that exists in the same way as the cells are connected within the body. We are to the Universe just as the muscles and cells are to our bodies. We are the muscles and cells of this Universe!
In Huna, all sickness is considered to be self-generated as an effect of stress. Most of Huna healing techniques are designed to release tension and allow relaxation, therefore wholeness.The words ‘whole’ and ‘healing’ have the same origin in the Indo-European languages (e.g. Haelan in old English). Healing is being whole.
Shamanic traditions, including Huna and Chi Kung, are the oldest spiritual practices known to humankind. They represent a way of living in harmony and oneness with all life forms, recognising the interconnectedness of all things. This recognition seems to be the basis of psychological health too. In an unnatural environment, such as a city, people often are cut off from the sensory experience from nature. They no longer see the sky and the stars, hear the birds, or feel the grass with their bare feet. This alienation is very unnatural. The largest study ever on the causes of insanity was done in Denmark. It followed up 1,750,000 people and found that living in the city had over six times more effect on the development of schizophrenia than genetics and family upbringing combined.
Being in nature, with its continuous flowing and changing cycles, we are reminded of our own nature. We take a moment from our busy ‘doing’ life and allow ourselves to just be. We relax our senses and accept what is. A gentle breeze caresses our skin, we hear the birds and the ocean waves, we smell the flowers and taste the freshness in the air, we see the clouds – the interrelated dance of all things with each other functioning together in harmony and oneness.
“Down the centuries man has been trying to live independently from existence – that is not possible in the very nature of things. Existence is a state of interdependence: everything depends on everything else. Existence is a communion, an eternal loveaffair.” (Osho).
Relaxing is releasing tensions, letting go off resistances and judgements, and embracing unconditionally what exists in this moment, connected as one great organism, the infinite body of the Universe in which every one of us is a cell. Relaxing into this recognition of interconnected oneness brings about the experience of bliss.
- Astrup A. Have we been barking up the wrong tree: can a good night’s sleep make us slimmer? International Journal of Obesity 30:1025-1026, 1 Jul 2006.
- King SK. Urban Shaman. 1990.
- Master Mantak Chia. Taoist Ways to Transform Stress into Vitality. 1991.
- Mortensen PB, Pedersen CB, Westergaard T, Wohlfahrt J, Ewald H,Mors O, Andersen PK, Melbye M. Effects of Family History and Place and Season of Birth on the Risk of Schizophrenia. New England Journal of Medicine 340: 8, 25 Feb 1999.