The Buddha likened restlessness and anxiety to a state of slavery because we allow these feelings to be our boss and are pushed around by them. There is nothing to gain from being anxious and worried. But knowing this, doesn’t make stress and worry go away.
The Buddha said: Abandoning worry, with an inwardly calmed mind, her heart is purified of worry. This is good news. What the Buddha is telling us is calm can not come from an external source. Calm is in the palm of our hands.
How do Shaolin monks practice this teaching at the temple?
- Train - Next time your thoughts are circling, do some training that pushes you to your limits. At the end of the training, check your mind. What’s happened? The worry is no longer going round and round in your head like a loop, or if it’s still there, the volume has been turned down.
- Shaolin Qigong - 10 minutes of any form that you know well so you can do it without thought.
- Sitting Meditation - 10 minutes. Re-check your mind.
You will find that the anxiety and worry have lost their power and they are no longer your boss. Your mind and body are relaxed from within. We get better at anything we practise, so if we practise worry, we get better at it. And if we practise calm, we get better at that too.
Constant stress and anxiety take a lot of energy.
Simply dropping it will give us an increase in power.