Rest of mind is as necessary as rest of body, and yet we always keep the former in action.
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
Imagine, after having toiled for the whole day, how much the body stands in need of rest; how much more then must the mind stand in need of rest! The mind works much faster than the body. Naturally the mind is much more tired than the body. And not every person knows how to rest his mind and therefore the mind never has a rest. And then what happens after a while is that the mind becomes feeble. It loses memory, the power of action. It loses reason. The worst effects are mostly brought about by not giving the mind proper repose. If such infirmities as doubt and fear happen to enter the mind, then a person becomes restless, he can never find rest. For at night the mind continues on the track of the same impressions. Simple as it seems to be, very few know the resting of the mind and how wonderful it is in itself. And what power, what inspiration, comes as a reaction from it, and what peace one experiences by it, and how it helps the body and mind! The spirit is renewed once the mind has had its rest.
The first step towards the resting of the mind is the relaxation of the body. If one is able to relax one’s muscular and nervous system at will, then the mind is automatically refreshed. Besides that, one must be able to cast away anxiety, worries, doubts, and fears by the power of will, putting oneself in a restful state. This will be accomplished by the help of proper breathing.
We usually rest our body at will whenever circumstances allow us to; we recline on a couch or in an armchair after coming back from the office or work and at night we rest and go to sleep; but when do we give the mind a rest? Rest for the mind is as necessary as rest for the body, and yet we always keep the mind in action. It is constantly at work even if our body is resting. …
All this shows the great practical need for the mind to be at rest, for the mind to be stilled. Those who make it a principle that work is always an advisable thing are one-sided. Balance lies in perceiving that work and rest are equally necessary for good health, both physical and mental.
The work of the body is sometimes kept under a man’s control, but he does not keep the work of the mind under his control. This is not because he cannot do so; it is because he never thinks about it.