I wrote Mental Rest Part I last August, 2013. I talked then about how everything in nature has a rhythm of activity and rest, and how our minds are designed the same way. I pointed out in that article that people who learn about the 3 principles realize that, while activities like yoga and meditation are places where many experience mental rest, our minds will rest any time we allow them to, and how much we benefit from allowing our minds to rest more often.
Here’s a metaphor to take that idea a step further: If you’ve ever been in a Prius, you know that, when you stop at a stoplight, the engine shuts off. Part of the intelligence of the design of a Prius is that it knows to shut itself off when activity isn’t needed.
Our brains are designed the same way. It’s easy to get in the habit of constant mental activity, but just like a car, when you do so you’re wasting valuable resources. A Prius knows to shut down when activity isn’t necessary, and then there’s more resources (gas) available for when they’re needed. Our brains know to do that too. There’s a feeling to it when we’re wasting mental energy – feelings of fatigue, or hollowness, or stress. These feelings are reminders that mental activity isn’t needed in the moment – you’re using your mental engine when it could be resting. When you notice that and you allow it, your mind drops into an experience of mental presence. Like the sweet still quiet of August, mental presence has a quiet richness to it, full of depth and beauty. When mental activity is called for again, you’ll have far more resources at your disposal than you would otherwise.