According to Wikipedia, alertness is “the state of active attention by high sensory awareness such as being watchful and prompt to meet danger or emergency…”
Sounds very stressful to me. Like being constantly on drugs.
But should meditation not also lead to a state of (relaxed!) alertness? A state of truly being “in the world”?
As a matter of fact, we are permanently occupied with thoughts about our past/present or future. We are not here at all. We think about our grocery list, our cats’ injured leg, why the colleague at the office was looking so strangely at us… and it goes on and on.
But what happens, when we are alert?
Our senses sharpen, and we suddenly arrive at the here and now. Try it for yourself! Just for a minute.
Notice, what you discover, what you have not seen before? Try to feel your inner state and ask yourself how tensed you are. Is it really necessary to be tense that much? And: tense is not alert! It means that muscles are tight, the head might ache, and maybe there is even a little tremble in your body.
Tell your body to RELAX immediately. NOW. (It follows its’ Master!!!)
How does that feel now? Do your shoulders loosen a bit? Do your lips let go of unneeded contortion?
Ahhhh…. This feels better! But your alertness is still unbroken?! Reestablish it! Listen, what’s going around you. What do you hear? Is it raining? Are cars passing by?
Feel your body being truly here, witnessing the universe around you. Relaxed, but alert.
Take a deep breath to dive more and more into this new realm of easing.
Where are all the problems? Did the alertness make you forget about them?
No. They are still there and will come back if you want to. But do you?
If you can hold up the state of relaxed alertness, think about your problems, and they will miraculously seem small. Solvable. Somehow, you have the feeling, that all will turn out “the good way.”
And now my secret! Don’t tell anyone. It is only between you and me!
Let your problems go. Give them free. With relaxed alertness in your repertoire of remarkable states, you will become the best problem solver by letting them go. Overthinking did not help! Remember?
This is also called Wu Wei. You hold a thought/problem, and by willingly letting it go, it will be beautifully solved.
Don’t believe me: try it for yourself!!!
And write about it in the comments, if you want!
Love and Blessings.