Rest and relaxation goes beyond simply sleeping. While sleeping is the foundation of rejuvenating the body, this must continue when awake to renew body, mind, and spirit. This rejuvenation helps us deal with the stresses of life as well as aiding the mind and soul in being able to process the various challenges that we as beings meet on a almost daily basis. For some, this rejuvenation comes from physical activity. For others it is reading a book or creating art. Meditation, qigong, or yoga also helps to release tension and stress into the universe. Whatever form it take, setting aside time to relax is essential.
During a conversation with a visitor to the Retreat, we discussed Descartes and the duality of mind/body. While the medical health community is moving away from the separate duality and treating people more holistically, there are still pathways to explore. I remember from my childhood where sleep or a day home from school was the remedy for a head cold. “Take two and call me in the morning” adds to the allure of aspirin with a good night’s rest. These and many other sayings show us that before medical science separated the body into compartments there was a tradition of treating a whole being.