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      Cover of Solitude   Simon Parke with his latest book, The Indecent Death of a Madam   Cover of One Minute Meditation

Rest is different from distraction

Posted by Simon Parke, 24 July 2017, 6.20am

I wish you rest this summer…rather than distraction.

And the two are different.

Ferreting around the internet on your phone at the end of the day (or in the middle of it…or throughout it) isn’t rest.

It’s mental distraction.

There’s no new life here; just cerebral escape from the one where we are.

There’s a place for this, we all need escape sometimes; but it isn’t restorative (indeed it may make us more anxious) and so we won’t call it rest.

Our mental machinations are hard wired for anxiety, dissatisfaction and irritation; they cannot offer us peace…just stressed stimulation.

Rest occurs when our breathing deepens and we’re taken away from our minds and into our body to a place of ‘no thought’.

So it might be being still, transfigured by a sunset; but it might also be an energetic walk up a hill or going for a swim.

Whatever takes us away from our over-thinking and brings us to no thought, this is rest… whether it’s a waterfall, a sunflower or feeling the kiss of the sun; whether
it’s a calming visit to the park or a half-marathon…

We feel better, we feel restored by a rest, by no thought, even if it only lasts ten seconds.

And I wish you rest this summer.

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