The Mechanics of Stress and Stress Release

“Getting stressed is not all that bad for you. It is staying stressed that is very bad for you.”

Thom Knoles

All of us are familiar with the feeling of being stressed, or the results of accumulating stress in the body, but, how many of us actually know the mechanics of this process?

We know we can feel frustrated, annoyed, angry, fearful, sad, anxious, and so on, but where do these feelings come from, and why do we all react differently to them?

Thom takes a deep dive into the subject today, looking at the mechanics of stress, how we feel it, where it goes, what happens when we have too much of it, and, most importantly, what we can do to remove it.

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Episode Highlights


The Nature of Stress



Adaptation Energy



Depleting the Adaptation Energy Account



Stress Response: Fight or Flight



Effects of Stress on Skin



Hydration and Stress



Digestive System and Stress Effects



Tunnel Vision



Dramatic Reactions



The Memory of Stress Reactions



Universality of Stress Reactivity



Accumulation of Stress Memories



Stored Stress and Faded Memories



The Meditator’s Advantage: Stay/Play Response



The Silence of Bliss



Body’s Adaptation to the Mind



Past Stress and Present Beingness



Un-Stressing and Detoxification through Meditation



Dissolving Stress During Vedic Meditation



The Impact of Regular Vedic Meditation



Factors Affecting the Dissolution of Stress



Rounding in Vedic Meditation Retreats



Getting Stressed Is Not Bad, But Staying Stressed Is



Turiya – The Fourth State of Consciousness



Systematic Accumulation of Stress in Today’s World


Jai Guru Deva


The Mechanics of Stress and Stress Release

[00:45] The Nature of Stress

Now, we’re going to spend quite a few minutes discussing what is stress actually, how does it get into the body, and, as it were, behave as if it’s a foreign substance? How does it get out? Where is it located in the body? And what are all the mechanisms involved?

And so, get out your pencils and paper. You can use a pen if you like. Take a few notes because this is going to be somewhat of a treatise.

I became quite an expert on the subject of stress due to being tutored by Professor Hans Selye, Selye, S-E-L-Y-E, who has the perhaps dubious title of the father of stress. Why?

Because in the late 1930s, it was Selye, who was a Canadian diagnostician, medical doctor diagnostician, who first coined the word “stress” outside the range of its ordinary engineering terminology, stress is a word which is used in engineering, and applied it instead to the human condition under the heading, of a larger heading of a theoretical construct, which is still considered to be the best model for this today, even after all these decades, entitled the General Adaptation Syndrome, and it goes something like this.

[02:39] Adaptation Energy

All of us have a propensity, a capability, which we can call adaptation energy. We have a certain balance of it. You can think of this accurately by using an analogy with a bank balance.

How much adaptation energy do you have at any given moment? And the amount of adaptation energy that you possess physiologically is different every minute. Sometimes, you are accruing and increasing your adaptation energy. Through what?

Good rest. Good routine. Proper nourishment. Proper body being able to break down all of the various nutrients, the body building a resiliency whereby a change of expectation, and we’ll get into that in a moment, a demand being made on you can be adapted to quickly. Speed of adaptation.

And so if we have a good balance of adaptation energy on board, then when our mind perceives a change of expectation, you weren’t expecting a thunderclap, and then a thunderclap came. Loud sound, 200 decibels, makes the ears ring, shakes the entire room.

Whatever it was you were doing at the time of the thunderclap appearing, all of your expectations got changed. And for an instant, your body doesn’t know, your mind doesn’t know, and your body doesn’t know what to do.

And so then there is a presentation from mind to body. “Here is a massive change of expectation, a sudden loud noise. And how do I behave? Do I have the adaptation energy to interact with this change of expectation? This demand, sudden demand, sudden overload of perceptual information, in a way that is effective interaction, effective or not. Do I possess the adaptation energy to meet the demand effectively?”

One looks around and sees that the room is okay, the walls are shaking, but no harm has come to anyone.

[05:33] Depleting the Adaptation Energy Account

Let’s suppose that other than it being a sudden loud sound, there’s no emergency action that needs to be taken. It was simply that, a sudden loud sound of 200 decibels. Then, if given you have enough adaptation energy, your bank balance, as it were, of adaptation energy will be eaten into by that event.

Let’s suppose you had a hundred points of adaptation energy, and there was a thunderclap, and it ate up seventy points of adaptation energy, but you still have thirty points of adaptation energy left. Then, although you’ve used seventy of your hundred points of adaptation energy, you still have thirty left.

And so then, you’ll interact with the demand. Not with the stress reaction. You’ll interact with the demand successfully, and perhaps you’ll laugh, and then recover quickly, and then go back, because you still have 30 points of adaptation energy, go back to your regular functioning.

Let’s suppose that you only had 30 points of adaptation energy when the thunderclap arrived. Then, this is a thunderclap that’s going to eat up 70 points of adaptation energy, and you only have 30.

Perhaps you only have 30 because you didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Perhaps you ate Cheetos instead of dinner. Perhaps you are hopped up on coffee and Coca Cola. And perhaps you had other big demands on your adaptation energy in the last 24 hours. So you’re rather low on adaptation energy.

[07:34] Stress Response: Fight or Flight

And here comes the same thunderclap, to which another person in the room who had 100 points of adaptation energy was able to interact very effectively and is laughing. You only have 30 points, and it’s going to eat 70. And so what does your body do?

Your body begins to borrow adaptation energy from the various systems. We have different systems in our body.

Our nervous system, the neurological system made up of neurons that extend from the brain and throughout the whole body, 100 billion neurons or so.

Our respiratory system, our circulatory system, our muscular system, our digestive system, our immune system; each of these systems possesses its own adaptation energy quotient and quota, and the brain instructs the body to give up the adaptation energy that’s available to run those systems adequately in order to meet the demand of adapting effectively to the thunderclap.

The body, feeling attacked by this sudden demand on its adaptation energy, that it doesn’t really possess the ability to deal with it, goes into what we call the stress response. Properly, it’s called the fight/flight response.

A fight/flight reaction occurs. This is not an interaction with the demand. This is a reaction to the demand. The body, feeling assailed and being asked to yield up all of its critical levels of adaptation energy, goes into a panic response.

And that panic response causes the body either to see if it’s able to fight the demand, change of expectation, “Can I fight it and kill it,” or to flee from it, fight or flight. And when we are in fight/flight mechanism, when that has been triggered, quite a large number of phenomena take place.

[10:08] Effects of Stress on Skin

Our body has in it, mostly stored in the R complex, this is a reptilian complex around the area that we call the brain stem. It has stored in it the ability to be reactive and to see if you can fight your way out of sudden changes of expectation or to successfully flee from them.

How not to adapt. How to react instead of adapting.

And so then, let’s look at what happens when we have reactive behavior to a sudden change of expectation. Our skin, which ordinarily is rather alkaline in its pH balance, suddenly becomes, under stress, becomes acidic.

Probably, this is an evolutionary response that helped our ancient ancestors to taste sour if tasted by a carnivore that was attacking them. And it may well have allowed some of our ancient ancestors, this talent of the skin moving from alkaline to acidic may have allowed some of our ancient ancestors to survive to reproductive age, which is why we’re here. Could be one of the reasons why we exist.

And so, this tendency of the skin to move from alkaline to acidic is one thing that can be measured under a stress-reactive condition in the physiology.

[11:48] Hydration and Stress

The next thing that we can look at, just to give us a picture of all of this: when we are fighting or fleeing, it’s not important to be well hydrated. In fact, water, which represents some more than 80% of the constitution of the body, is also the heaviest expendable item in the body.

And so our body wants to get rid of water as much as possible. It wants to dehydrate, and so what happens is, whatever the quickest pathway is to getting rid of water, the body will participate in that.

Typically, this is done through sweating, perspiration. The sweat glands become very active. The body is trying to get rid of water by sweating it out. In extreme stress reactivity, spontaneous micturition will occur. Micturition is the scientific name for urination. So, somebody will pee themselves spontaneously.

This is the body attempting to get rid of water, which is heavy, and not helpful if you’re trying to fight for your life and be nimble or run for your life and to be agile while doing it.

And so, one of the effects of stress reactivity is varying degrees of dehydration starts to occur. Body starts to rid itself of water.

[13:20] Digestive System and Stress Effects

Let’s look at the digestive system. The mouth begins to dry up, of course, because our body is ridding itself of water. If there is any food in the digestive system, the digestive tract, the stomach, particularly, is flooded with hydrochloric acid to quickly break down and shunt to the lower parts of the alimentary canal and digestive and intestinal tract any food substances that are there.

Why? It’s not important to be having graceful digestion if you’re fighting for your life or fleeing for your life. And so digestion stops, and the material that’s pushed down into the upper intestine and lower intestine starts to become liquefied.

In extreme stress, spontaneous defecation will occur. And this is why you hear people using the phraseology, “Oh, I was pooping myself. I was so scared.” They might be using a word that’s less graceful than that.

And, perhaps they’re saying that sarcastically, but, in fact, that can happen. This is the body stopping digestion and making itself nimble and agile for fighting and fleeing.

[14:43] Tunnel Vision

The peripheral vision, which normally will cover a spectrum of about 180 degrees out of 360 available degrees, we can see about 180 degrees from left to right, even when looking forward. But, the peripheral vision under stress begins to narrow in, into, in the direction of tunnel vision.

And the adaptation here of fighting and fleeing is that to minimize the amount of neuronal activity that has to be dedicated to the periphery to have a concentrated vision of what’s right in front of you, very detailed, concentrated vision of what’s right in front of you without being distracted by the side vision, so peripheral vision.

Sometime, you may notice this if you happen to see some unfortunate motorist who is stranded in the middle of an intersection when the traffic lights have changed and can’t go forward because of traffic and can’t go back, and people begin tooting their horns, this poor motorist may be seen moving their head, swiveling around a lot.

And the swiveling of the head is not because of the need to swivel the head. It’s because they’ve lost their peripheral vision under stress. And they can only see what’s straight in front of them. So, the head has to swivel a lot in order to provide some kind of a degree of view of the periphery.

[16:23] Dramatic Reactions

Under stress, our body, in short, goes into a set of very dramatic reactions, all of which are designed to serve up the maximum speed of being able to fight to kill or to flee. Adrenal glands secrete their products, catecholamines, and adrenal products flood the system.

A hardening in the muscles, lactic acid increases dramatically in the muscles, allowing the muscles to perform, if necessary, with supernormal strength for a short period of time, in order to fight the demand or flee from the demand. The stress reaction is in play.

And so then, we can see a picture of a body moving from a fully adaptive interactive mode with demand, into a reactive mode, having to react to demand.

[17:30] The Memory of Stress Reactions

One of the interesting things, which is very relevant to our monologue here on the subject of stress, is the way that the mind and the brain together behave to memorize the current situation and to take snapshots of all of the sensory input at the time of having a stress reaction.

When we’re having a stress reaction, a non-adaptive, non-interactive reaction, to a demand being made on us, to which we are, we’re attempting to fight or flee, rather than having a calm, interactive approach to it, is that our brain will memorize the look of everything, including the colors, the shapes, the forms, and detail.

The sounds that occur at the time, the smell of the room at the time of the stress reaction, the flavors that happen to be in your mouth at the time of the stress reaction, so taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound, all taken as a snapshot, and that information is stored, as information is, like information stored in a computer, stored chemically in the cells of the body.

Our memories are stored chemically, electrochemically, in our brain and throughout our central nervous system. And here is a big memory. An overreaction to a situation which, in fact, it turns out, didn’t represent danger. And, we can talk about, in another context, what happens if the fight/flight reaction turns out to be the most evolutionary response.

I mean, it is there for a particular purpose, to save us from predator attack, mainly. And evidently, it’s done its job. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be as many humans on the earth as there are today.

[19:55] Universality of Stress Reactivity

Stress reactivity is not anti-evolutionary. It’s an evolutionary thing to have stress reactivity. When adaptation energy levels are low and/or if demands are extraordinarily high, then having stress reactivity does, in fact, provide the potential for survival. And we all have it.

We all have the capacity to become stress-reactive. So, this is not something that is peculiar to certain people. Every human has built into them the fight/flight reaction, which can and will be triggered any time that adaptation energy is so low that one cannot effectively interact with a demand for change.

So it’s the demand to change your expectation that comes upon you, that comes suddenly, that then can bring about stress reactivity. Or if you have sufficient adaptation energy, can bring about successful interaction with the demand to change your expectation.

So now we have a body which has many times in one’s lifetime, even by the age of ten… in fact, there are many scientists, including Professor Selye, who believe that our first stresses, this is the information acquired at the time of having an overload of experience to which we cannot adapt.

[21:39] Accumulation of Stress Memories

When we have a stress-reactive experience, our first chemical memory stresses are accrued by us in utero. When our mother has a stress reaction, our ears are underwater, we’re inside the amniotic fluid, we can hear adequately well, though muffled, certain sounds that are coming from outside the mother, we can hear the mother’s voice.

But most importantly, the mother’s own stress chemistry crosses the placental barrier and is shared by the fetus, earlier the embryo and later the fetus. And so the first stresses are already in chemical memory form, floating around inside the physiology of the little baby when the baby is born. And then there’s a continuous accrual of stress as changes of expectation are common in an infantile human.

And by the time we are 10, we are already loaded up with quite a few chemical memories in our cells of overloads of experience that have occurred. And those memories are not necessarily accessible to us.

Some of them are, we can remember some of them, but we can’t remember all of them. Just as very few people can remember details about what it was like to be two years old.

[23:24] Stored Stress and Faded Memories

Very few people can remember details of what it was like to be one year old, and yet from conception through birth, up to one year, up to two years, up to three years, an enormous number of changes of expectation occur to which the baby body has to adapt or fail to adapt, and these overloads are stored.

And what it tasted like, what it smelled like, what it looked like, what the colors were, what the humidity was, all of that is stored in chemical form and repressed. Because to have constant memory of everything that you got stressed about is not an evolutionary function. So, the memory of it is repressed, and there it is nonetheless in chemical form in the body.

And now, a few years later, maybe if we’re fortunate, in our teens or in our twenties or thirties, or forties, whenever we are, we learn Vedic Meditation. And Vedic Meditation has the, by now, well-documented effect of triggering the exact opposite of the stress reaction.

[24:51] The Meditator’s Advantage: Stay/Play Response

If we think of the stress reaction as the fight/fight reaction, then we can look at the response, not reaction, but response, that the brain and body have to the practice of Vedic Meditation as the stay/play function. Stay and play is the adaptive function. It’s the opposite of the fight/flight reaction. Stay/play response.

What happens when we practice Vedic Meditation is that there is a minimizing of task orientation. What do you have to do in order successfully to meditate? In Vedic Meditation, we all know that we are, in fact, instructed to do less, to do less than that, to do less than that, be effortless.

Don’t mind if you forget things like your mantra. Don’t mind if you forget to repeat. Don’t mind if you forget that you’re meditating. Don’t mind if you forget, and then you have, you’re meditating, and you have everyday thoughts. Don’t mind about that either. Let everything go.

If you have to come back to your mantra, you come back completely effortlessly, unconcernedly, nonchalantly.

What we are doing is minimizing task orientation while we’re meditating. Do less, do less, do least, and then when we approach transcendence, do nothing. And that nothingness is the everything-ness that we approach when we experience pure transcendence.

The everything-ness is the everywhere-ness. It is the everywhere-ness and the everything-ness together, the omnipresence and the omniscience in transcendental form, where our mind has stepped beyond thought and is experiencing pure Being.

[27:03] The Silence of Bliss

Being is the condition of the Unified Field of consciousness, as my Master Maharishi referred to it, the Unified Field of consciousness.

And as we take our mind in that direction, we’re letting go, letting go. The physiology is letting go, resting, resting within the first two minutes of the practice of meditation, of this meditation.

The body already is resting more deeply than it’s able to rest at any point in a night’s sleep, and yet we continue resting even more deeply and even more deeply and even more deeply until a level of rest is acquired that is absolutely unprecedented.

And what is all of this restfulness saying to the mind, to the brain, to the body? Stay and play.

Now, our body has a prime directive. The prime directive of the body is to become whatever the mind is. The mind here is moving in the direction of the least-excited state of consciousness, which, when complete bliss is touched upon, the thinking tendency vanishes utterly.

Bliss causes thinking to silence. The reason why there is a relationship between silence and bliss is not that you can silence the mind and thereby switch on bliss; no. You touch the bliss, and the mind falls mute.

Why does the mind fall mute when you touch the bliss? Contact with the bliss is contact with complete fulfillment. Complete fulfillment. Oneness with the Unified Field of consciousness. And in that state, the entire purpose of thinking is transcended.

[29:13] Body’s Adaptation to the Mind

What’s the purpose of thinking? To try to figure out how to get happier. How can I get happier? That’s the whole purpose of thinking.

And here you are happier than the happiest in a state of complete and utter fulfillment of bliss. Happier than the happiest. And therefore, the purpose of thinking is no longer there. This is why thinking evaporates when the mind touches the bliss of Being.

Body has to become whatever the mind is. If my mind is saying, “Oh no, oh no. Fight. Flee. Kill the demand. Run away from the demand.” My body has to go into that fight/flight reactivity and obediently enshrine all of that quality. But here, my mind is experiencing the Unified Field of consciousness.

Bliss and my body wants to become that. In order for my body to become that, it has to address some pre-existing irrelevancies. And what are they? The legacy of having had fight/flight reactions so many times in your life.

It’s there in chemical form throughout the body and sustained in chemical form every time we had an overreaction or a stress reaction, even if it was appropriate, even if you were fighting a tiger, either an overreaction or an appropriate stress reaction is memorized by the body.

What it smelled like. What it looked like. What it tasted like. What the sound was. What it sounded like. Everything about it has been memorized by the body. And our body is holding that information, but we just went to the unbounded field of pure Being and bliss, total capability.

[31:34] Past Stress and Present Beingness

The stay-and-play response is at its maximum, but there’s a conflict. My body is holding on to information that no longer is relevant to my beingness. I’m a meditator now. I’m building, every day, levels of adaptation energy that are phenomenal on a daily basis.

Building adaptation energy levels that are so complete that I should be able to meet any level of demand effectively interactively, and yet here I am with a body that is filled with the electrochemical information stored from my past overloads of experience. This is the accumulated stress.

So now we’re going to make a distinction between having a stress reaction and having accumulated stress.

A stress reaction describes what the body does at the time of failing to be adaptive in an overload situation. That’s a stress reaction. Stress, though, also describes the legacy of having had such a reaction and the legacy of having had hundreds, thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of overloads of experience and reactions like that, and all the information that came with it, smells, tastes, flavors, etc, sounds.

So now we have a body of information loaded into our physiology that no longer is relevant to what we’re becoming. Our consciousness wants to now conceive a new body. It wants to construct a new body. It wants to govern a new body.

[33:44] Un-Stressing and Detoxification through Meditation

Our consciousness wants to print out a completely new body. And in order to do that, there has to be an expunging of the useless, now irrelevant information that has accrued, accumulated, from the past that I’m a big bag of stress reactions that are involved with experiences that I’ve had over a lifetime.

And so then the changing of the history of the physiology has to begin, and it begins most conveniently, most powerfully, most effectively, during the practice of Vedic Meditation.

Our eyes are closed. We’re in our least-excited state. Our mind is settling down to the Unified Field of consciousness. We’re moving in the direction of maximum restfulness.

And what happens next? Our body has to begin un-stressing. Un-stressing means the changeover from stress-related electrochemistry to bliss-related electrochemistry.

Whenever you have detox, that’s detoxification of some unwanted substance in the body, you also have retox. That is to say, when you liberate from the physiology, useless electrochemistry, now useless, once upon a time very relevant, very useful, because it saved you, so you thought, but now you’re changing things over, there’s a recirculation of the chemistry which is being purified out of the system.

As we dredge up, as our body dredges up and its desire to expunge created completely new physiology, it dredges up the electrochemical memories that are floating around the body, affecting the cells.

[36:01] Dissolving Stress During Vedic Meditation

The information stored in electrochemical format recirculates while meditating. Every stress that we’ve had in our lifetime moves a little bit during every instant of Vedic Meditation.

Suppose you had a hundred thousand stresses, probably you’re very fortunate if that’s all you ever had, suppose you had a hundred thousand stresses. You close your eyes and start your practice of Vedic Meditation, and right away, every one of those stresses begins to dissolve.

That is to say, the electrochemical storage of the memory in the cells, the distorted memory in the cells, starts to dissolve, and every one of those stresses begins to move somewhat.

Some of our stresses might have a requirement for 15 minutes of a 20-minute meditation session in order for that stress to completely dissolve, and when we’re talking about dissolving, we mean the chemicals, electrochemical storage of that information literally dissolving might take 15 minutes of a 20-minute meditation.

On the opposite extreme, we may have electrochemical storage caused by huge overload of experience, huge reactivity when we were met with levels of demand that were extraordinary, extraordinary for us under the circumstance we were in at the time, that might require 500 meditations in order for that stress to be released in its entirety.

[38:04] The Impact of Regular Vedic Meditation

That means that in every meditation, one five-hundredth of that particular electrochemical storage is dissolved and is released while meditating. At the end of 500 meditations, which is a little less than a year of meditating.

One year of Vedic Meditation is 730 meditation sessions. That’s 365 days in a year, times two — you meditate in the morning, and you meditate in the evening— so, 730 meditations are donein a year.

So if you have a stress whose neuro-electrical chemical function is going to take 500 meditations to dissolve, that’ll happen in less than a year. We may have some stresses that will require 3000 meditations for them to completely dissolve. That means in every meditation session, one three-thousandth of that stress is dissolved successfully.

But every stress that we have in our body is being dissolved to some extent or another every time we meditate. Some stresses completely resolved within a few minutes of our first session ever of Vedic Meditation.

Some stresses resolved within a few weeks, some within a few months, some within a few years, some within a decade or two, depending on the individual, depending on the overloads of experience, depending on regularity of practice, there are so many variables.

Depending on accuracy of practice. Do you meditate truly, effortlessly, easily, allowing the whole process to just govern itself? Or do you add some effort, meaning your meditation is less efficient? So, do you meditate efficiently, effortlessly, the proper way? Or do you meditate somewhat inefficiently?

Do you meditate regularly, twice every day? Or do you meditate irregularly? Do you continue to ignore the signals that are coming from your inner Unified Field of consciousness that are telling you to change the way you do things in daily life?

[40:46] Factors Affecting the Dissolution of Stress

Meditation has a very powerful guiding effect on us, but to what extent do we resist its guiding effect?

To what extent are you imbibing knowledge, which is helping you to stay frictionless and effortless, because the whole thing is making sense, versus you’re moving forward not understanding the process and thereby inadvertently resisting and slowing down?

So, how many stresses did we accrue? How many overloads of experience did we have? How many times did we have ineffective, non-interactive reaction? To what level were we stressed?

So it’s not just a matter of how many stresses you have. It’s a matter of how many opportunities do you have to increase, hasten, the speed of dissolution of all those stresses.

Stress is stored neuro electrochemically. It’s stored as memory in the chemicals of the body. And our body is constantly changing over its chemistry every day, in every minute.

Our consciousness conceives the body. Our consciousness constructs the body. Our consciousness governs the body. Our consciousness prints out a new body based on its new realizations, its new experiences.

And so this process of dramatic change is going on in every Vedic meditator. And a varying degree of speed of purification and normalization is there depending on all the variables that I’ve mentioned.

[42:45] Rounding in Vedic Meditation Retreats

You can come away for Vedic Meditation retreats, if they’re run properly by teachers who are on my list of teachers who are in good standing with me. Then, the retreats are run along the same lines that were developed by my master, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, where you do a process of some neuro-anatomical physiological integration.

We call that Asana, A-S-A-N-A. These are different ways of moving the body, bending and stretching, that help to set up the condition from maximum restfulness during Vedic Meditation, followed by neuro-respiratory integration. This is known as Pranayama.

Prana in Sanskrit means the life energy, the life force in the air. Yama means to administer something, pranayama.

Followed by a session of Vedic Meditation as taught by my instructors, my colleagues. Followed by lying down innocently and allowing everything to settle and integrate.

This comprises one round, and in the retreats that we hold, we can do multiples of these rounds, only ever under supervision of a qualified teacher, because when we start doing multiple rounds, and we use the, we’ve invented the word, it’s entered the vernacular of meditators “rounding.” Rounding means multiple rounds of asana, pranayama, meditation, lying down.

Then, the speed with which we’re changing the neuro-electrochemistry of the body is hastened. And whenever there is a hastening of change, then there’s going to be some destabilizing effect known as unstressing in the common parlance of meditators, unstressing.

And unstressing during rounding will go on not just during the meditation but also throughout the eyes-open waking experience, while you’re munching on your lunch with your friends, while you are listening to the talks and lectures being given by the Initiators and initiator is a teacher of Vedic Meditation, someone who can initiate somebody else, who is trained to do so.

[45:34] Getting Stressed Is Not Bad, But Staying Stressed Is

And, so unstressing can be strong during rounding. We intend it to be so.

It can also be very liberating, and new heightened states of consciousness can be experienced and need to be understood in a proper perspective because we are literally changing the entire psycho-neuro physiology every time we do rounding.

So, are you able to avail yourself of retreats in which rounding is instructed by my colleagues? This is another variable.

So, so many variables over which you can be in charge if you care to be. If you want to hasten the speed with which you purify and normalize, what are you creating? You’re creating a physiology that is a new printout.

It’s a printout of a higher consciousness state. It’s a printout of that state of consciousness to which we are growing with regular practice of Vedic Meditation, known as Cosmic Consciousness.

All-inclusive awareness. All-inclusive awareness requires a different physiology to that of being someone who is simply a repository of stress. Getting stressed is not all that bad for you. It is staying stressed that is very bad for you.

You got stressed. Fine, understandable. Did you need to stay stressed? No.

And this is the thing that has been missing from the cultural perspective, from all of the years of neglect and not knowing how to pass down from parents to their children, the knowledge of the fourth consciousness state.

[47:37] Turiya – The Fourth State of Consciousness

We know how to teach kids how to sleep. Every parent does it with varying degrees of success in the first five years. Don’t stay awake all night. Don’t have naps all through the day. Bunch up all of your tiredness into one big lying-down session. It’s called sleeping in the night.

We have special rooms for it, special platforms for it, beds, and you lie down on the bed. And hopefully, you join the social contract of resting in the night and sleeping, and then dream state of consciousness becomes effective. Dream state of consciousness also helps in some mild stress release, normalization at a mild level.

So we’ve remembered how to train kids how to go to sleep at night. And every mother trains their child to do this. Children don’t do it spontaneously.

So we have waking state during the day. We have sleep state during the night. We have dream state during the sleep, but we’ve forgotten an essential fourth consciousness state, which initially, originally, primordially was available to all humans. And that was the upright, restful, eyes-closed, conscious, de-excited state.

The fourth state of consciousness, in which you are awake and your body goes into wakeful hypo–hypo means low–hypo metabolism, where you put your body into suspended animation while meditating.

And you rest your body deeply, upright, allowing your body to completely normalize by releasing all of the historic stresses that you’d accumulated by experiencing demands that are extraordinary, emotional demands, perceptual demands, expectation demands, and so on and so forth.

[49:42] Systematic Accumulation of Stress in Today’s World

So, getting stressed turns out not to have been the problem. The problem turns out to have been that you didn’t know how systematically to release stress.

We live in a world today where people are systematically accumulating stress. Systematically keeping their bodies locked into obsolete behaviors that were reactive behaviors once upon a time, and getting stuck in those behaviors.

Systematic accumulation of stress is occurring in the world population today on a daily basis. Systematic accumulation. And it’s no wonder that our world is berserk.

When you consider all of those who would be our leaders and all of those who are asked to choose, whether they choose or not, it could be an autocracy where they don’t choose, or are under the influence of those leaders.

Everyone is in the process of, on a daily basis, systematic accumulation of stress with no chance of release, because of a failure to know how to trigger the fourth consciousness state, Turiya, we call it in Sanskrit. T-U-R-I-Y-A, Turiya, the fourth state, the wakeful hypometabolic state.

You add that to your daily routine, and then you have systematic removal of obsolete and irrelevant psycho-neuro electrochemistry, stress chemistry, and the replacement succession in the human physiology with the stay-and-play chemistry, the super adaptive state that gives you the capacity to be attuned with all the laws of Nature and to stop creating suffering for yourself.

Jai Guru Deva.

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