In aikido we learn to relax in movement.
In kyudo we learn to relax while doing something impossible.
In zazen we learn to relax while being human.
It’s all just different kinds of relaxing, and all you have to do is just … relax.
But you can’t “just relax”. I went to onsen today, and I didn’t have anything to do. There was nothing directly in the world that I could say was interfering with my relaxing, and I was arguably in the most relax-easy place in the world. Yet, I was still holding my body instead of letting it go as I’ve experienced before, and I had something in my mind I couldn’t let go of, but it wasn’t anything in particular.
You have to practice “just relaxing”, but while doing something else. I think “just relaxing” in its essence is sleeping. But when we’re awake and we want to relax, we are essentially doing something as well, right? Even if we’re sitting there just thinking. It’s not “just relaxing”, but relaxing while doing something else.
Why can’t we “just relax”?