Day of Rest

Do you keep the Sabbath?

While we associate this notion with the Judeo-Christian tradition, the idea of having a day of rest is found across traditions: Buddhists have Uposatha, Muslims have jumu'ah, Baha'i have Istiqlal. The day of rest is not limited to religious traditions; governments around the world have mandated days of rest, rooting them in health, safety, and general well-being.
 
So, just about all faiths and many governments agree, we should take at least one day off each week. What does it mean, though, to "take a day off"? How many of us simply replace the work we do for others with the work we do for ourselves on that day? Instead of getting out the laptop, we get out the laundry, the hammer, the "honey-do" list. 
 
Is this really rest, or just a change of pace? Let's check in, as I often do, with the dictionary:
 
rest, n.
  1. Cessation of work, exertion, or activity.
  2. Peace, ease, or refreshment resulting from sleep or the cessation of an activity.
  3. Sleep or quiet relaxation.
Do you really have a significant part of your life that that resembles any of these definitions?
 
If so, congratulations to you. If not, you are like most people I know. For these, the so-called "day off" is simply a time to catch up with all the things required of our lives that we cannot do during the work week. 
 
At what cost?
 
Certainly, there is evidence of the terrible toll this relentless pace takes on physical and mental health. Chronic fatigue, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed, is pervasive in these times. 
 
Another toll that may be less obvious is that which results from never hearing or feeling ourselves as we can do only in silence and rest for more than a couple of minutes at a time. Even those among us who do manage to refrain from work on one or two days a week often fill the experience with distractions -- TV, movies,  listening to other peoples' music, driving, etc. In the midst of such commotion, how could we possibly feel our sensations, notice the dance of our emotions, detect the movement of our thoughts, or hear our own deepest song? 
 
Which allows me to refine my initial question into what I really want to ask:
 
Do you take at least one day off per week in which you do no work, no exertion, no activity, and are in a state of peace, ease, and quiet relaxation?
 
If not, what might your life be like if you did? What sensations might you feel? What emotions might you allow yourself? What thoughts might arise in this vast spaciousness? What deeply personal, intimate, unique song might emerge in the quiet?