|Relaxing completely and utterly is imperative
when beginning to learn to experience with and
use the deep senses. Later, complete and utter
relaxation is not necessary, although a relaxed
state is still engendered.
But relaxing is not
an easy thing to do. As mentioned before, our
stressed lives lead us to be in a constant state
of anxiety and tension. Therefore we must relearn
the relaxed state. We must learn how to be
completely at ease again.
Find a place of safety -- a sanctuary where
you feel absolutely safe to be and where no-one
and nothing can intrude upon you -- not the
phone, not the door-to-door salesman, not your
kids, your spouse, your parent, your relatives
and friends. This is a hard thing in the present
day world. So, turn off the phone (and the radio
and television). Place a sign on the door that,
in bold letters, says "Do Not Disturb
For Any Reason Other Than Life-Threatening
Emergency On Penalty of Wrath and Maybe Even
Death." Tell everybody in your
household to leave you completely alone and to
try to be very quiet.
Wherever you choose to sit down and be still,
whether in the yard or garden, at the State Park,
or in the sanctuary of your bedroom, it should be
somewhere with which you are very familiar. If
you are used to silence, and if there are few
noises that are going to disturb you (like the
bump when the baby falls out of the high chair
and starts to scream or the neighbor starting up
a lawn mower right under your nose), then stay in
silence. If there is the potential for disruptive
noises, put on some "white noise" like
a fan or air conditioner. If you are
uncomfortable in silence -- for instance: you go
nuts when the TV or radio isn't droning in the
background -- put on a tape or CD, but choose
instrumental music of a soothing, non-dynamic
nature (and I don't mean Easy-Listening or
Muzak), or perhaps the sound of running water . .
. like a gurgling stream if you are used to
listening to such sounds. One thing you don't
want is the human voice, or anything you are not
used to that is going to catch your attention.
Sit quietly in a comfortable but erect
position. A favorite chair is fine. Cross-legged
on the bed, with or without a backrest, is fine.
Don't lay, and don't slouch.
Step Three -- Relax the Body
NOTE: this exercise can be done with the eyes
open or closed, as you choose and as is most
comfortable for you.
1. Breath with your diaphram,
breathing deeply, rhythmically and slowly.
Breathe in through your nose and out of your
mouth with your lips just open enough to permit
the breath to escape softly.
2. Maintaining your
breathing, relax your shoulders
3. Maintaining your breathing
and relaxed shoulders, relax your jaw.
4. Maintaining your
breathing, relaxed shoulders and jaw, consciously
ask your body to relax each individual part,
starting with your toes and working upward. Don't
forget your hands and fingers. Don't forget your
face and skull and eyes.
5. Maintaining all of the
above, place the tip of your tongue on the roof
of your mouth just behind your front teeth.
Practice this until you are able to do it
without effort and without reading it.
HELPFUL EXERCISE FROM THE ANCIENT CHINESE
DISCIPLINE OF SHAOLIN KUNG FU - THE FINGER
Step Four -- Relax the Mind
1. Relax the Body (Step Three
2. "Let your mind
go." By this we mean, don't concentrate on
anything. Just let your brain think whatever it
wants to, but try not to actively think
(including judging what you are doing right now
or worrying about whether you are doing it
"right.") At first your brain is most
likely going to do a clearing house inventory,
then it is going to go through a mental checklist
of stuff that is worrying you or that you
"should" be doing. Let it. In time, and
you must be patient with yourself here, you will
run out of things to fuss about, and you will
decide to let your thoughts be quiet.
Step Five -- Neutral or Passively
1. Once your thoughts are
quiet and maintaining your breathing and relaxed
body, let your head gently slump forward onto
2. Explore the feelings of
this position and again, if the brain starts
generating thoughts, let it and out-wait it
without fighting it.
Step Six -- Active Position
When you are comfortable in the Neutral
Position, raise your head level or slightly
tipped back, passively supporting it while
maintaining a relaxed body. Again, if the brain
starts generating thought, ride it through until
Once we have mastered these techniques and can
drop at will into "state," we are ready
to learn where and how to utilize a few tools
that will help us to perceive deeply, without
which attempts will be only half as successful.