Body and soul are not two substances but one. They are man becoming aware of himself in two different ways.
To achieve a satisfactory level of relaxation will normally takes less than half the time it will take you to read the following guidelines.
Initially, select a time and place where you can be reasonably free from distractions and make yourself comfortable.
Loosen any right clothing and resolve that for the next few minutes you are going to devote yourself to achieving a gentle state of relaxation of letting go.
With practice, you will find that you can use this and later techniques for relaxing in whatever situations of stress or strain you may encounter.
Absorb the general theme of the following four paragraphs so that you can go through the exercise without having to read it:
1. Centre. This means relax by inhaling as deeply as you comfortably can, hold the breath for the mental count of four, then exhale slowly in a long, deep sigh, allowing your eyes to close normally and naturally. Repeat this if necessary before reverting to your customary breathing rhythm.
2. At the count of three, visualize the sunlight shining down on your body, focusing it as you would the beam of a flashlight, relaxing the muscles as you direct the light up and down the right arm. Now move the beam of light to the left arm, them to each leg in turn. Next direct the light to the stomach and feel it glow as it enters and moves to the chest, to the head and then right down the full length of the spine.
3. Feel the light radiate… radiate… radiate through every bone in your body, and feel every nerve, muscle, cell and sinew bathed in the warm glow of the light…. And relax. Relax.
4. Count form one to five and, at the count to five, return to full awakening consciousness.
With experience, what seems to require a special effort in visualization will become easier each time, as the mind learns to respond consciously to instructions to perform a function which it habitually performs unconsciously. Any initial difficulties will be remembered with amusement as you move effortlessly to higher levels of awareness and mental control.
You will become more conscious of the ceaseless chattering of the mind as you seek to relax completely, but make no effort to suppress it. Be aware of it in the same way that you would respond to the excited chirpings of starlings as they settle for the night. The mental static will eventually diminish and fade in to the background.
Ignore any mental promptings that the exercise is too simple to be of practical value. The rational or conscious mind is the father and mother of all our illusions, and it will play whatever tricks it can devise to avoid being recognized for the cunning trickster it is. It has become conditioned to deceive us in hundreds of subtle ways, each designed to separate us form our originality.