Allow 30 minutes for this exercise. Find a chair or cushion to sit on. If you are using a chair, choose one that allows you to sit up straight. A very simple chair without armrests often works best. Make yourself comfortable. Take off your shoes if you wish. Loosen any tight clothing. Sit up fairly straight, but not rigidly so. Sometimes it helps to imagine that you’re a puppet an
d there’s a cord attached to the top of your head, pulling you up-but gently, not rigidly. If you notice tension in the upper back, tilt your head slightly forward. Close your eyes or if you prefer, lower your eyelids and soften your gaze. If you’re not sure how to soften your gaze, try hardening your gaze by staring intently at one spot on the floor. Note the tension in your facial muscles. Now, stop staring. Notice how the facial muscles relax and how your visual field is broader, though perhaps not as sharp. That is softening your gaze, and it can be very helpful in getting into a meditative state. Take a deep breath or two. Relax.
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