But for some people, talking about it is a lot easier than doing it. And understanding why you have difficulty won’t really solve the problem anyway; that’s a little bit like understanding why your tooth hurts. Which is to say, it’s still going to hurt until you do something to make it stop. It’s the same thing with relaxing. You’ve got to do something, or stop doing something, to get more relaxed.
Fortunately, this “many roads, one journey” endeavor affords myriad techniques to improve your ability.
The teasers you’ll find here will offer an opportunity to put your big toe in these sometimes intimidating waters. As you begin getting a bit of practice under your belt, consider applying your new skills to the challenge of taming your own personal demons.
To begin right now (and why not?), try this:
Start with your breath. No matter what you’ve already heard about or tried with breath, consider stopping whatever you’re doing right now and focusing on your breath for just a moment. Breathe in slowly and try to feel what that’s like. Inhale as long as you can, hold it briefly, and then breathe out, exhaling as fully and as deeply as if you were squeezing all the air out of a balloon. While doing so, banish thoughts from your mind. When they come in (as they inevitably will), notice them and escort them out again, as many times as you need to, bringing your attention back to the physical sensation of your body’s breathing. Even if your whole practice (even if it’s just a moment or two) consists of this, it’s okay. Don’t hurry. And don’t worry. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. You’re already doing an excellent job. Repeat this process three times and see what you notice about how it felt. How did you feel before and after?