The late Dr Herbert Benson was an authority on relaxation and meditation. He investigated them from a scientific point of view and recommended their use to his patients with great success.
He developed a method for general use which has no religious connotations:
- Sit quietly in a comfortable position in a quiet place and close your eyes.
- Relax all your muscles, starting with your feet and moving progressively to your head and face. Keep them relaxed throughout the meditation.
- Pay attention to your breathing. Breathe naturally through your nose. As you breathe out, silently and mentally say the word ‘One’. Breathe in. Breathe out – say ‘one’. Breathe in. Breathe out – say ‘one’ – and so on.
- If your mind wanders, bring it back; it is not necessary to empty the mind of all thought. Stay centred, calm and peaceful. Don’t worry about whether you are achieving a deep level of relaxation; just maintain a passive attitude and let the release happen at its own pace.
- Continue for 20 minutes. You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm.
- When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes with your eyes closed, then open them and sit for a few minutes more. Take a few deep breaths and resume normal activity.
©David Lawrence Preston, 17.11.2016
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How to Books, 2007