Learn to trigger on Tension
Once you are comfortable with recognizing tension, try to see if you can catch it subtly rising and creeping in the back door. Typically you wont be able to feel it increase, you’ll just have an “Ah Ha!” moment of “I caught you!” This sets you up for the next practice of:
Much more difficult to master as there are less clearly defined steps to successfully accomplish this technique but the more you practice the previous time based practice, the more automatic mastery will become.
I recommend never giving up the time based practice, just moving to longer intervals.
Throughout the day, you will naturally being to notice when you are tense.
Think about what a tightly closed fist feels like, a tightly clenched jaw or stress based headache pressure. You will typically notice your entire body clenching as a whole, and this will automatically trigger you to consciously relax.
Once you’re happy with the amount of tension you’ve let go, go back to what you were doing while deciding to stay relaxed while you are doing it.
The more time you allow yourself to relax and let go of tension, the deeper the layer of stillness and relaxation you’ll reach, and the longer you you will be able to go before you accumulate enough tension to trigger.
As this response becomes automatic, and you become much more skilled at doing this as a conscious background process, instead of having to stop what you are doing
this is amazing for enjoying social situations and feeling an overall sense of calm
The Best Part
This paves the way for the arrival of everyday stillness and the witness, which we will discuss in much detail later. This practice will also dramatically improve areas of posture, relationships, concentration, and help foster an overall feeling of calm and joy, and extreme clarity of thought. Expect more laughter and smiles. It also allows you to practice when you don’t have time for a formal sitting.
Have fun with it
See how soon you can trigger, or become automatically alerted to noticing the tension your body. Try going for less and less levels of tension. Relax all tension, than see if you can actually watch the process of tension start to rise. This is very powerful.
Also worthy of note is be aware that certain items you put in your body will effect your tension levels, stimulants and caffeine especially.
A neat side effect I’ve noticed, is the more these are practiced, the more you will find your body automatically releasing tension on it’s own. You are actually developing the mental habit to let go, and once it starts to become routine, it turns into an automatic pattern. This doesn’t mean stop! this means keep going.
Enjoy your more relaxed and peaceful state.