The best time to practice going quiet — to detect and drop dark inner voices — is when the world around you is more or less already in a natural state of silence. So, early morning, upon arising, and just before you go to sleep, are the most likely times to yield the best results. But, as you’ll no doubt come to discover for yourself, any time is the right time to go quiet.
Find a place to sit where your back can be more or less supported and held straight. Let your hands rest, open or closed, in any position that won’t cause tension to themselves, your arms, or shoulders, as you remain seated for the duration of your practice. Twenty to thirty minutes, twice a day, is a suggested minimum time to sit quietly. But do the best you can. There are no laws that govern inner silence. Besides, the day may come when you’d like to sit for longer durations, so you be the judge. Let the length of this time for inner quiet be whatever it wants to be.
Allow your legs to assume whatever position is most naturally relaxed for them. It’s better if you don’t cross your legs one over the other, as this posture interferes with your circulation, and the ensuing discomfort will become a distraction.
Once your body is situated and in relative ease, close your eyes and let your awareness sweep over the whole of your body. Adjust your limbs again, if necessary, so that no individual part of your physical self is calling out for your attention.
Now, with your eyes still gently closed, let your shoulders take the full weight of your head. You should actually be able to feel the physical transfer of this weight take place.
Then, give the weight of your shoulders and your arms to the armrests of your chair, or to whatever part of your body is beneath them. If you’re doing this properly, you’ll be surprised how much of your own bodily weight you were unnecessarily supporting without knowing it!
Finally, give all of this collective weight — head, shoulders, arms, upper body, buttocks and legs — to the chair or sofa you’re sitting upon. Consciously transfer the weight. Let it go. Then let yourself sink into the feeling that comes with releasing all this unconscious physical stress and tension… [to be continued]