Relaxation for Coronavirus Lockdown: Part 3
Stage 1: Practice
Close your eyes, and visualise a rose.
Where do you see the rose? Is it in front of your forehead? Or is it in the middle of the head?
Close your eyes again, visualize the rose, check its location, and then open your eyes. Generally the rose appears in front of the forehead.
If you saw the rose elsewhere, close your eyes again, and try to visualise it in front of your forehead.
Now close your eyes and count mentally up to ten. Where did your counting ‘happen’?
Did you count in front of the forehead or at the back of it? Close your eyes again, count mentally up to ten and check ‘where’ you are counting.
Usually, we count mentally behind the forehead, in the middle of the head. If you ‘saw’ numbers while counting, they were probably in front of the forehead. If you are ‘saying’ the numbers as you count, you will probably say that you count in the throat. The purpose of this exercise is to help you ‘localize’ your thoughts in your body.
Stage 2: The Frontal Focus
Close your eyes and shift your attention to a region of the forehead, right below the surface of the skin. Try doing this without ‘crossing’ your eyes.
Focus on that region - is this frontal region clear, or dark? It is possible to detect a clear or light colour in this region, which may be the perception of outside light. The light filters through the eyelids. It will tend to darken with time.
If there is something else in the region, such as an image or scene, try to redirect your attention to the oval area in the forehead, just below the surface of the skin.
(If this exercise causes you to feel tension in your forehead, try to ‘look’ (with your eyes shut) at a point on the floor about two body lengths ahead of you).
Continue focusing on that region of the forehead until the space, feels ‘empty’ or ‘neutral’. It is not easy to get to this place – it takes time, patience and many attempts at ‘redirecting’ our focus back onto the frontal region.
Our attention/focus will inevitably be distracted – and that’s ok.
We will then "sail" from one object of attention to another for a certain time (short or long, it does not matter). Once we realize that we are "elsewhere", we shift our attention back to the frontal region. With practice, this redirection will eventually feel effortless.
Start practicing only a few minutes once or twice a day and aim for a ‘mental carousel’ of 20 minutes.