1 - RELAX AND MEDITATE
The Empty Head
THIS VOLUME contains exercises and hints to help you achieve optimum health, happiness and well being with a minimum of effort and little if any personal responsibility. You'll find the exercises work best when you are comfortable and relaxed. Experts in these matters agree that such procedures are most effective when your defenses are down and your powers of reason and common sense are at rest.
In this chapter we will introduce a simple technique for inducing a receptive, creative and altogether non-critical mindset that you will find invaluable for the visualization, intuition and other exercises to follow.
Whether you simply relax or go for the technically more challenging state we call "meditation" is up to you. Relaxation and meditation are essentially indistinguishable from the outside. Others can't tell, so they have to take your word for it. The two are frequently indistinguishable from the inside as well, so this is an area where a little self-delusion can go a long way.
Surely there are differences between meditation and merely closing one's eyes to rest. Some meditative postures are so excruciating as to preclude any thought of relaxing. And some relaxed positions--such as lying on your back and snoring--wouldn't fool anybody.
But by and large it doesn't matter for our purposes whether you are truly meditating or just visiting the ashram in the hope of getting laid. You don't have to achieve any metaphysically altered or blissful state to perform the practices described herein. You need only dismiss your critical faculties and hire some easily manipulable stooges to run the show for awhile.
To be truly open to the benefits of wishful thinking, you must give up trying to control everything. You must open yourself to a higher power. Namely, me. This shouldn't be much of a sacrifice. If you were any good at controlling your life, you wouldn't be reading a book like this in the first place.
It is time to relinquish authority over your inner being.
Hand it over.
There. That wasn't so bad, was it?
Now, get down on your knees and bark like a dog.
Here is the general relaxation procedure we will use throughout this book:
1. First, find a comfortable position, either sitting up, lying down or leaning against the wall with a cigarette dangling from your lips.
2. Uncross your arms, your legs, your fingers and your toes. You didn't even realize they were crossed, did you? Now uncross the ones you missed.
3. Close your eyes. You don't really want to watch this.
4. Breathe, if you are not already doing so.
5. Count down from 1,987 using only prime numbers. Alternatively, you can recite pi until you pass out. (3.141592653589793238462643392795 . . .)
6. Allow your mind to go away. Do not try to follow.
7. Experience yourself bathed in a brilliant pool of light flowing all around you. If this doesn't work, forget it and move to Step 8.
8. Visualize yourself sitting right in front of you, visualizing yourself sitting right in front of you, visualizing yourself sitting right in front of you, etc.
9. Breathe again. It's been a while.
10. Now what do you want to do?
· I will cultivate mindlessness.
· I look cool when I'm meditating.
· I can take anything if I'm lying down.
· Nothing bad can happen to me while I'm relaxed.
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