Relax, NO RELAX!
It’s a word I don’t use with clients as it tends to generate tension
I prefer the idea of letting go, as holding is something we do a lot of
I have just returned from a 9 day meditation retreat; held in silence with no stimulus what so ever, I had lots of opportunity to let go. And it’s not easy. I found that I hold onto many things; ideas of who I am, ideas of what my body is, opinions, thoughts, the breath, muscle tension, memories oh just lots and lots and lots
Letting go is something that I aim for my clients to do, when I first treat them it’s often a good indication for me of how the session and the relationship is going. As we gain experience together letting go or the lack of it is a great diagnostic tool
I want clients to let go within the session because it’s so good for them on lots of levels, but my main reason is so they can experience the letting go and take it into their ever day life.
So much suffering is caused by holding onto things we do not need to. We then suffer what Jack Kornfield calls ‘mental rope burn’, a lovely way of describing the suffering that comes from holding or clinging.
If we can take the feeling of letting go that we have on the futon and practice it when we are angry for being cut up in our car, when we are bored at work, when in an argument with our children/relative/friend, then we can change the situation in a really radical way.
It seems that letting go is a transferable skill, if we can let go of muscle tension then it feels very similar to letting go of our fixed opinion of ourselves and other. See have to see the holding but once we do the letting go feels very similar.
Like most transformative things it’s a simple process that needs applying over and over and it’s the application which is difficult.