I believe that one of the biggest things that has stopped me from projecting properly in the past was insufficient relaxation of my head. I feel the muscles in your head to be of the utmost importance to relax. As Robert Monroe mentions, once you relax the head, you can then use that sense of relaxation throughout your entire body… whereby if you do it the opposite and relax your body first, it doesn’t quite work the same way with your head.
Now, I’m starting to come to the conclusion lately that relaxation isn’t a major key in projection. I find that being able to disassociate your focus of awareness from your physical body *IS* the key, however a fully relaxed body can certainly assist with this goal and can seriously speed up the process.
I was practicing last night and focusing entirely on slowing the relaxation down so I could figure out how I do it… my hope is that this information might help someone else who has a lot of stress held in the muscles of their head.
I find that a lot of tension, for me, is kept around my ears, eyes, and forehead. I can actually sit here and feel the tension in them right now just from my day up until now.
Now, what I do first when I sit down is I stretch out my eyes… I close them really tightly for 5 – 10 seconds, then move them around in a circular motion several times trying to move them outwards in all directions as far as they’ll go. This won’t relax them outright, but it will make it much easier to relax them and encourages them to stay closed while you’re practicing.
For the ears, it’s a little harder because they’ll be attentive if they hear anything out of the ordinary. I had a hell of a time last night trying to relax them and KEEP them relaxed because there were a bunch of little noises that kept creeping up in the area I was practicing in. I found out last night that when I breathed deeply and yawned, the muscles around my ears settled. I never realized the yawning part before… so I’ll have to keep experimenting with this.
For your forehead… this area of your head is mostly attached, on the top, to your scalp (which also could use relaxing) and on the bottom at your eyes. So relaxing your eyes first, and your scalp second might be good to encouraging your forehead to release its tension.
The next paragraph is probably the most important to realize:
The feeling you’re aiming for is an actual physical drooping of the muscles in the area of where you’re focusing. I mean that you’ll actually PHYSICALLY feel them get pulled down slightly and slowly by gravity as the tension drifts out. This can actually take upwards of several minutes per spot… DO NOT rush this. It takes time and practice to be able to will your muscles to relax on command, this entire head relaxation can take anywhere from 10 – 30 minutes, but it simply CAN NOT BE RUSHED. Take your time and enjoy the entire experience. 🙂
Once you have all the major and minor muscle groups relaxed… I like do to what Robert Monroe talks about in the Gateway series, which is allowing that feeling of no-tension and relaxation to seep into your brain. Allow the feeling of relaxation to become one with your physical brain. Visualize the relaxation of your head moving inwards. Once that’s done, I find that you can then initiate that feeling of relaxation in other parts of your body, reaching for the relaxation that your brain is experiencing.
By this point, your body should begin to be numb… sensory perceptions should be slowing down, if not completely ceased.
You should now be in a great place to begin whatever Phasing exercise you want… be it noticing, rundowns or something else. 🙂