Here are some tips that may answer questions you may be asking yourself about how to do it properly, if not perfectly.
First, while you don’t need a “perfect” room or location, try to find a place that provides as much solitude as possible. I know that’s not possible for some people. Sometimes you have to make-do with what you have or what you can find.
Technically, this exercise can be practiced just about anywhere: sitting in a waiting room, on a bus, at work, on a plane. Anywhere you have a place to sit and no one is bothering you.
It is best, though, if you have a place where you can return to regularly, especially as we get into the later exercises. You want the place to be comfortable to you.
If you have a little office space for yourself, that would be best.
If not, as noted, make-do with what you have at your disposal.
This exercise (and all the following ones) are made to be done while you’re sitting! Please don’t make the mistake of lying in bed or on a couch. Sit as Haanel described. At the same time, you’re not to sit rigidly erect. Sit as you would if you were driving a car: back straight as if it were supported by a lumbar support and your feet firmly on the floor.
You will close your eyes as you practice this exercise. This will prevent you from blinking.
Avoid or refuse major movements, such as scratching your nose, shifting your weight, or unclasping your hands! When Haanel wrote to sit and remain “perfectly still,” he meant it.
That being the case, minor, uncontrollable movements are fine: breathing, small tics, perhaps a nose twitch. Please don’t chastise yourself because your chest is moving with your breathing. It’s supposed to do that.
Keep your hands palm-down on your thighs as you sit. Intertwining your fingers leads to them eventually falling asleep and then producing some pain.
Finally, I’d just like to say to you to not over-think this exercise (or any of the exercises, for that matter). They are all pretty straight-forward. Just follow the directions.
I’d like to note one significant thing: These exercises aren’t magical. They’re not meditation. You won’t see God or transmute lead into gold if you perfect them just right. Approach them as you did math homework problems that you had in grammar school or as you would working-out in a gym. You did them so that you could increase your skills in math or to increase your physical health. Well, you’re doing these exercises to increase your skills in thinking, in focusing, in cutting through the noise of the world. Approach them with that in mind and you’ll see true and impressive results.
Sit. Then stand. Then click here because it’s what comes next.