Dentist's Chair

I was at the Dentist’s one morning and thought this meditation up as I sat in the chair. I always stiffen up when sitting in the dentist chair, even though my dentist is about as painless as it is possible to be. I mention this tension to him and he smiles. “Of course you do. It’s human nature.” Yet I have found that when I relax as much as I can, the session goes faster and I have fewer side effects.

How to Practice

Notice how, when you start to tighten, where it starts. So start there. If it’s your shoulders, shift them a bit consciously and see how much you can relax them.

Then scan your body for the next point of tension and relax that spot.

Just keep scanning everywhere and relaxing each clenched eyebrow or foot or shoulder as you find it. Odds are there’ll be another tense spot just waiting for you.

You may be suprised where you hold tension. I’ll relax my shoulders, and then discover a few minutes later that my right middle finger is pressed so tightly against my leg that it might well leave a mark. Then I relax it.

And in another few minutes, I discover that it’s pressing my leg again.

Just keep it up as long as needed.


This can be done anywhere you might be sitting or waiting in an uncomfortable situation, like when you are waiting for an interview. The benefits of relaxing are endless, and if waiting, it makes the time fly.