Personally I dislike having the idea that I must deepen the phase as soon as I enter it. Just the thought that it must be deepened upon entry makes the state very unstable and hard to maintain. I personally prefer deepening when required since if you are always thinking about it as unstable that concept will become a reality.
In some cases deepening may be bypassed but when the phase is shallow it is a necessity that must be applied if you want to increase your chances of staying in the state longer. Deepening and maintaining should be something that you enjoy doing (not seen as chores) and without the fear of a foul. It is all about intensifying your sensations through action. Once you reach a deep phase you can maintain as needed and focus on your plan of action which, in itself, is tied to sensations. Once you develop a good flow it won't even bother you.
I would love Michael to do an experiment in which he explains to new practitioners that the phase state is hard to exit. Then he could tell them that you can only leave the phase by palpating. Since the phase is heavily influenced by your thoughts it would be interesting to see if their phase state actually mimics Michael's altered explaination.
This has already been researched thoroughly. It doesn't work like that. A lot of novices fear getting stuck in the phase forever but a lot of their experiences are very brief. Another thing that we must also acknowledge is the fact that fear itself can prolong the state - though there are less unpleasant ways to prolong it - and attempts to return to the body due to fear can lead to unpleasant false awakenings.
It is true that there is a lot of unconscious programming going on in the phase but if you are not careful you might be swayed into an ordinary dream state and thus lose many of your mental faculties. For example, a while ago I entered the phase and found my wife milling about in a simulation of my bedroom. The phase appeared to be quite stable and I decided to not do any deepening. The environment began to lose some of its colour and when I was about to deepen, "Stacey" approached me and said, "in here you don't have to do that, trust me". I asked her, "will I lose the phase, though?" she smirked and replied, "of course not, trust me". Before I knew it I fell asleep. When I awoke I vaguely remembered that, as the phase faded and I entered a dream, I had forgotten what we had been talking about initially.
I had distinctly lost the critical faculties that are fundamental for full consciousness and self-awareness. In hindsight, the Stacey simulation and what she was saying was most likely what I wanted to hear as I was seeing deepening as a burden rather than something interesting to do. That cost me and I got lost in a dream state. Develop an interest for the sensations you experience in the phase. Crave to intensify them. Your planned actions can also be used to do deepening. For instance, if you want to play a guitar in the phase, you can use an object-finding technique and then pay attention to how the object feels against your body, on your hands, pluck the strings and listen to the sounds in produces, observe the strings vibrating, etc. etc.
Give it your all, and not for the sake of appearances. But as mentioned in SOBT, techniques only have their maximum effect when you have focus and confidence.
We must remember, however, that the phase is a brain state where we can consciously program certain activities. Sensory perception also plays a big role in phase maintenance. The intention or desire to remain there alone are not enough unless you are expressing that through action. This is conveyed in the guidebook.
For instance, counting in the phase and trying to reach the highest number possible, no matter what, before a foul, activates certain areas of your brain to do with language and maths and keeps you focused on your goal. Likewise, actively palpating and peering at objects maintains the existence of phase environments and adjourns the interference of real world stimuli on our sensory organs. As long as we are focusing on and keeping the phantom sensations of the phase state alive, then the electrical buzz responsible for that will continue to have leeway.
But hey, the phase is limited only by your own imagination. In fact you can make up your own devices within the phase that can do whatever you want. A great example of a useful device would be a APM (Automatic Phase Maintainer). It's a small phone-like object that you can either hold in your hand or keep in your pocket. It's awesome because as soon as the phase starts fading away it vibrates intensely which instantly deepens the state without any effort on your part. Simply switch it off when you want to exit the phase. Be careful though... If it malfunctions and doesn't turn off then you are stuck in the phase forever
LOL! No. You can't get stuck in the phase forever. The real challenge (i.e. not a "problem") is to remain in it. The phone vibrating sounds like a personalised version of using vibrations. It is worth remembering this from SOBT:"For vibrations to appear, it often suffices merely to think about them. During the first experience, one should experiment with them for a while by rolling them around the body and its parts, as well as strengthening them and weakening them. However, one should not think that the presence of vibrations is a necessary condition for being in the phase. Many novices often strive not for the phase but for vibrations, after which the former must supposedly follow. That should not be the case. There are indeed specific techniques that make it possible to get into the phase by creating vibrations, but in all other cases they are not necessary and some practitioners may never have them at all."
- p327 (The Essence of Primary Skills: Vibrations)
More relevant to the topic, I'd like to include a few of things about tea here - and you may find them in some packages:
Tea is created using the young growth of leaves from the Camellia Sinensis. It was first discovered in China. Legend has it that it was in 2737 BC when leaves fell into water being boiled for the emperor Shen-nung.
Tea in general can also calm your mind, keep you alert and aid the practice of meditation. It also promotes alpha brain waves. The tannins, however, are not compatible with iron but you can get this from fish! I love fish!
There is something though, that you find in both tea and fish. Does anyone know what that is?