Category: relaxation exercises


By , September 27, 2008 9:41 am

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Focusing, Relaxation, and Meditation

In general, the goal of meditation is to still and clear the constant activity of the mind, to “let go” of controlling thoughts and ego, to rest in a peaceful state of “non-attachment.” With repeated practice, this meditative state of meeting life’s events with “non-attachment” becomes more and more present during the events of everyday living, leading to stress reduction and action from a place of peaceful awareness. Meditation is the OPPOSITE of a problem-solving strategy. Its goal is “emptiness” as a healing state in itself. You can find links to many forms of meditation in blog  Week Three: Noticing — Focusing, Relaxation, and Meditation.
Intuitive Focusing IS a problem-solving method. After using meditations like Noticing Your Breathing to “clear a space,” to get to that space of “emptiness,”  in Intuitive Focusing, we then turn ourselves toward a more ACTIVE way of engaging and interacting with actual real-life concerns.  We ask ourselves an open-ended question, like “What is the feel of this whole thing?”, and then we wait, as long as a minute, for a “felt sense” of an issue or idea to appear in the center of our body. We allow something to arise in that “empty stage” of the body/mind.
However, different from normal intellectual problem-solving, in Focusing, we are not arguing lists of pros and cons. We are finding a way to engage with the “bodily felt sense,” the right-brain “intuitive feel” of an issue or idea, The Creative Edge from which new, non-linear information can unfold. We are engaging in a back-and-forth between this “intuitive feel” and any words, images, or gestures that arise in relation to it. The “body-feel” is the final judge of “rightness.” Through a release of tension, the body tells us, “Yes, that is exactly right. That’s it.”
So, Focusing and meditation are two very different kinds of “Inner Actions,” specific activities we can engage in inside of ourselves.
But we are using meditation as a first step, a way of opening up enough “free attention” in the body for the deeper process of Intuitive Focusing, which involves a more active back-and-forth between the “intuitive feel” of an issue or idea and symbolizations (words, images, gestures) that arise from it.

Relaxation Exercise: Noticing Your Breathing

 Here is your relaxation exercise for this month. Print it out, keep it handy, and take those few moments to relax every day, if you can, or as often as possible. Or, you can just open this weekly reminder and walk through the exercise online. Relaxing is one way to “clear a space” inside for a longer-term Focusing Problem Solving session.

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Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

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