By , November 19, 2007 12:14 pm

Experiencing The Sacred

Predictable Access to Spiritual Experience

As with personal growth and creativity, spiritual experiences can also be reached more predictably through the conscious use of Intuitive Focusing. If you “accidently” find yourself in the midst of a transformative, spiritual moment, you can enrich and enlarge that opening by consciously turning attention toward the “feel of it all” and making words and images for the power and meaning of it.

These words and images can then stay with you after that magical moment ends. You can use them as a predictable road back to that spiritual experience, again by consciously turning your attention to them, and the intuitive feel which goes with them, using Intuitive Focusing. 

Using Intuitive Focusing, you can enrich your spiritual experience. Whether the initial intuitive sense of The Sacred is comes through nature or inspiring music or religious rituals in church or through watching the kindness of one person toward another, these spiritual experiences can be deepened through Intuitive Focusing. The existence of Something Greater or Something More will be fully and unquestionably known, experientially, rather than being only an intellectual theory.

Being Touched and Being Moved

Dr. McGuire calls it “being touched and being moved.” Experiencing The Sacred is often marked by at least a sheen of tears in the eyes, along with an expansive feeling of one’s own boundaries and limits dissolving for at least a moment of merging into a feeling of Oneness – with nature, with another person or other people, with music, or with the religious ritual in church.


Jesuit Fathers Pete Campbell and Ed McMahon (Bio-Spirituality: Focusing As A Way To Grow, 1985) have made a life’s work out of looking at the specifically spiritual aspect which can be present in any use of  Intuitive Focusing. They see entering the bodily “felt sense” through Focusing as a way of entering into The Body of Christ from the Christian perspective and also into the common ground of all spiritual experience. They call their approach Bio-spirituality ( ).

In any Focusing process, the Focuser will often experience a Felt Shift or Paradigm Shift, an opening of tension release into forward movement and new energy. Fathers Pete and Ed tell us to pay more attention to the “bodily-feel” surrounding these felt shifts in experiencing. They show us that, if we attend fully to the feelings surrounding the felt shift, we will find experiences of gratitude, of awe, of being “graced” by the presence of the Almighty.

While they started with Christianity, the Fathers now see Focusing as an access path to the Experience of the Sacred which underlies all religions. They elaborate upon Gendlin’s sixth step of Focusing, called Receiving: thanking and acknowledging your Body’s Wisdom for the new steps of healing that have emerged through Focusing and taking the further step of noticing the presence of grace and awe and thanking the Greater Source from which felt shifts, and spiritual and emotional growth, emerge.

Empathy and Agape: The Creation of Love

Intense spiritual experiences of the love known as Agape also happen regularly through the experience of exchanging Listening/Focusing turns in a Focusing Partnership or Focusing Community. Through the use of Focused Listening, I am able to set aside my own stereotypes and prejudices and really enter into the world of the other person.  In these moments of empathy, when the Focuser touches upon her deepest values and most profound truths, as the Listener, I am often moved and touched by the absolute uniqueness, yet universal humanness, of the Other.
In these moments, often with a sheen of tears in our eyes, it seems that the boundaries separating one person from the other drop, and we stand together in a shared, sacred space. I believe this is what is meant by experiencing The Christ Within The Other or Universal Oneness or Martin Buber’s description of “I-Thou” vs. “I-It” relationships. For me, there is no more sacred experience.

Read more about Focusing and Spirituality in Interest Area: Experiencing The Sacred

Download my articles:

 Focusing and Spirituality: The Still, Small Voice

 Being Touched And Being Moved: The Spiritual Value of Tears

 Finding The Meaning Of Tears          

If you haven’t yet, download our Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual   (Ajas Instantaneos  ) so you can try “Ahah!” #10, Spirituality: Being Touched and Being Moved and nine other exercises for integrating Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening into your every day home and work life.

In the sidebars at Creative Edge Focusing (TM)  , you can subscribe to our e-newsletter and e-support groups for ongoing support in applying Listening and Focusing  to every life situation.

Dr. Kathy McGuire

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)                       

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