Posts tagged: focusing exercise


By , September 15, 2008 1:38 pm
In the First Week of this four weeks practice of Instant "Ahah!" #1: FOCUSING --- Find Out What Is Bothering You, I introduced Gendlin's Six Step Focusing Process and gave the Complete Focusing Exercise. If you are just joining us, go to blog Intuitive Focusing to read this e-newsletter before proceeding to read the example of a Focusing Turn below: 
I did a Focusing Turn in The Creative Edge Practice E-Group (join here)  on a felt experience which I call "Experiencing The Sacred":   
// Note: Listening/Focusing does not have to be used in relation to spiritual experience -- this is just a special interest of mine, and not central to Gendlin's Focusing process and the use of The Creative Edge Pyramid of skills and applications at home and at work---//  
Step One: Clearing A Space 
(closing my eyes, turning inward---slowing down, paying attention to my breathing) --- Breathing in --- and out---- in---and out--- Massaging my face, neck shoulders. Taking a minute or two to come in touch with my body. 
Step Two: Getting A Felt Sense   
Now I start looking for the "intuitive feel" to form for the Focusing question: "What is this 'whole thing' about Experiencing The Sacred)------  
------(Focusing inward at least a minute, waiting for the "felt sense," the "intuitive feel" of "this whole thing" to form, as a vague, preverbal sensing inside my chest area---) 
Step Three: Finding A Handle  
Initial words come: "Someone asked me why I have used religious or spiritual  terms, like Agape, the Christ-within-the-Other, the Universal Oneness, in pointing to the Sacred experience that I often have during Listening/Focusing turns, especially when the Focuser touches upon a "sheen of tears," a place of profound meaning (see my article "Being Touched and Being Moved"), and I am the Listener, and, suddenly, the boundary between us dissolves and I feel that"our souls are touching" or some such thing---hard to find words to describe it---I am pointing 
Step Four: Checking and Resonating 
(quiet to check with the "felt sense," the "intuitive feel" of this "whole thing"--- "Do those words fit? 'Our souls are touching, boundary dissolves'?" (sitting quietly with "the feel of it all," going back-and-forth between words and images or gestures which arise, checking and resonating, trying to find the symbolizations that are "just right" in capturing "the feel of it all")---   
---The person and I spoke of Martin Buber's "I -Thou" vs. "I-It" distinction as another way of pointing to this experience---(pause to look for words--- new words) this experience of merging-without-joining, union-with-separation, and, not just the two people, but the sense of "something more" in that moment of "soul-touching (soul is not the right word, just a pointing word)"---the sense that The Sacred (again, pointing words---) enters in---the two people hanging together in this larger
---(I'm getting a thrill here, a little teary---almost goose bumps)------(big breath---ahhhhhh!) 
(new steps forward, "felt shifts" coming as I find words that are closer in grasping and articulating the "felt meaning" -- the Ahhh!, sighs, deep breaths that indicate the tension release and "Ahah!" experience of the "felt shift," the Paradigm Shift) 
Step Five: Asking An Open-Ended Question
(and I ask myself, "What is so important about this 'two people hanging together in this larger Something'?" and wait quietly for the "feel of it all" to emerge, preverbally in my body, Getting The Felt Sense, before I again begin looking for Handle Words and Resonating and Checking---pause for "felt sensing", as much as a minute, followed by more symbolizations, more resonating and checking between the symbols and the "feel of it all")    
--- and the words "Well, that is the point---it is that experience that I call Experiencing The Sacred---that sense that something else enters into the "energy" (just a pointing word) space between us------(breath---sigh---a little teary as in "touched and moved"------(big sigh---) 
Step Six: Receiving  
(and I sit with and savor this new insight, that it is exactly the two people and Something More in the space between that feels Sacred, touches me so deeply, and some Global Application comes after the Felt Shift --- seeing new connections)
--- And it can happen in nature, with a sunset, with music, in churches or other sacred spaces, many different roads, not just between people--- (and I spend some time just letting the richness of the felt shift, the new information, register throughout my body/mind, and thanking my body-sense for this new information). End of Focusing Turn
You can see how, instead of answering immediately from my head, what I already know about "experiencing the Sacred" ("Well, of course, it's related to Martin Buber and it's about Something Greater Than Yourself," etc.), Focusing allows me to stop and "sit with" my larger "whole-body-wisdom" that includes everything I have read and everything I have experienced and am experiencing. 
From this "felt sense" I can articulate new facets of the experience. And I also experience the sense of "sureness," of experiential rather than merely intellectual insight, that lets me know I am on the right track.  Of course, Focusing can be used for all kinds of problem solving without entry into the spiritual realm, without touching on tears and feeling connection with the Other---this Experiencing the Sacred is just a special Interest Area of mine-
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