What is Focusing?
Focusing is an inner awareness process. Focusing goes beyond mindfulness, beyond meditation, beyond contemplation. It is a simple, natural, process that some people do naturally, and that others need to learn.
Focusing is a process that brings something new. This something new is, at first, not clear. As it clarifies, it comes into focus. This process is experienced bodily as well as emotionally and mentally. It brings a feeling of release from something held in place. There is a sense of being able to breathe again, or a weight being lifted off, or something stuck finally moving again, a whole body relaxation - as if your Being gave a big sigh - “Ahhhhhh”. It feels good.
It begins with an inner directed attention from which forms a ‘felt sense’ of a situation. The situation can be about anything... from questions of meaning and purpose of life - to the small decisions we make daily about ordinary things. The felt sense is the way we take our experience - what the bodily feeling is of ‘all that’ about the situation. It is the way we carry our experience. It is beyond our knowledge - what we have in our head. It brings new possibilities. Our next step appears. It is connecting with the wisdom of the body.
The ‘body’, in Focusing, is much more than the physical
system we often view as a machine. The body is connected
with the Larger System of everything existing. It is already
interacting with the totality of what is... The body viewed in
this way is an untapped resource of phenomenal scale.
In Focusing we allow this resource to activate and we listen
for the as yet unknown information it brings. Probably the
most surprising thing that we discover is that the things we
have been avoiding in our life, that are holding us in place,
- these very things, when given a particular attention,
release, move forward, become unstuck.
What was previously experienced as an unwanted “enemy”, reverses and becomes a helpful “ally”. Things like fear, anger, and self-criticism are understood in a new way. Things like doubt, worry, anxiety are seen to be actually trying to protect us from harm. We then experience them differently.
Focusing can be experienced as a spiritual practice. It is widely used in psychology but also can have immense significance in Spirituality. It is Spiritual in that when we focus, we realize we are already connected to, and interacting in, the Larger System. We are already a part of something much Bigger than we are. This touches something deep in us... an instinctive knowing. What we have been yearning for is finally here. It is like coming home. It is like returning to the source. It carries with it a unique and awesome, even mysterious, sense of well-being. People who use Focusing as a spiritual practice, experience the process as one of Grace. There is gift - offered and received. Life transforms because WE are transformed.
The result is Living Presence.
Living fully, joyfully, creatively, with love and compassion and understanding ... And all in the midst of our everyday problems and concerns.
Focusing does not remove the problems from our lives. Human life is problematic. Focusing brings us to our true nature as Human Beings.
Do you long to feel a part of something Larger?
Is there something in you that already instinctively feels it?
Are you ready to explore what it is?
Introduction to Focusing with Gene Gendlin,
founder of The International Focusing Institute.
Eugene T. Gendlin is the founder of The International Focusing Institute. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago and taught there from 1964 to 1995. His philosophical work is concerned especially with the relationship between logic and experiential explication. Implicit intricacy cannot be represented, but functions in certain ways in relation to philosophical discourse. The applications of this "Philosophy of the Implicit" have been important in many fields.
Learn more about Eugene here.