Clearing a Space

Our Year of Living Mindfully program had it’s first monthly class at our house this Wednesday night.  Toward the end of the evening all the lights went out.  We sat in meditation for a bit and I hoped the power might come back on.  We’re at the end of a private lane and any power outage anywhere  in the system affects us.

The lights never did come on, so aided by candles and cell phones and flashlights, folks gathered up and headed out.  Ten minutes later I got a call that a tree was down on the road and cars on both sides were unable to pass.

My chance to be a hero!  I tossed my new Stihl chainsaw in my car and headed out, envisioning myself trotting up with a running chainsaw and making short order of the tree, liberating everyone to their destinies.

I got there just as the police did and was informed that the lines were hot and we had to wait for the power company.

Wait we did.  Hours.

Right now in the program we are diving into the modality of Focusing as a way to deepen attention to the ‘felt sense’ of the body.  This training is enormously helpful in shifting from how we think about something to how it feels inside, allowing a practitioner to more quickly get in touch with any issue.

The first step is called “Clearing a Space.”  The questioner asks a question such as, “What’s between me and feeling really good inside?”

Upon naming an issue, the questioner says hello to it, senses it and places it to the side for later reflection.  The process continues until there’s a sense of completion.

Once one has identified the landscape of issues, the practitioner then starts to focus on the ‘felt sense,’ how and where it lives inside.

As we were horsing around waiting for the power company tree crew to show up, Catherine got a great shot with her iphone which kind of ended up looking like a movie poster.  Here it is:

I never thought of Focusing with a chainsaw metaphor, but I kind of like it.

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