Focusing Tips by Fiona Parr

I'm often asked questions which I feel are relevant to many people. So I share my responses here which I hope will provide a helpful insight for everyone involved in Focusing and an overview if you are new to Focusing.
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I recently attended a TIFI (Focusing Insitute) ‘roundtable’ seminar with William Hernández Equador and Soti Grafanaki from Greece/Canada.

They have spent years researching and developing the ‘natural pause as the precursor of the felt sense and felt sense literacy (FSL)’.
They have now brought out a book, and they shared some of their insights with us.

I was struck by the simplicity and directness of their exercises, which led to a place where there weren’t any words.
This helped us to bypass habitual thought, and moved us into present moment experiencing.
With the help of a volunteer, William showed us an exercise that can help to move into the immediacy of the moment.

Imagine an apple.
You could name it and describe it.
Now try and answer the question ‘what is that?’, without using any words.
Keep saying to yourself what is that, and don’t answer in words.
Notice what comes there.
Maybe there’s a sensory response.
If so, keep going, beyond the sensory.
What happens next?

I found this a fascinating experience.
Everyone’s responses are different.
It brought in me a distinct felt sense, and no words came.
I loved how I was catapulted from habitual thinking into immediate experience.

I think there can be helpful applications here for Focusing.
It can be all too easy to follow well-trodden paths when you are Focusing.
Familiar sensations arise, or patterns of thought and experience.
You may get to know different ‘parts’ of you, that respond in predictable ways.

This may be a helpful way to start your Focusing session..
Then I suggest you try asking ‘what is that?’ without answering in words.
Just stay there with your attention, and wait to see what comes.
If you are not just following habitual known ways of thought and being, you will need to wait and be patient for something new to come.
It helps to be curious, and that simple question supports your open curiosity.

See William and Soti’s website