Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Introduction to my view of Focusing and Spirituality

Hello friends,

There are a those of you out there who have known me and my work for some time now, and know that I continue to look as deeply as I am able into the nature of experience. This blog is a way for me to share what I am seeing and am learning with more people than I have contact with in my daily life. Thus I offer this new forum in the hope that it will be an opportunity for discussion and ongoing contact.

In my way of understanding, the "way of experiencing" is helpful in navigating the
world. In particular, I use and teach Focusing as a path to living and moving forward in spiritual ways. Many of my best moments in a week are the times when I am teaching Focusing. I do not see myself as an expert, but I find that sharing what I know and am learning has over time benefited others.

As I thought about this first entry, a recent serendipitous experience came to mind. Looking though some old Focusing material, I ran across a
cassette of a workshop that Gene Gendlin, and several others of us,
conducted many years ago. It was held at the Center for the Study of the
Person in La Jolla, and Carl Rogers, who was the director, was there. He
had been Gene's teacher.

As I listened to the tape, I found myself asking why Gene was spending so much time talking about "Clearing a Space." Clearing a Space was originally the first step of Focusing. Most teachers have long since given it up. As a first step it can be
cumbersome. Many people complained that by the time they cleared a space,
there was no time for Focusing.

And yet, revisiting this step and hearing Gene's arguments for it awakened
something in me. Let me explain or remind you of what it is.

One began by saying to oneself, "I feel wonderful," and then one paid
attention to the bodily response to this statement. Whatever came up as an umph, as in "How can I feel fine if...," was to be put aside. This way one could catalog and put aside
all that interfered with being present.

As many of you might guess, this process could take time because many umphs could be in the way, and some might strongly resist being put aside. The idea was that when
worries were put aside, one was free to bring a more whole self to the
chosen subject.

Though Clearing a Space is not used so much these days, I would like to

point out that not only does this process help open to the Focusing

work, it also opens us up to life! If all one does is practice Clearing A Space, a internal lightness is available. Baggage stowed, one can access more of
one's self, or Self.

Welcome to my blog. I look forward to your feedback. Please feel free to forward this or future blogs to anyone who you think would be interested. I would hope this will lead to a forum for us all to discuss Focusing and spiritual matters. I know that we are all busy so I will do my best to keep them short and sweet.

Be well and happy, Bruce


Anonymous said...

What a great way to start my day! It seems like a perfect avenue and I've already forwarded it to the person you indirectly got into focusing.

Anonymous said...

it will be interesting

Film Guy said...


I enjoyed reading your blog, and found your comments valuable. Through your patience, sensitivity, and good counsel, I'm beginning to enjoy the benefits of "Clearing a Space." (I just didn't know that was what I was doing!)