Space for meditation

In the third of my extracts from James Roose-Evans’ book: Finding Silence, James offers a picture for us to ponder:

In meditating we become aware of an inner space that is vibrant with life. It is as though in the deepest part of us there is a whitewashed room with a window in each of the four walls, looking out on the Aegean seas. This cool space is empty yet full of light and the gentle stirring of the breezes bearing the scent of cedars and herbs. I think of a painting I have by Sheila O’Beney, on which I often meditate. It is in the style of a Paul Klee: a series of squares in delicate mauves, blues and greys. Two thirds of the way down, however, there is a white, unpainted square: an empty space. The painting is called ‘Space for meditation.’ It is this space that we enter each time we start our meditation.’

Saturday 12th October is a time for you to step out of the bustle and find silence at my one-day retreat, based on James Roose-Evans book, at the Bleddfa Centre. More here

To read more of this chapter and the rest of Finding Silence, you can buy it from Amazon, or at the Bleddfa Centre.

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Trying to fix things

It’s tempting to think everything can be fixed, that we have an answer for everything.  Therapists can be particularly prone to feel this is how we ought to be: we ought to be able to fix something, to be ‘successful’ as a therapist. Here is Eugene Gendlin talking:

One client, who had an abusive experience as a child, could imagine no way she could ever heal, except to make it ‘unhappen’. Eventually she said she would have been all right in those years if there had been someone to talk to about it. Nothing could have made it unhappen, of course, but she and the person could have “sat on a log together”.  I am here in such a way that a client can sit on a log with me. 

This means that we do not need to have an answer to the client’s stuck places. Sometimes there are real answers. However, usually we [the therapists] have answers because we have not yet understood the problem. When we reach the stage where we have no answer either, then we have really understood.

Sometimes I offer answers…I know so many procedures. I am never without something further that we can try. But we can try it later. We must not miss the real and thick process that happens in those moments when the client and I sit on a log.

In our society, people find it hard to sit together in silence. If I think the silence makes the client uncomfortable, I might say, “here we are, you and I, and for the moment we don’t have a way with this.”

Such statements indicate that we need not hunt desperately for something to say…In words or, more usually, in silence I indicate that our being together is something real that we are doing, even if there is nothing to say.

Answers come from outside. Healing comes from within. If I can be there with you in that ‘within’ place of yours, you are more likely to find healing for yourself – but you are not alone while you find it.

Focusing: A Way In – Saturday 21st September

Places are filling up nicely for my next workshop: ‘Focusing: A Way In’, on 21st September.

But is not too late to book your place

I am very excited about the day and all that I want to share and explore with you about this wonderful way of working with the whole person.

I draw on the work of Eugene Gendlin, Carl Rogers and Ann Weiser Cornell

  • Discover how to help clients notice and hold in the moment their felt sense of something – and stay with that process.
  • Help them to untangle from the thing that troubles them the emotional state that arises in response – and be with that.
  • Above all, help them move into the place within themselves where they can be with all of this – with self-care and compassion rather than self-judgment.

More details and booking information 

or contact me
by phone

07795 324575

email: (please type without spaces)

elizabethjhalls @ gmail.com

Cost:

£50 including lunch and refreshments

Timing

9.30 am coffee/registration, finish 4.00 pm

Venue

The Breast Cancer Haven building, 37 St Owen’s Street, Hereford HR 1 2JB

Plenty of nearby parking.

CPD attendance certificates available (6 hours)

 

 

The Open-Eyed Meditation

In the second of my extracts from James Roose-Evans’ book: Finding Silence, James offers a way that enables us to stay inwardly connected in the outward world.

It was for one extremely busy man who worked in the Foreign Office that, he says:

‘I devised what I have come to call The Open-Eyed Meditation…I suggested that he take the words ‘Thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us’ and say them mentally, over and over, while keeping his eyes open as he walked to get the train in the morning, being aware of his surroundings, of the other people travelling on the train; aware of animals, buildings, the quality of light, of the weather, knowing that God is in everything.

To busy to be. Photo by Jose Martin Ramirez

And then at intervals throughout the day, perhaps when dealing with a difficult colleague, that he keep repeating these words mentally. While nurturing our inner flame we need also to look with open eyes at everything; not only at the outer world but also at our prejudices, our animosities, our judgmental attitudes toward others, our resistances, our laziness, to see how egoistic most of us are, how we manipulate others to get our way.

‘Looking in but looking out. So many of us dash through each day without stopping to look about us: to observe the pigeon on the railway platform scrabbling for crumbs, the tired woman in front of us returning home after a night shift, or a fractious child: for all the world is my neighbour. We are all involved. It is no good shutting our eyes twice a day in meditation if it is regarded as a retreat from the reality that is all around us.’

Saturday 12th October is a time for you to step out of the bustle and find silence at my one-day retreat, based on James Roose-Evans book, at the Bleddfa Centre. More here

To read more of this chapter and the rest of Finding Silence, you can buy it from Amazon, or at the Bleddfa Centre.