Imagine diving into the ocean depths. You’re looking for treasure. You know something lies in hiding, just waiting to be discovered. You may have only guessed at what it might be, if it’s valuable, what happens when you remove it from its place of safe-keeping or how any discovery will affect who you are, how others see you and how you live your life.
Focussed Mindfulness (FM) offers you the opportunity to do precisely that: dive in, explore and discover what’s been patiently or impatiently waiting within. It enables you to deepen into yourself, find what hurts and give it a deserving name. It gets straight to the heart of the problem, allowing you to see it from a fresh perspective whilst supporting you to find a healthier approach to your life.
How does Focussed Mindfulness work?
In Focussed Mindfulness, open non-judgemental attention is deliberately turned to a sensation in the body and then deeper to explore any feeling at its core. This exploration invites memories of a physical or emotional trauma, often buried in the unconscious, to become conscious. Processes are then used to address and heal this pain, leaving in its place a sense of peaceful acceptance. With repeated practice, a state of peaceful acceptance is accessed more and more readily and begins to affect the individual’s way of being. Focussed Mindfulness is thus a deep, direct and non-sectarian practice which brings about a healthier perspective to life, relationships and work.
The origins of the practice are not, as you might expect, from the Buddhist tradition but rather from the practice of self-enquiry taught by the Indian mystic Sri Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950). The techniques have been developed based on the teachings of his followers, principally Gangaji and Brandon Bays.
“Focussed Mindfulness is a gift. It enables you to truly be with yourself and to trust in your own authenticity and infinite wisdom. It has enabled me to heal deep wounds and to feel that I am perfect just as I am. No doubt challenges will continue but I now know that I have the tools and trust in myself, and others, when I need them.” ~ Lisa, Counsellor and FM Practitioner.
Finding what hurts
Physical pain and emotional pain are not only connected, they are like two sides of the same coin – one cannot occur without the other. As with physical pain, emotional pain also needs our attention. If it remains unheard and untended, it will continue to drive our thoughts, feelings and behaviours, creating dis-ease.
In the practice of Focussed Mindfulness we are working to heal all pain, regardless of whether it is emotional or physical in origin, and bring about peace of mind. It works on the pain you are experiencing in the present moment; it does not need a label or an explanation or to know the story of how it came to be.
How we respond to pain
Emotional pain comes in many forms such as sadness, overwhelming grief, anger, resentment, jealousy, hatred, mild fear, terror, a feeling of injustice, confusion, despair or numbness. Money worries can evoke feelings of insecurity, anxiety, sense of loss of control and an existential angst, such as that you feel when you fear your own death, and can evoke acute anxiety. You may be aware, if you are connected with your body, that there is a strong physical response to such emotional pain, or you may be someone who keeps your focus in your thinking mind and feels nothing. To me, these are all different forms of pain and Focussed Mindfulness can help in each case.
We have all experienced our buttons being pressed and our old emotional responses being quite literally triggered. Healing the root cause of our pain, of our unconscious, of our dis-ease, literally changes our way of being. Problems with relationships, physical health, mental health, stress levels, anxiety or depression stem from the unconscious mind: from the habitual fears and responses that have been hard-wired into us, usually from a very young age. We cannot think our way out of them.
Willing it not to be so
While the will is in charge, we cannot hear our ‘still small voice of calm’. We cannot listen to the soft truth of our inner wisdom that gently reveals to us a broader perspective and gives us the understanding and compassion to let go and allow life to flow. We cannot relax into an acceptance of what is and choose a path that will support us and give others space to do the same.
This is a difficult idea for the thinking mind to accept. Our culture has taught us to fear pain and find ways of avoiding it and to allow pain to pass, without resistance, seems counter-intuitive.
Healing your dis-ease
I have successfully used Pain Release Process Meditation with many of my clients. This consists in a series of recording in MP3 format that can be downloaded onto your phone or computer. They offer you an experience of the profound peace and guide you through the practice of Focussed Mindfulness so that healing can be achieved.
Find a quiet spot, sit comfortably but in an attentive position, close your eyes and listen to the meditation recordings from start to finish. If you get distracted or resistant, just notice this and gently invite yourself to re-engage with the process. If you are sharing the meditation with a child, invite them to sit quietly and listen, but great results can be achieved if he or she prefers to play quietly or draw while the recording is playing.
Freedom from pain’s grip
“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again”. Maya Angelou.
The ideal way to work with these processes is one to one with an experienced practitioner but you can gain a great deal of benefit listening to the recordings alone. The practitioners offer a safe and confidential space to connect with you at this deepest level, to truly listen to your truth and to hold the space with you at its heart. They will guide with love and authenticity and will provide an open, non-judgmental and nurturing environment.
Health practitioners who have learned these techniques find them to be invaluable tools for working with people suffering from emotional or physical pain. The techniques are straightforward, kind and short.
From Pain to Peace
My book, From Pain to Peace: Mindfulness for People in Pain and Those Who Support Them, offers you the means to explore and understand the true cause of your suffering and to see it differently. Like the techniques, the handbook is straightforward, shows you how to work on your own and with a healing partner. This book enables you to explore how you feel in your body which will lead you to a deeper understanding of your pain and suffering allowing insight into what needs to heal.
The Focussed Mindfulness exercises offered to you in this book heal deep emotional wounds. They offer a moment free from pain where you feel more open, accepting and joyous and you see your situation from a wiser perspective. There are many things you can do to help yourself to remain open to a more Peaceful Consciousness and if you practise these, often you will start to notice that you are naturally responding differently to challenges you meet in life and that you have achieved a lasting shift to a more mindful perspective.
If you want to finally feel free from the root cause of your emotional pain, your physical pain and your unconscious behaviours and beliefs then Focussed Mindfulness will help you to open to your heart, to joy, lightness and to be more present and fulfilled.
Should you require further guidance, you can contact Clare Walters at firstname.lastname@example.org.