August 14, 2007 at 1:17 pm #23416
Voice mentioned using the Focusing methodology as a way to ‘do’ alchemy.
Voice, could you expand on how you work with it? I came by focusing a few months ago, and it’s something that really resonates with me – very powerfull. It would be interesting to se how you dance between direction/intention and the yin aspect of awareness/presence.
(I’l also let you know how I work with it)
For anyone not familiar with focusing check it out!!! especially if you’re very kinesthetic. I also think this method is especially effective for enneagram type 9’s (like me) whose internal pattern tends to be experiencing kinesthetically, then elaborating auditorally.August 15, 2007 at 11:40 am #23417
Glad to hear that you are into Focusing. I am not sure if you were around when I criticized NLP (something I know that you are very into) for being too false yang. Indeed, I find “Core Transformations” (which I did alot for around a year) to be subtly false yang/controlling, by only asking “what would be better than that?”
When I started back into focusing a little over a year ago (about a 20 year lapse from when I did it for a while in the early 80s), I followed the steps that Ann Cornell outlined in her book. Over time, I mostly just presence the feeling. Now, these are NOT emotions, these are bodily feelings. The trick is to not call something sadness which is a subtle judgement, but describe the physical sensations. Okay, here is an example.
Right now there is a tightness that runs from my jaw to the back of my shoulders adn to my diaphragm. I say “hi” and the area shifts physically to a more relaxed place and I even tear up a bit (that hasn’t happened in months!). There is still tightness deep in the back of the shoulders. There is a sense of creatures backed up into caves there, a slight menacing feeling. I say “hello” and there is a slight dropping of the menacement, but no real change. (This lack of change provides a good opportunity to explain some new ideas I got.)
Where does the “hi” or “Hello” come from, and what are its qualities? In my first “hi” above, it was an ethereal, angel-like “hi”. The later “hello” was more calm, measured and earthy to not worry or anger the menacement. But, if didn’t budge. I could have spent time describing hte feelings in more detail, or ask what that energy wanted. But, where I am at now is exploring different ways of saying “hello”. The word can be said “HAAA L OOOOO”, giving the heart and kidney sound – yang and yin. I project the HAAA and OOOO in a kan and li orientation, with HAAA directed below the resistant feeling and OOOO directed above it. I then pay attention to the interaction between the fire and water energies with the feeling. In this case, they together softened the menace and it gives an indication it would like kan and li to be done within its space, not for it to just be within the kan and li space.
I discovered this when I was at my 8-year old son’s karate class. He was acting badly and I was getting upset. I did some focussing, said “hi” to my angry part…and it got angrier! I realized later that I was saying “hi” in a yang way to it. If I said “hi” in a yin way it helped a bit, but it helped alot if I said “hello” from the kidneys and allowed a sense of water to go on top of the angry area.
This is all different than “doing” kan and li (or, at least, how I did it!) because that involved a focus on the kan and li and not on the me! For example, in the picture below, there is fire, water the cauldron and gold — where is imperfect me in that?! There are all of these “parts” of me that are disenfranchised into shadowland; they have done great work for me under adverse circumstances — they deserve to get what they deeply want, and not be ordered around.
I don’t know if this answers your question. I look forward to hearing how you are working with Focusing.
Oh, in the Enneagram I am (or, was in 2005) predominantly 5 (thinker/detached) with a secondary dominance in 1 (perfectionist/reformer), so Focusing isn’t just for 9s!
ChrisAugust 15, 2007 at 12:58 pm #23419
Very interesting to see that you’re using subtle distinctions in how you say the ‘hi’. I’ll try it out.
Most of my hi’s tend to be very soft and yielding – so yin… the feeling is that of allowing space for the part to come out of hiding. I suspect a more yang hi might have different effect – asking the part to step forward, rather than just creating space.
It’s funny that you say how false yang NLP is, and I agree – with the caveat that it’s as yang as the user, there are people that use it very differently – Dave Dobson, Jerry Stocking etc.
The core transformations process is similar to how I’ve been using focusing. (with one key difference – once I get to the core, I go one more step up, and I get emptiness, the emptiness then trickles down the ladder creating space that contains all the imperfections)
You can do the process very differently than how it has been done before. And focusing provides much of the difference.
What I do now is I first take time to say hi to the part – over weeks, whenever it shows up I say hi… I know you’re there… The part gets more comfortable being witnessed, and eventually I can give it an accepting smile that it basks in. Then I let it vent its current state – I stay present and experience whatever comes up.
I eventually ask if it wants to go deeper… those are the words, but the kinesthetic question is ‘do you want to uncover’ or do you want to reveal? Do you get what I mean? it’s the feeling of letting your guard down. I feel for the answer and it’s usually a pulling (towards) sensation for yes and pushing (away from) sensation for no.
If it’s not willing to go deeper, I say thank you, give it a smile and reasure it that I’ll be back (more kinesthetically than verbally – it’s kind of a ‘caring’ feeling)
If it is willing to go deeper I ask it: what do you really want for me? The answer is usually a feeling followed by words (sometimes visual too), I repeat the words back and ask if that’s right… so I get it completely right then I ask ‘what would it be like to experience that now?’ so I recreate this perfect scenario in just the way the part sees fit… once it’s exactly right, and the part agrees, I proceed and ask “experiencing this now, what do you want for me *that is even more important than this*?”… and I follow the same pattern with what comes up after that. Eventually we get to the core (which is usually ‘completion’ or ‘wholeness’ or something along those lines) and then I step off the edge of the core and fall into this profound emptiness – let it fill (or empty) me and then I go back down the ladder letting the perspective of this emptiness bleed into all the prior goals down the ladder. Finishing it I usually have tears and laughter at the same time.
The key here is a dance – between directing and allowing – mostly allowing. Every question asked presupposes a ‘thank you’ for whatever comes up… (hard to explain).
NLP as practiced by many is about replacing something painfull with something that seems pleasurable at the time, the way I do it is I go into the painfullness, deeper and deeper and allow whatever comes up to come up – the only yang directing is in patiently and gently going deeper – there is no pressure or pre-conceptions or expectations about what comes up and what needs to come up or even that anything comes up at all.
Allow allow allow – nudge – allow allow allow – nudge – allow allow allow etc.August 15, 2007 at 11:21 pm #23421
Thanks Freeform and Voice for sharing your experiences with focusing and alchemy. I don’t know much about NLP or focusing, but what you two shared about the kinesthetic aspect of your experiences really resonates with me. Reconnecting with isolated parts of me happens mostly in a sort of kinesthetic way that almost seems to require sustaining the interest of an isolated part. These parts don’t seem to want to interact with a larger whole unless they see an opportunity (for what, I am not entirely sure). While they maintain their silence, their pseudo-physical sensation is often the only indicator I have that there is something there.
I’ve been reading an interesting book lately called “The Shadow Side of Intimate Relationships” by Mosely and Mosely. In it the authors describe a sort of dance of intimacy between two persons that moves like a sea-saw between the roles of parent to child and back again. In other words, the woman fluctuates back and forth in her roles between a mother and daughter type. Simultaneously, the man fluctuates back and forth in his roles of son and father. The authors make the point that although the parental roles seem to be dominant, their power can always be usurped by the child roles, at which point the roles may reverse (i.e., the parent becoming the child and vice versa).
All this became very revealing to me in light of a recent experience where I had unconsciously been playing a parental role in a newish relationship, only to have the rug pulled out from under me by the other person. Suddenly I was a child and didn’t know what to do. Anger and criticism didn’t get me what I wanted, but neither did sulking. Actually, nothing worked since the other person remained inaccessible to me for about two weeks. I was forced to look inside and start to explore by what and how I am being driven in these unconscious behavior patterns.
My approach to deal with the situation was to do a lot of Fusion, but some feelings were so subtle that it seemed that I couldn’t reach them. They would appear unexpectedly in my interactions and then vanish without a trace. No cauldron seemed large enough or inviting enough to coax them to take a dip.
It might seem like I’m getting off track from your original discussion, but let me ask you this question. Do you think that a particular approach to alchemy practice might be influenced by a deeper behavioral pattern that is seeking to control the results of the alchemy practice? I know that Michael (Winn) talks about certain Shen having particular agendas. The reason I make this point is that until recently, I had no idea that I often play a sort of father (dominant, controling, or knowledgable) role in a relationship. If I extend this behavior pattern to alchemy practice, what will be the results? I only put this out there because I was really shocked to see how vulnerable I was when I thought that I had it all together.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Are we kidding ourselves with our clever practices?
HortonAugust 16, 2007 at 3:30 am #23423
“Are we kidding ourselves with our clever practices?”
I think this is a wonderful question. And the answer is yes. But if we continue to follow the internal drive we see our way through the devices because there is more to us than the wayward parts that want to control the process. There is also the divine spark holding the center while the soul learns how to properly control itself. And the way it does this is through feeling and NOT through thinking. The soul is feminine. The soul feels its reality through the heart.
All techniques of any system work only when true communication “between/among” occurs. Concepts like “alignment” and “coherency” are essential. The natural direction is towards balance, harmony and unity. One’s old paradigm is slowly transmuted in favor of a new self as one continues to become more open to being conscious of what is going on inside. Consciousness, love and feeling go hand-in-hand. Through feeling what we are doing we eventually decide at deeper and deeper levels to opt for wholeness. Thinking does NOT bring about this result. Quite the opposite.
All healing/wholeness is about relationship and that is what the central focus of Core Transformation is about- to open communication with parts that previously have not been listened to and properly guided and to find out what they really want. They have the behaviors they have because we did not stay present long enough to attend to them. We concluded that the feelings involved were too much for us to deal with. We willed ourselves away from what we were really feeling and those feelings took on a life of their own and became “parts.”
I find nothing inherently controlling about the CT process. Quite the opposite, it is necessary to find out what your anxiety or anger or depression wants so it can have a chance to heal. The question used in the book by the authors, “What is more important than that?”, gently leads one where one really wants to go and was somehow sidetracked from getting there early on. A core state like beingness, oneness or OKness is not something foisted upon an unwilling part of ourselves; it is a fulfillment of its true intention in existing.
Also, I find the alchemical practices I have learned from Michael to have a life of their own in that they will not necessarily follow the rules, but they will come together more or less of themselves when enough space is allowed them to do what they need to do. Total openness is the key while maintaining clarity of focus.
It is said in the Yijing, in hexagram 64, Not Yet Crossing, that for the fire and the water to move into proper alignment, for us to be ready to make our crossing, we must first exhaust the masculine will. That is what we are doing, layer by layer. Anything that helps us do this is a worthy approach.
AAAugust 16, 2007 at 9:38 am #23425
Hi Horton – great post, I like very much the parent/child observation.
I especially like how you described the carpet being pulled from under you. That is the gift of relationship!! I assume you’re a man and your relationship is with a woman – but this doesn’t matter much. Only that the feminine has this natural inclination to destroy illusion. Reality itself is yin in nature – ungraspable, ever changing, mysterious – it also has a way of pulling the carpet from under your feet, just at the moment that you think you have it all worked out.
Both the parent and child inside you are parts, they both want to ‘protect’ you in some way or another. As Alexander explained, Core Transformation works by finding out the deep goals of each part (there are always several layers of goals). However because the parent and child roles are such a nice polarity I would try something different – it’s actually more similar to alchemy…
Firstly is getting in touch with each of the parts – don’t have any preconcieved time frames for this. Focusing is basically the practice of noticing the very specific kinesthetic aspects of the part (so rather than it feels sad and lonely – you would describe the specific kinesthetic representation of “sad” and “lonely” – eg: an empty feeling in my chest and a tight pulling sensation in my throat). This way you attend to the moment which is always much simpler than making mental projections.
Say hi to the parts, tell them that you know they are there. It may be interesting to eventually ask how old they are – I suspect the parental all-knowing part will be younger than you think.
Once you have a good relationship with each part, try the following: invite the child into your awareness, breathe and let it manifest fully through you… say thank you, then bring the parent part into awareness and let it manifest fully, say thank you… start slowly, then speed up – manifesting one and then another – do it many times, speeding up each time (let your mind go – it’s far too slow to keep pace) – keep going – speeding up more and more, untill eventually you feel almost a flicker or vibration – put your attention on the vibration (this will feel kinesthetic, you may have a visual flicker and an auditory humm) – speed the vibration up (the tone of the hum might increase, or the tembre might become smoother – like a sine wave instead of a square wave) – stay with it and you will pop out of this into what I can only describe as profound emptiness – let the emptiness spread through the body. You might have an emotional reaction or a strange breathing pattern or bliss or some movement/shaking, just let it do its thing.
When you get to a natural end, try to get back in touch with the parts – in my experience this endeavour results in hysterical laughter…
The emptiness is the middle ground between parent and child – the bliss/shaking/breathing is the result of these parts integrating (becoming whole). If they dont integrate, then you still have the experience of being in the middle – see if you can be in the middle next time with your partner.August 16, 2007 at 1:11 pm #23427
I was just loving your descriptions of your process until I got to your inclusion of the Core Transformations step of: “experiencing this now, what do you want for me *that is even more important than this*?”
My heart got hard and my eyes got sad and I reflected on the word “important” and found…being abandoned by my father. My father was a workaholic/alcoholic and, though he slept at home, he emotionally and socially abandoned me for his work. So, there is this very angry area in my heart, angry at the idea of progress, of leaving things behind for something that is called “important”. I did my best, but just wasn’t good enough for him. Why couldn’t I have just been accepted and loved as I was? You know, the whole “unconditional love” thing?
Similarly, we have these “parts” that developed when we were less than perfect, but they did their best. These parts eventually limit the development of the whole self and, in fact, no…. [I decided to leave all this in and not self-edit]
AH! I just reread (can now reread clearly?) your phrase “experiencing this now, what do you want for me *that is even more important than this*?”. Before, I would emphasize the word “what do you want for ME”, whereas now I read it as “what do YOU want for me”; in fact, even better for me is to read it as “what do YOU want for US?”. For me (writing now as a part that thinks it is a me!) when doing Focusing with a part, I don’t want to presume that the part that is Focusing with another part is really the whole me! Instead, it feels better to have the part address the other part as equals – as an US that resides within this huge and unknowable ME.
Thanks to you and Horton and AA for helping facilitate this shift!August 16, 2007 at 5:13 pm #23429
…to be a part of this conversation among us and to feel the wonderful shifts being made through it. We are all facilitating an enormously important process for each other.
Chris, I really feel your ownership and compassion with this thing you got hold of. I have that one about abandonment also and all the same conclusions- Why wasn’t I loved for who I am? But as I have worked through it I found that there was at least some love there, not the way I wanted it fully though, and that I somehow formed a really negative conclusion, a misunderstanding, about my own self-worth based on outer circumstances. I tell you, nothing in my life has helped me create compassion more for myself and others than this (fucking) issue. (Put a big smiley face right here, please.)
I have been working for awhile now with the premise that everything of importance that I have as an issue in this life is just a replay for my benefit of a more original issue stemming back in time to the beginning of my existence as a being. I could blame my dad for not loving me right and for being critical but I know that even though he behaved that way he was reflecting for me my own beliefs about myself that I created by believing that the ultimate authority figure, “God,” was judging me and not liking me; that I had, in some way, failed God and so felt no good. My own judgments coming back in my face.
Deep Breaths…Lots of forgiveness
So, I think it’s all coming home for us now. This is the time. We’ve got all this work to do that seems endless but it’s a layer after layer process of clearing because we’ve got so much “past” life experience in which we did not pay enough attention to our selves and our feelings and it built up as concretized soul crud. Now we’re chunking away at it.
It’s great we’re sharing what we’re doing to get through the mire.
Peace and happiness, AAugust 16, 2007 at 7:29 pm #23431
>>I have been working for awhile now with the premise that everything of importance that I have as an issue in this life is just a replay for my benefit of a more original issue stemming back in time to the beginning of my existence as a being.<>I have that one about abandonment also and all the same conclusions- Why wasn’t I loved for who I am?<<
Yes, I have that too – I'm certain there are very few people that don't. A child has full, unobstructed awareness, most parents can't help but abandon their children – it happens on a microscopic scale – when their energy and attention leaves you in the moment you feel abandoned.
What we're transforming here is an archetypal energy – the deep wound we all carry from being abandoned by father heaven and mother earth. Giving it space and allowing it to integrate we're bringing heaven and earth into us and offering the love that the integration brings forth to humanity.August 16, 2007 at 7:53 pm #23433
… want to ask a question, has anyone who does any kind of focussing/core transformation work tried, instead of greeting the part or questioning it, simply being completely neutral and silent? What happens is you have a door there into stillness meditation more or less of the zen type if you were doing core transformation, and more or less of the Frantzis ‘Water Method’ type if you were doing focussing.
To me this works better than anything else because the only thing you have to do is keep neutral relaxed and centred as best you can, and things just happen. For meditation I do only this plus healing sounds for now, except I added use of multiples.com orgasm self-intercourse style because many problems can be tackled that way plus it feels good. Sex and silence seem related to me. But apart from individual magical stuff this is all I do now.
It’s interesting to me because I never understood the reason why one has to talk to the part of oneself, so I skipped that whole thing. I just really strenuously do nothing at all and I get major unblocking, nectar, etc., and sexual bliss. I’m pretty sure if you do focussing in particular (because it’s physical-sensation based) you are doing the same thing but I don’t see the need to add all the talking into it so I wondered if anyone ever tried to take the talking out?
bless all jAugust 16, 2007 at 8:11 pm #23435
Jason said: “…the only thing you have to do is keep neutral relaxed and centred”.
Chris replies: ONLY?!
Chris elaborates: I totally agree with you that the goal is to be neutral. And, some parts don’t need words, and just an energetic recognition to my consciousness. But, many parts that give me trouble have been silenced or are even pre-verbal, and so are grateful for words spoken to or listened from them. In some ways, I think of this like Ken Wilber’s “descent in service of the ego” – helping these parts of me come up to speed in all manner of human skills and consciousness. Because, if they lack some skills, then it will just be a chink in my completion (such as Winn and Ragnar talk about as reasons that the Buddha got caught by some food poisoning). In other words, for me to be neutral and centered requires all of this – and for me this is not ONLY it is EVERY.
Chris concludes: Your above statement fits me better when modified as: “…the every thing I have to do is to keep neutral and centred”.August 17, 2007 at 2:39 am #23437
“…has anyone … tried… simply being completely neutral and silent?”
Yes Jason. But like Chris says you have to speak to parts of yourself sometimes.
I find more and more that one must be totally open and flexible about this or one is going to be trying to control what is going on. We cite various methods- CT, focusing, K & L…- but in the end (which comes every moment) we HAVE to adapt and allow.
You’re right, silence is totally powerful. It is that center of neutrality, that emptiness FF is always falling into, that does the alchemizing. I like to think of this work essentially as a holding of the space and I endeavor to do what is appropriate in the moment.
So, to be clear, there are times when I’ve tried to be very precise and by-the-book in my meditations and it has not worked, and times when I’ve tried to be “watery” about it and it also has not worked. What works is what I fall into from following where I am guided to go. But one has to start somewhere.
You “strenuously do nothing” but that “nothing” is a strong something- it is listening, holding, opening to. That’s what is effective, I find.
Can you please explain a little about the multiples.com thing. I read through the info there and it says nothing about what one actually does to get to that place.
Best, AAugust 17, 2007 at 2:51 am #23439
Yes, I’ve done lots of the RF work on the net. But after a while it felt rote and predictable. But the basic principle can be applied whether you do the whole technique or not- stop blaming and forgive (yourself).
“when their energy and attention leaves you in the moment you feel abandoned.”
I think this happens only to those who are primed for it by their inherent issues. You have to have a predisposition for it, imo.
“What we’re transforming here is an archetypal energy – the deep wound we all carry from being abandoned by father heaven and mother earth.
It sounds like you are saying we actually have been abandoned by them. That right? I don’t think that’s true, personally. I think we get confused and make stuff up.
AAugust 17, 2007 at 9:55 am #23441
… because you are saying that with words you can free things up from being blocked, by having a conversation open, which is not the way it works with me but it’s cool that it works with you. I really was just trying to get to the idea that these methods were only one step away from the neutral and silent method, but it’s obvious you already were playing with that.
I must admit I never did focussing, I’ve only heard about it, but I did do the core transform for a while. I see it as working psychically as an ‘unblocker’ primarily, the reason you talked to parts was because they were blocked and the idea was always to try and open them up to connected neutral space. But what I found was that you can just start with the neutral space and allow things to align to that, and I ended up really just going with that. jAugust 17, 2007 at 10:07 am #23443
>>You “strenuously do nothing” but that “nothing” is a strong something- it is listening, holding, opening to. That’s what is effective, I find.<>Can you please explain a little about the multiples.com thing. I read through the info there and it says nothing about what one actually does to get to that place.<<
No because he wants you to buy it! haha. 🙂
It's really not that different from holding a neutral space and breathing, which is why I can combine it w/ the above, but you invite sexual feelings in. You use what he calls a 'key sound' to bring in the energy, and then you just breathe and wait. Now obviously when it gets purely sexual there are ahem self-manipulations involved, but I actually found that you can get by without these if you are strongly neutral and focussing on the blocks. What I mean by that is that if you have a certain block it will often have kidney ice associated and basically you can get an internal orgasm going that will clear the block.
He doesn't put it that way on the site of course, it's NOT a spiritual development method. He does say that doing the practice brings up emotional stuff, and then he just says – go see a therapist for that! Because he doesn't have the method of internal focussing, just generalized feelings.
I always had the ability to do self-intercourse it's just natural for me (haha!) but now I can do it whenever I like so I'm grateful for that. I have to say Michael didn't quite nail it in his response about those methods because he said it's like the healing sounds but it isn't. It doesn't 'move kidney chi' but activates sexual jing and kidney chi, as in any orgasm. He also said it's a 'beginner level' but that's why I like it and why I recommended it for asthmatic, you can just start doing it (rather than going through alot of fundamentals first), and if you combine it with neutral centred connectedness then you can take it pretty far. I'm sure it's not advanced like kan and li, but it's alot better than nothing on the internal sex front.
I also do work with aura as well in the neutral way, melting into that as well as internal sensations, but I note that Michael's secret smile does the same thing.
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