Focusing and Meditation

These words of wisdom on Focusing and Meditation from David Rome, are an excellent introduction for meditation practitioners. Focusing is a psychological process invented by Dr. Eugene Gendlin, a philosopher and psychotherapist who was very influential in my life. He was a protege of Carl Rogers and was known for his development of a phenomenological approach to therapy which he called focusing.

David Rome explains,

“Focusing practice helps one to recognize and engage buried feelings and unconscious misapprehensions that may not show themselves in the course of meditation practice. It allows us to uncover and work through hidden wounds and deeply embedded fears lodged in our bodies. This in turn provides vital help in loosening recalcitrant habitual patterns, blocks to action, and other sources of personal suffering…

“Meditation aims not so much to solve a person’s particular problems as to solve the person altogether. Focusing, on the other hand, provides a pragmatic tool for surfacing and unraveling personal sources of our individual suffering, which tend to be based in our specific life histories.”
– David Rome, “Focusing”, an experienced Buddhist practitioner, author and expert on focusing

When I was studying advanced physics at the University of Chicago, Dr. Gendlin was also teaching there. We had conversations about the relationship between quantum physics and psychology as well as other philosophical issues. I remember spending time at his house and presenting to him and his graduate students, The Strange Reality of the Quanta. This was a paper I wrote specifically for that purpose.

In writing that paper, it dawned on my that altered states of consciousness may be similar to a laser and may involve a huge quantity of neurons firing coherently. I think that this causes a strong feeling of happiness, bliss, joy, rapture, and euphoria.

Who knows? I could be right! What do you think?

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