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05 September 2008

An introduction to Focusing: a Quaker way? - preview

Terry O’Loughlin has practised Focusing for several years and has recently been applying it in Meeting for Worship. She explains the concept

‘Focusing arises from within a deep tradition that Quakers preserve for the world
  • ’ Thus said Eugene Gendlin, a professor of philosophy and a psychologist from Chicago university

  • He himself attended Quaker Meeting for Worship at Pendle Hill as a young man and his experiences there played a part in his development of this process called Focusing

  • Focusing is a practice that takes many of the elements of Quaker worship and applies them to our inner world
  • When we Focus we let go of all thoughts and preoccupations and let our awareness sink down into a deeper place inside
  • We create an inward space in which the truth of our situation can reveal itself to us
  • We wait and allow what wants to come and be known, to arise spontaneously
  • We attend or listen to what comes with an attitude of compassion and interest
  • This allows what is there to open up and reveal its truth to us
  • Out of this process comes a deeper appreciation of our situation and a better understanding of a way forward
  • Focusing is usually practised in pairs with one person being a companion, supporting us by reflecting back our process in our own words without advice, interruption or interpretation

  • Terry O’Loughlin

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