I will begin by telling a little story that is a metaphor for this method:
One day a little boy glimpsed out of the corner of his eye a dragon in his backyard. Naturally he was frightened and scurried off to play in another room. This continued day after day, the only thing changing is that the dragon would be bigger every day, and the boy more frightened. Years later he was a grown man and the dragon was by this time very large and very destructive, eating the grass, flowers, vegetables and the fence. The man by this time had become so terrified that he was housebound, unable to leave his house. One day, a wise and experienced man came along and shook his head at the sad state of affairs. He told the man that the dragon could not hurt him. He told him that the only thing the dragon needed was for him to go take a good look at it with both eyes and acknowledge its presence and it would promptly disappear. The man, trusting the wisdom of the old fellow, and being sick and tired of both being housebound and the destruction that the dragon was causing, decided to follow his advice. He went right up to the dragon, noticed the shape of it scales, that there were some beautiful green and blue colors in the scales, and sure enough the dragon started to walk away and was promptly no longer visible.
Every child naturally gets upset. Sometimes the upset is quite great and as children we just don’t know how to handle it or what to do with it. It overwhelms us, and so we just distract ourselves from it, often not fully understanding it or feeling all of it. The very good news is that in each of us is a very calm detached observer that can observe anything calmly without any judgment. It is helpful for us to identify with this observer, which is the best part of us, rather than with our feelings, beliefs etc. which are actually changeable.
The calm observer, on the other hand, remains unchanged and calm always. When we place this complete one hundred percent undivided nonjudgmental attention on any part of our body where we feel an unpleasant sensation and just wait with curiosity, relatively quickly (generally within about 10 seconds],the upset in the body will reveal information about itself. It is important to not think, try to figure things out, or try to remember anything; but instead just remain patient, not knowing, curious , receptive, trusting, and open to finding out whatever is revealed, which may or may not be expected. Sometimes it is one simple emotion, sometimes multiple feelings, sometimes a negative belief, and sometimes images of past memories arise . One continues noticing whatever there is to notice that comes up until the unpleasant sensation in the body seems to have nothing more to reveal and feels satisfied that it is completely understood. At this time you will notice that the intensity of unpleasant sensation will have subsided.
Now you just continue to keep your undivided attention on that part of the body and you will watch it continue to subside rapidly until it disappears completely, which again generally takes about 10 seconds or three breaths. Allow it to reveal more about itself if anything else arises. It may take a little longer if you cannot imagine such an old feeling disappearing but as long as you can allow yourself to be surprised and allow it to disappear completely, it will. You may have heard of the saying: “ what you resist persists.” A feeling that is not allowed to be felt will continue knocking on your door until you allow it to be felt. Once you have let it in for a little cup of tea and it feels understood it has no more need of you and is happy to go on its merry way.
Think of the unpleasant feeling as a part of you that ,because of your fear or judgement of it, you have exiled to Siberia. There it feels cold, lonely, alone, not understood, and even worse disowned by you. Imagine how good it feels to be re-owned and acknowledged as a part of you and then really well understood. It has no other needs, and even if it’s left over from an event 50 years ago, it will be happy to go away, making room for the truth to be felt.
With the upset gone, now you are free to feel the truth. It is very useful to go to a very calm place perhaps with the help of some imagery (See CREATING A POWERFUL INNER RESOURCE), and wonder about all the truths relating to what the unpleasant sensation was about.
The nice thing about this method is that it requires NO effort of any kind, only your attention for a short period of time. It is very liberating and empowering, while promoting self-understanding and self-acceptance, as well as powerful healing.
Making a habit of using it on your own can leave you feeling grounded and calm much more of the time, even clear up old difficult memories, and improve your quality of life greatly as well as relationships.
Give it a try!