In Focusing and Mindfulness we’ll explore:
- Understanding the roots of mindfulness in spirituality, and what that means for a daily practice of Focusing enhanced by mindfulness
- What we discover when we approach Focusing as a contemplative practice rather than just a way to solve problems
- How two similar yet different practices can support and enhance each other so that you get more from each one
Even if you already know both mindfulness and Focusing, you may not be using them together to the fullest potential.
Our Next Course:
This workshop is not currently scheduled. Please contact us if you are interested in being informed when this workshop goes on the schedule.
At A Glance
For Focusers who want to explore Focusing as a contemplative and/or mindfulness practice.
Teaches Mindful Focusing – an experiential and conceptual model for engaging with two powerful practices for personal growth and change. Full Course Description
Live Online Course – join us from anywhere in the world!
Because Focusing is not only for problems, it can also help us be aware of being part of something larger.
What We’ll Be Doing
You’ll learn from someone who’s been immersed in both mindfulness and Focusing for much of his life, and you’ll have the opportunity to explore how mindfulness and Focusing can enhance and support each other, in a fusion of the two that David Rome calls “Mindful Focusing.”
In his popular course with Focusing Resources, David teaches you:
- How to do a kind of mindfulness meditation in a way that may be new to you – even if you do mindfulness already
- How Focusing is a contemplative practice and why that matters
- How mindfulness and Focusing can complement each other even though they are different
You come away with:
- Clear understanding of the two practices and their differences
- How Focusing can be a transpersonal or spiritual practice
- An ability to use Mindful Focusing with your own life issues
We start by exploring the basic dynamic of contemplative practices in general. We’ll practice Buddhist style mindfulness meditation, examining its dual focus on concentrated attention and open awareness, along with its traditional orientation toward spiritual realization. Then we’ll have a look at Focusing, including its origins as a form of “self-therapy.”
About the Teacher
David Rome is a teacher and writer on applications of contemplative methods in personal, organizational and social change. At the Garrison Institute from 2004 to 2011 he guided development of programs on contemplative methods in K-12 education, trauma treatment, and climate change. Earlier, he was senior vice president for planning and development at Greyston Foundation, the pioneering Buddhist-inspired inner-city community development group, and president of Schocken Books in New York City. David is the creator of Mindful Focusing, a training program that brings together Eugene Gendlin’s felt-sense focusing method with Buddhist mindfulness-awareness practices. He studied focusing with Gendlin, Ann Weiser Cornell and others and is a senior trainer with the Focusing Institute and Shambhala International.
We’ll take note of elements shared by both practices, such as the pausing of ordinary thoughts and actions. From there we explore differences in purpose and process between the two techniques, their respective understandings of the nature of the self and the mind-body relationship, ways in which they complement one another, and how they might be combined together.
The exploration will be experiential, by means of guided exercises, but also informed by basic concepts from Gendlin’s Philosophy of the Implicit and Buddhist psychology.
- Five 90 minute meetings for a total of 7.5 hours of class time.
- Access to digital recordings of every class so you’ll be able to download and listen to anything you want to hear again.
- A private class page where you can access homework, recordings, and other important class information online.
- A private online forum where participants can discuss material, learning, and experience throughout the class.
David's Personal Story
I had already been a Buddhist meditator for 26 years when one day, browsing aimlessly in a rural Vermont used bookstore, I happened upon a little mass-market paperback. Filling its entire cover was a slightly abstract photograph of stones of different colors, shapes, and sizes, seen through the surface of a gently rippling stream. The title was a single word, Focusing. The name of the author, Eugene Gendlin, was unfamiliar. Curious, I paid two-and-a-half dollars for the small volume.
As Chogyam Trungpa’s book Meditation in Action had done years earlier, Focusing opened up for me a whole new territory of self-understanding. While mindfulness-awareness practice had illuminated many mental, physical, and emotional subtleties in my life that I might not otherwise have recognized, core aspects of my make-up remained hidden. Meditation is wonderful for stepping away from the speed and complexities of everyday lives and finding refuge in a calmer, more spacious quality of mind, but it can be insufficient to bring to light the deeper roots of feeling, memory, and belief, including sources of emotional and creative blockage. Also, given its emphasis on “bare attention”—merely noting what arises in present-moment experience, then letting it go—it is not the best tool for practical problem solving.
Focusing supplied the link that had been missing for me: a simple but powerful means to bridge from the cushion of sitting meditation to the nitty-gritty of everyday life. It was a contemplative method for uncovering and working with my deeper feelings and solving specific, real-life challenges of work, marriage, parenting, and much more.
After a number of years of mastering the new practice for myself, I began introducing it others in my Buddhist sangha (community). Gradually I developed my own approach, Mindful Focusing, as a way of integrating these two wisdom practices, one modern and Western and the other ancient and Eastern.
Can’t make this time? You can register and participate by listening to recordings of the course each week at a time that works with your schedule. But you won’t be eligible for CE units.
How Online Courses Work
We use Zoom, an online video conference platform, to connect you to other students and the teacher. Before the class starts you will receive a Zoom link to use each time the class meets. You can join us via your camera-equipped computer, tablet, or smart phone. Prefer not to be on video? You can turn off your camera. Don’t want to call via computer? You can call in by phone. Zoom is free and easy to use. You will be able to sign on in advance to make sure you can access it, but we’ve had very few problems with it. Students also receive access to a private webpage where course materials can be found.
Participants must have competed Path to Lasting Change, Part One with any Inner Relationship Focusing teacher. Familiarity with basic mindfulness meditation will be helpful but is not required.
Continuing Education Credit & Course Completion Certificate
Course meets the qualifications for 7.5 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Focusing Resources, CAMFT Approved CE Provider #62524.
Focusing Resources is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs. Focusing Resources maintains responsibility for this course and its content.
There is a $25 administrative fee for CE units. Course completion certificates are awarded at the end of the course upon completion of all requirements and the course evaluation. (If you don’t want CE units but would like a completion certificate, the $25 fee does still apply.)
Eligibility for CE units requires at least 80% live attendance. Missed classes must be made up.
Cancellations, Changes & Refunds
Up to 5 days before the first day of class: We will refund your course fee less a $35 cancellation fee. Avoid the cancellation fee by applying the entire course payment towards a future class. Changing your registration to a later offering of the same course must also occur 5 days prior to the beginning of class.
Cancellations received 4 days or fewer before class begins: No refund. Changing your registration within this window results in a $75 fee.
When Something Doesn't Go As You'd Hoped...
We are always open to discussing experiences with our courses that didn’t work for you or didn’t go the way you expected. Depending on the circumstances, you may want to email your course instructor, the staff member in charge of your course, or Ann Weiser Cornell. Email addresses for all these people will be supplied on registration. We will work with you to find a way to meet your needs.