Inviting a Difficulty in and Working with it Through Emotion

(abbreviated from Williams et al., 2007: 151–2)

  • Sit for a few minutes focusing on the sensations of breathing, then widen to take in the whole body.
  • Bring a difficulty to mind – something unresolved, unpleasant, perhaps where you feel upset, anger or guilt. When learning the method, it is best not to bring something overwhelmingly difficult but a moderate difficulty which can be focused on for a while.
  • Tune into any physical sensations evoked, and tune into these sensations in a sprit of warmth, kindness and welcome.
  • Watch the sensations moment to moment, staying with them, breathing into them, perhaps saying ‘It’s okay, whatever is here is here.’
  • If necessary, move the attention back to the breath periodically, if it feels too much to focus on the body.
  • When the sensations no longer pull strongly for attention, return to the breath.