In this exercise, we are bringing a concept to life through our imaginal and felt sense of it. Rather than just accepting the words and assuming we know what they mean to us, we are opening an explorative investigation into the images, associations and feelings that they bring up in us.
This is an embodied practice that involves connecting with every aspect of our beings and each other. It can be deeply revealing, insightful, transformative and fun.
There is an example of the exercise in action at the bottom of the page.
It can be done in pairs but for this exercise, we will work in groups of three people. There will be three roles:
You will rotate around the roles and each have a chance to try each role.
Steps of the Exercise
Each round of the exercise will last 10 minutes.
- Assign roles – one person as speaker, one as question-asker, one as witness.
- The speaker chooses a concept from the list below that they would like to imagine
- The practice is started by everyone closing their eyes and taking some deep breaths and a moment to arrive in experience, guided by the question-asker. If anyone prefers to open their eyes at any point that is welcome.
- The question-asker asks the speaker questions. They can use questions from the list below, they may need to have their eyes open for this.
- Remember that the speaker can’t get it wrong – they can share whatever is in their experience. They can also go at whatever pace feels comfortable to them.
- The purpose of the witness is to support with holding a space of open non-judgement.
- At the end of the ten minutes, the question-asker tells everyone that the time is up.
- Thank each other and then swap roles and start the exercise again.
List of Concepts
The speaker chooses one concept that they would like to explore. They can come up with their own concept or pick one from this list:
- Practice for the benefit of all beings
- Pressure to succeed
- Coming home
- The spiritual path
- Being in hell
- The centre of being
- Universal life force
- An ocean of uncertainty
- The present moment
List of Questions
The question-asker asks questions that helps the speaker explore their concept.
You can ask questions from the list below. You can also rephrase the questions or follow your curiosity and ask your own questions.
- We can start by closing our eyes, arriving in the moment and taking a couple of slow breaths.
- Can you repeat the concept you have chosen out loud?
- Where do you feel it resonating in the body?
- What emotions does it bring up?
- Does it have a colour? Or a shape?
- Can you see an image of it?
- What is in the image?
- Is it moving or is it still?
- What does it mean to you personally?
- Would you like anything to happen in this image, energy or felt-sense? Or does it feel like seeing it is enough?
Some key things to remember:
- The speaker can’t get it wrong
- There is no rush or pressure for either the question-asker or the speaker to respond
- Hold a space of compassionate presence, openness and curiosity for the speaker
- If something feels emotionally loaded or charged in some way, feel free to take some time to sit in silence, breathe into it and come back to a sense of safety
- Trust that the process of things emerging and being seen is enough – nothing needs to be fixed or changed