Focusing in Ireland

A Fresh Look at Clearing a Space

At a recent TIFI Felt Sense Conference, Carla Kreft, gave a presentation entitled, Clearing a Space as a Path towards Dissolving Identity & Perceiving the Spirit.

It was based on her close reading of the topic in Gendlin’s seminal book Focusing. “Couched in this simple exercise, it is possible to develop three different abilities”, she says:

  1. To experience our problems as an observer of them
  2. To experience great joy, love and a real sense that everything is really ok in our lives
  3. To be able to leave behind not only our problems but our entire identities and to ‘perceive the spirit’

The first ability is one that we are probably most familiar with, reminding us that not only this is a good way to start a Focusing session, but it is also worth doing in its own right as a way simply to give ourselves some breathing space.

Carla acknowledged that there might well be some resistance to trying the second use of CAS that Gendlin suggests. She went on to say however that this sense of experiencing joy and that ‘all is ok’ is our natural state.

The third ability, based on disidentifying from what Gendlin calls our Background Feeling, or what in contemplative and psychological practices is often referred to as ‘disidentification’, is one where she says, “if we manage to leave behind our identities then we can potentially enter a state that will permit us to come to what people call the higher self or the spirit”. Gendlin refers to it as encountering a ‘vast space’.

Carla’s presentation is freely available on TIFI’s website.

It’s well worth watching, considering and doing the 3 exercises that she lays out in a clear and engaging way. Thanks to Marta Fabregat who did the Spanish translation on the day.

Mary Jennings


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