Focusing in Ireland

Elizabeth English - Journeys to the Deep

EE JourneysToTheDeep

“A long curiosity/struggle with meditation drew me to Elizabeth's Journeys to the Deep and her thoughtful prose and poetry both soothed and encouraged me - yes, I am on the right track; yes, it's OK this is such a personal endeavour; yes, all is well. I immediately ordered copies for a handful of friends, all of whom have shared their own gratitude and enjoyment.” My review on Amazon

I met Elizabeth at the International focusing conference in Cambridge in 2016 and was drawn to her bright infectious energy, yet an energy that was grounded and deep and somehow very wise. I discovered she “holds a ground-breaking post as [Cambridge] University’s first Mindfulness Practitioner” and was intrigued. I followed her online and was delighted to find Journeys to the Deep, the first in a trilogy.

The hundred or so pages are personal, inviting, a mix of poetry and prose, and something I return to, each time finding something new. A nuance, a deeper meaning, something fresh, a blessed aha-got-it, oh, it’s this…. And of course, constantly seeing the influence of Gendlin’s focusing, philosophy and wisdom.

As I offered in my Amazon review above, I felt profoundly reassured that my mindfulness practice was exactly that - mine. However it was, it was OK. It didn’t need to be done a certain way, or bounded by all the other parameters I’ve been taught or read about over the years. Her sweet poetry offered another way in - to wherever it is we go in mindfulness meditation - that was gentle and comforting yet thought-provoking in a bodily way. Less like intellectualising and thinking about what came forth, and more like the body being able to sense in to her words, the spaces between, images, metaphors. A truly delightful experience.

In conclusion, I’ve just read Journeys to the Deep again, cover to cover without much of a break. Well that’s not strictly true, I found myself pausing, looking out of the train window and ….guess what….meditating! Far better to take it one or two pages at a time though, that’s my usual engagement. It’s a book which lends itself to however you want to read it - start at the beginning, or in the middle, at the end, or somewhere randomly in-between. It’s like taking a lovely little break from whatever is going on, pausing as we focusers do, to sense how we are, how things are.
I have permission to share one of my favourites:

For now
Don’t wish for your mind
to be different from how it is;
Water does not boil faster
for glaring at it.
Things take their own time,
and you, too, are subject to
the laws of change.
You can only dip your toes
into the occasional puddles of calm
that collect in the dips and hollows
of your undulating thoughts.
Although a tiny droplet of peace
is all you find, still treasure it;
it is yours, and all you have -
for now.

Clare Myatt, LL.B., M.A.
Somatic Therapeutic-Coaching
Available UK and internationally online
+44 (0) 7894 714853 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. |
Clare’s book Love & Imperfection: A Therapist’s Story available now and from AMAZON

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