Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Technique of the Week — Detachment continuing

Just found a book which elaborates on the topic of the January 4, 2011 WSJ  article, "Conquering Fear", which is connected to 2 past posts on intelligentwomenonly.com: 1/14 and 1/16 2011. Mindfulness and Acceptance, Expanding the Cognitive-Behavioral Tradition edited by Steven C. Hayes, Victoria Follettee and Marsha M. Linehan, 2004.

The book is dense (meaning hard to read and understand) and arcane (meaning in fact what I meant by dense). Here's an interesting  exercise proposed in the book. The goal is for the reader to experience the difference between looking AT thoughts and looking FROM thoughts. Looking AT thoughts is a more detached state than looking FROM thoughts.

1. Think whatever you choose.
2. Then imagine that there are little soldier, marching out of your head, carrying signs with each thought you are having written upon it.
3. Watch the parade, as if from a reviewing stand, and keep it going and flowing, emptying your mind of the thoughts.
4. If the parade stops for any reason, e.g. you leave the reviewing stand, you join the parade, you become a soldier, notice what happened immediately prior to the stop. Probably your detachment moved to attachment and you began looking FROM thoughts.

"The point is to begin to learn how to look at thoughts as thoughts rather than looking at the world through thoughts, and to learn how to detect the difference." p. 20

To me the point is to learn to have a thought without reflexive judgment, evaluation or reaction — just as you might see 27 books on a library shelf without judgment, evaluation or reaction.

What do you think? Too weird?
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