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During this time of individual and collective anxiety, how can we access the grounding potential of the body’s wisdom? When the world feels overwhelming, we can tune into the body’s “felt sense,” inviting all that is not yet in focus to become more clear. In this archival Dharma Talk, meditation teacher David Rome guides us through the “Focusing” modality, teaching us how the felt sense can help us access inner safety, deep insight, and renewed energy.

This retreat is intended for people looking to make a stronger connection between meditation and daily life. As meditators we invest a lot of time and effort in cultivating the mental skills of mindfulness and awareness. The practice of Focusing builds directly on these skills to develop action-oriented intuitive insights into the challenges we encounter “off the cushion.” Using contemplative methods from Western psychology and philosophy, Focusing puts us in touch with the subtle level of experience known as the felt sense, where the non-conceptual wisdom of the body can be unfolded. Focusing is a powerful means for working with problems in personal relationships and work settings, helping us gain fresh understanding and energy with which to overcome blocks, make wiser decisions, and feel more fully alive and authentic.

David I. Rome is a certified Focusing Trainer who has brought Focusing together with Buddhist mindfulness-awareness practices in workshops in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He began practicing Buddhism in 1971 and served for nine years as private secretary to the Tibetan teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. David played a leadership role in the early development of Shambhala International and Naropa University and was one of the first teachers in the Shambhala Training program. He has served as President of Schocken Books and Senior VP for Planning of the Greyston Foundation and is a senior fellow with the Garrison Institute, a Hudson Valley research and retreat center applying contemplative methods to solve social and environmental challenges. To learn more about David’s offerings, go to mindfulfocusing.com.

This entry was originally published in October 2011.