As you probably know, it’s the first week of David Rome’s Tricycle Retreat, “Focusing for Meditators: Accessing the Wisdom of the Felt Sense.” What you might not know is where in the world this Focusing technique comes from. The current issue of Tricycle sheds some light on this. Linda Heuman’s interview with Eugene Gendlin, the founder of Focusing, provides insight into the ideas upon which Focusing is based, the history of how the practice came about, and Gendlin’s own thinking about how working with the “felt sense,” which is the basis of Focusing, can be extended into various aspects of life.
Heuman writes in her introduction to the interview:
Perhaps a clue to Gendlin’s appeal among many Western Buddhists is hinted at in one of his own favorite terms: resonance. Gendlin’s approach grows out of the Western philosophical tradition (especially phenomenology) in which he is firmly rooted, yet it emphasizes transformative practice based on working with awareness in the present moment. Its relationship to Buddhist practice is close but not too close, different but not too different. Gendlin offers not a bridge between Buddhism and Western tradition but an experiential space in which the two can act upon one another—resonate—and in so doing allow something new and unforeseeable and grounded in both to emerge.
Read the rest of “Focusing” here.
Sign up for Tricycle’s newsletters
Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, we depend on readers like you to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.