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Home > eBooks > Unpublished Manuscripts > The Sensitivity Handbook: Training Materials for Developing Balanced Sensitivity > Exercise 9: Accessing the Natural Talents of Our Mind and Heart

The Sensitivity Handbook: Training Materials for Developing Balanced Sensitivity

Alexander Berzin
July 1999
Revised February 2003

Part II: Uncovering the Talents of Our Mind and Heart

Exercise 9: Accessing the Natural Talents of Our Mind and Heart

I. While focusing on a photo or on a thought of someone

1. Choose someone with whom you have a close relationship

  • Relax your muscular tension
  • Quiet your mind of verbal thoughts and images, by picturing them leaving with your exhaled breath or automatically disappearing like writing on water
  • Bring to mind and then release preconceptions and nonverbal judgments, using the same methods
  • Bring to mind and then release the person and yourself of projected roles and associated expectations, using the same methods
  • Feel ever-deeper levels of physical, mental, and emotional tension releasing themselves and ever-subtler levels of stress slowly lifting
  • Enter a state of profound and quiet relief
  • Note how you naturally feel in this state
    • Warm, joyous, and open to the person
    • Naturally attentive and concerned
    • No hesitation or anxiety in responding with whatever words or actions seem appropriate
  • Bask for several minutes in this state

2. Repeat the procedure, choosing a stranger or someone you hardly know, and making sure also to dismiss the public image you feel compelled to maintain when meeting someone new

3. Repeat the procedure, choosing someone you dislike

II. While focusing on someone in person

1. Repeat the procedure while sitting in a circle with a group and focusing on the persons who fill your field of vision

2. Repeat the procedure while facing a succession of partners

III. While focusing on yourself

1. Repeat the procedure while looking in a mirror

2. Repeat the procedure without a mirror

3. Repeat the procedure while looking at photographs of yourself spanning your life

[ Corresponding Chapter 9 in Developing Balanced Sensitivity.]