Psychosynthesis incorporates lots of different exercises from many different sources which are used when appropriate in group settings and sometimes with individual clients. Below are a few typical examples that you might like to try for yourself.
How To Get the Most From These Exercises
To help you maximize the beneficial effects of any exercise always try to make sure you have enough time to complete it without being disturbed. Even if you can only spend a very short time on a particular exercise do set aside a specific period for it and stick to that.
Before starting an exercise, take up a comfortable position, either standing, sitting or lying as appropriate to the exercise, and with a straight but not rigid spine and closed eyes, take a few deep and slow breaths. Take your time doing this, you do not have to rush. Be aware that you are a unique individual choosing, at this very time, in this very space (that is, ‘here and now’) to perform this exercise.
Always take your time with an exercise – it is better to err on the side of slowness rather than rushing through it.
It may be necessary, particularly with a longer exercise, to read it through a few times to familiarize yourself with what you have to do. Do not begrudge this time, it will help you connect with the ‘essence’ of the exercise, and help you become focused.
If you find any exercise particularly useful for you, stick to it for some time, as repetition of an exercise multiplies its power. Alternatively, if you find a particular exercise genuinely difficult, it may be better to leave it and return to it at another time. Whatever your experience, don’t treat yourself or the work too seriously. Humour is one of our greatest teachers.
It is a good idea to record your experiences immediately after finishing with an exercise. This is for your benefit alone, being a record of you as you are and as you progress. Try not to censor or judge what you write. The more open and honest you are with yourself, the more open and honest you will become! Finally, do not gossip about your work or prematurely share insights as this can often dissipate the energy.
The Rose Garden
– a classic psychosynthesis visualisation to explore how different parts of us are not always in conflict
Either sitting or lying down, take a few deep breaths and relax. Imagine you are in a meadow, and spend some time tuning into being there … What is the sky like? Is it a sunny day? … How do you feel? … What can you hear – bird song perhaps? … What can you smell? What do you see? … Be in your meadow as if it really exists.
In one direction you can see a small house or cottage. Walk towards it, feeling your feet on the ground, and remembering to pay attention to really being in your meadow … As you reach the house, you realise it is the home of some of your subpersonalities. You wonder who will live there, and how they will greet you. As you approach the door be aware of your excitement and anticipation.
You tap at the door and wait expectently … Greet the person who opens the door to you, and pay attention to what he or she looks like. Is it a man, a woman or a child? Old or young? Fill in as much detail on this figure as you can … Then exchange some words, asking the figure its name if you like. Find out as much as you are able about this person.
This character (a ‘subpersonality’ in psychosynthesis terms) then asks you into the garden of the house. It is a beautiful rose garden. Pay attention to the roses, their colours, scents, and overall beauty … Allow yourself to be infused with the quality of the roses … Walk with the subpersonality into the depths of the garden, then find one particular rose to which you are attracted.
Both you and the subpersonality look at this rose, brightly lit by a ray of sunshine. Feel the energy of the rose, its beauty and warmth, transform your feelings and thoughts. Let yourself feel really good to be in this beautiful garden at this time.
Then turn to the subpersonality and see how it has changed. Again engage him or her in dialogue and ask how he or she feels, what transformations, if any, may have taken play. Ask particularly about what the subpersonality needs.
Finally thank the subpersonality for taking you to the garden, say goodbye for now, and bring your consciousness back to your room.
Write about the experience, and the needs of the subpersonality, in your diary. In what way(s) can you express and fulfil this need, or at least some aspects of it in your daily life?
– an effective way to connect with the essence of a quality
Relax and centre…Think about Freedom. Hold the concept of Freedom in your mind and reflect upon it. Ask yourself questions about this quality: what is it? what is its nature? what is its meaning? and so on. Record your ideas, and any images that emerge.
Be still and receptive; what does Freedom mean to you now?
Realise the value of Freedom, its purpose, its use in your life and on the planet as a whole. What differences would there be if Freedom was in abundance?
Allow Freedom to be in your body, assume a posture that expresses this quality. Relax all your tensions, let them drift away. Breathe slowly. Allow Freedom to express itself on your face. Visualise yourself with that expression.
Evoke the quality of Freedom. Imagine you are in a place where you feel Freedom; a quiet beach, with a loved one, in the middle of a crowded city, in a temple of Freedom, wherever you choose. Try to really feel it. Repeat the word Freedom several times. Let the quality permeate you, to the point of identification if possible. Allow yourself to be Freedom.
Resolve to remain infused with Freedom, to be the living embodiment of Freedom, to radiate Freedom.
Draw on a piece of paper or card the word Freedom, using the colours and lettering that best conveys the quality to you. Place this sign where you can see it daily, as often as possible. You can make several such signs and place them strategically around your home. Whenever you notice a sign, recall within yourself the feeling of Freedom
Note: this exercise can be easily adapted to help you connect with other qualities (such as, for example, Joy, Truth, Clarity, etc.)
The Inner Guide
– a visualisation to connect to a source of inner guidance
Relax and centre yourself.
Imagine you are in a meadow where the sun is shining and the birds are singing. Spend some time really feeling your presence in this meadow. Notice what you can hear, what you can see, what you feel.
At one edge of the meadow is a hill with a path leading up to the top. Start to walk in that direction, really feeling your feet on the ground beneath you. Start an as=scent up the hill, taking your time to really enjoy the sights and sensations you experience on your journey.
As you reach the top of the hill become aware that you are about to meet someone who is intimately involved with the evolution of your life. This person is your inner guide – you might see him or her as a wise old person, as a guardian angel, or simply as someone whose eyes express great love and care for you. However you visualise this person, let the image of him or her appear clearly before you. Allow yourself to fully experience the excitement and interest such a contact invokes.
You can now engage this being in a dialogue and, in whatever way seems best to you at this time, ask about any issues, questions, choices or problems you currently have in your life. The dialogue may be verbal or non verbal, it may take place on a visual or symbolic level, but however it occurs really relish this time you are spending with your inner guide.
Also ask about global awareness and the state of our planet and what you can be doing to help the current precarious situation. Let your inner guides wisdom and understanding help you realise your connection, your ability to love and your power to cause change to occur.
When you are ready, thank your guide for having appeared to you and, returning back down the hill, enter the meadow and once more feel your feet firmly placed on the ground. Bring your consciousness back to your room and spend some time considering what you have learned and how you can put this learning into practice in your life.
– a way of anchoring your energy to the core of the earth
Relax and centre.
Sit upright, let the base of your spine become really heavy, and see it as an anchor. Imagine the anchor goes down into the earth, attached by a light but strong cord to your whole body. Let it pass in its own way through layers of rock and sediment and anything else it comes to until it finally reaches the core of the earth, then hook it in there. Let it find its own way down and hook to centre in a natural way, don’t force it.
Feel yourself hooked into the planet’s core, the planet’s energy of which you are a part.
You can extend this exercise by having your feet flat on the ground, and imagining that they have openings on the bottom. Draw energy up through them as you inhale, circulate this energy through your body, then as you exhale let it go back down into the earth. Then you are circulating earth energy through your body. Cycling and recycling this energy will really connect you to the earth.
We are all, individually, a bit like ‘growths’ on the earth’s surface, little ‘blips’ sticking out, like hairs on the globe shaped body of our mother planet. Each ‘hair’ or ‘blip’ is as important as any other and each hair has the potential to grow to its fullest height. You can let this happen through you.
Being At Peace
– connecting to the self behind all identifications
Relax and centre.
Pay attention to the rhythmic flow of your breathing without trying to change it or force it in any way. Just let yourself freely and easily breathe for a while.
Say to yourself: ‘My body is at peace.’ Be aware of any sensations in your body but do not try to suppress them in any way.
Next affirm silently to yourself: ‘My emotions and feelings are at peace.’ Do not suppress any emotions that arise, simply be aware of them and let them pass.
Then silently affirm: ‘My thoughts are at peace.’ Notice whatever thoughts arise but do not become attached to them.
Visualise yourself as perfectly silent. Be at peace in a perfectly silent, peaceful world.
Silently affirm: ‘I have sensations, emotions, feelings, thoughts, but I, as an individual Soul, am eternally at peace and at one with the universal rhythm.’
Realise the truth of this statement.
Note: this exercise is a simplified disidentification practice; you can find the full psychosynthesis disidentification exercise here
– a psychosynthetic meditation on inner and outer awareness
Spend at least one hour today self-consciously aware of each single task you’re working on for this period
Treat each event with a combination of relaxation, reverence, and the quiet awareness that, at least whilst you are attentive, this is the single most important thing in the world.
When you notice yourself drifting off, be aware of it , and allow your attention to gently turn back to focus.
As you stay focused on one valuable thing at a time, notice and acknowledge all the times you feel yourself being drawn to something else. Just let the thought and feeling pass by, don’t grasp it. (For instance, you hear the tone of your phone ringing, but resist the urge to pick it up.) Don’t dwell on distractions, just note them and let them go.
Later, after the time is up, write down 2 or 3 interruptions you think might deserve or need less attention than you’ve been allowing them. Assuming you want to remain centered and mindfully attentive, reflect on what you can do about these distractions?