A Review


            When you want to create something new and different in your life or silence Focker or let go of the past or stop dreaming or worrying about the future or make changes in your life or accomplish a task or reach a goal, what do you do?

From the novel:

            Rob: “You go to Center.”

            Doc: “How do you get to Center?”

            Chad: “Relax your body and quiet your mind.”

            Doc: “And what is an effective way to relax your body and quiet your mind?”

            Rob: “Deep breathing.”

            Doc: “What are some other benefits of deep breathing that help with Centering and staying Centered?”

            Me: “Focusing and concentrating.”

            Doc: “What else?”

            Paul: “Stop hanging out with Focker and get to Center.”

            Doc: “What else?”

            Anna: “Helps us be more aware of our body.”

     Doc: “And why is it important to be aware of your body?”

     Frank: “Because most of our symptoms have a physical component and the deep breathing and focusing help release the tension and stress which can help reduce our symptoms.”

     Jett: “Like pain and pressure in my chest and thinking my heart is gonna pound outta my chest.”

     Ace: “Which helps to reduce and relieve other panic symptoms.”

            Doc: “So that’s why I go on and on and on about closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing? And why are we doing these Centering Meditations over and over again and doing those between sessions and in our sleep and on and on and on?”

            Ace: “Because defining our Center and getting to our Center and living from our Center is the skill, or as someone else said contains the truth that sets us free to heal.”

            Doc: “Yes. There is one other aspect of Centering that’s important. What it is?”

            Melinda: “Getting to know what it feels like, experiencing the many different facets of our Center. I mean like feeling the peacefulness.”

            Doc: “Yes. Very important and how do we reach the skill level of being able to be Centered and stay Centered?”

            Frank: “Training.”

            Doc: “I want to paraphrase what Ace and Melinda said a few minutes ago. Your Center is the place/area/space within you of transformation. It becomes powerful directly proportional to your ability to define it, go there, experience it and live it. That’s why I’m always asking you, ‘What was it like? What did you feel? How did your body respond?’”

            Frank: “Sometimes it’s hard for me to explain how I feel at Center. I feel peace, but how do you explain what it feels like to feel peaceful. Someone earlier said peace felt nice.”

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            One of the fascinating things about our Center is that we are not required to manufacture the experience of Center. It already exists without any help from us. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is from the Psalms. One of you mentioned it several sessions ago. “Be still and know that I am your God.” In other words if you want to know me, be quiet. So if we are able to be quiet and still, we experience our Center. At Center, there is peace, love, joy, forgiveness, compassion, tranquility, acceptance and so on. Your experience of these Centered traits and how they impact your life is part of your personal journey.

            Back to the point about training. It’s a challenge for us to get quiet and be still. We have to do the grunt work and the training by the numbers to have a chance to get to Center, experience it, and try to live it. Each of you lives at Center perhaps more than you even know. Remember the traits of your true self at Center. Each of you lives variations of those from time to time. You’re not in this group because you are never Centered. You are here because you are struggling with getting Centered in relation to your combat experience. I firmly believe, however, that this training will help you in every aspect of your life to be more Centered. (Group Discussion)

From the novel:

            Jett: “I was aware as I took my deep breaths and felt my body and walked along a path in the woods as if I had never seen it before that I was starting to get it. It was starting to feel like from here everything really is okay and the panic attacks, nightmares, flashbacks were only momentary experiences and I no longer needed to be afraid of them. And I could smile and marvel at how much I loved Eden (his girlfriend) and my greatest gift to her would be to let her go. And tears started to run down my cheeks and I was sad and peaceful and I would embrace acceptance with all my strength. I felt Centered. The training and repetition and commitment were helping me find peace.”

            Anna: “For the first time, I truly felt it was going to be all right that I only had one arm. When I opened my eyes, Pee Wee said to ‘Fuck off. I’m tired of all this Centering bullshit. Life sucks and you’ll never convince me otherwise.’” Smiling she continued, “Obviously, I’ve got more work to do with her.”

            Jett: “All my life, Tug (Jett’s Focker) has convinced me if there was something unpleasant we didn’t want to think about, the best solution was to keep the mind busy and occupied. We just crowded the other thoughts out. I’m dealing with some sadness over the loss of someone I love. For the first time, I felt acceptance of the situation and the belief that I would be okay. It was a powerful experience.”

            Jett: (To himself) Others shared and it seemed like the first part of our group this morning (dialogue on page 1 above from the novel) had helped all of us to reach a deeper awareness of how Centering could help us heal. Doc had been going over and over the same material from the beginning and I think for most of us it was finally starting to sink in. We were still picking up books, but I sensed we were getting closer to being ready to go beyond that stage.

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            When you are Centered, your Focker is transformed in that moment. Transformation means that the darkness becomes the Light. Notice I said in that moment. Your Focker will never be totally transformed. When you are Centered, it will seem like he doesn’t exist and she doesn’t in that moment. He will raise his head at times. She will return.

            Your ability to stay Centered will depend on your commitment to do whatever it takes and that involves a lot of training. Let’s say you have been training to be more Centered when it comes to anger and you notice you’re doing better. That of course doesn’t mean Focker is totally transformed and won’t slip in there on some occasions and stir up anger. But he has much less power. The goal is always to be more Centered in every situation.

            Some of you may have suicidal thoughts. Let’s say at some point you feel completely Centered when it comes to killing yourself. You also say that you don’t know the future but you predict the part of Focker that wanted to kill us is totally transformed.

            If you stay with the training, that Focker will have a much smaller role in your life. It’s not easy, but it will become much easier with most of your issues and in most of your situations. One of my clients recently told me her Focker was almost completely transformed or silent. She has been training for quite some time. What you will discover is your commitment right now to getting Centered and your willingness to train will be well worth your time and effort. You’ll find that some issues are easier than others. Some will be very challenging and always remember and know healing is possible. At times you will need patience and perseverance, but it will pay off in the end.