I recently came across an interesting
mindfulness technique that could be very useful in doing defusion work.
“Echo Talk” is on Shinzen Young's website, http://shinzen.org/, which has a lot of interesting
content related to vipassana meditation.
I was lucky enough to help out with a terrific multi-day presentation
that Vijay and Anne Shankar conducted at last year’s ACT Summer Institute that
was all about the important connections between ideas in vipassana meditation
and ACT. I will write more on this in
another post, so check back!
For now, take a look at the two page instructions on Shinzen
Young’s “Echo Talk.” There are several
things I really like about this exercise in the sense of how well it dovetails
with ACT methodologies of defusion. The
idea of listening to the sound rather than the meaning of thoughts, and the
idea of “coexistence” with thoughts/judgments the mind has about thoughts, letting the mind “do its thing” as you continue with
the exercise. Wow, what a nice way to
articulate defusing from verbal content.
In the “Effects” part at the end, he notes one of the effects is a new
sense of “distance” from the mental chatter, that the mental talk seems easier
to observe. And finally, and perhaps
most profoundly, this exercise implied for me a close connection between the
vipassana practitioner’s experience of “equanimity” and what an ACT clinician
might conceptualize the present moment experience of psychological flexibility.
It seems to me that "Echo Talk" could be a great
exercise to teach clients in session during the course of defusion work, then
assign them to practice regularly at home.
Who knows? It could even help lay
the groundwork in certain clients for developing a mindfulness meditation
Take care, everyone. Here’s