Marcy 21, 1997 – Guided Imagery Transcript
The following guided imagery session1 was recorded on March 21, 1997 between Leslie Davenport and myself. I have skipped over the portion of the session that induced me into a deep state of relaxation. For an example script of a deep relaxation session, please consult the “mind story” page. If you decide to try this on your own, please be aware that this is a record of my experience, and you may not necessarily experience the same effects. I believe that it is worth trying! Also, please see the notes that follow the transcript. Please note that I have omitted some “yea’s” and “uh huh’s” from the transcript. My comments about the session are found in brackets in italics.
Leslie Davenport [after basic body relaxation was complete]: … And also allow your mind to join in a similar kind of spaciousness… feeling the vastness of the mind. And allowing yourself to let go of the specific thoughts may pop into your awareness… and disengaging from that for a while. Also allowing yourself to notice your emotions wherever you may sense that part of yourself right now… again inviting a kind of settling … and becoming aware also of that deepest part of yourself … that part that’s more enduring than the rise and fall of emotions and the activity of the mind and the fluctuating sensations in the body… Allowing all the levels and dimensions of who you are to be engaged in this process… And then to just bring your intention again of healing… wholeness… into your awareness… And from that place allow an image to form that will in some way be expressive of that… And then when the image appears, I’d like you to describe aloud whatever it is that you become aware of.
Jerome Freedman: Green…
L: What shade of green?
L: OK – say more about it.
J: I think there’s a trail or something…
L: Does the green have a particular shape or form?
J: It seems to be rising a little… going up a hill…
L: Um.. OK… Just stay with that. Let me know anything else you notice about it.
J: A couple of travelers… They seem to be on the way down…
L: OK. What’s that like – traveling on the way down?
J: Like the end of a hike…
L: What’s that feel like?
J: Like… it’s all down hill from here!!!! [laughter from both parties]…
J: That’s a good one!
L: OK. And does that feel right as you say it? Does that kind of match the…
J: It matches the feeling.
L: Yeah! Great! Good! Well let yourself really feel that! Let yourself enjoy that feeling, “It’s all downhill from here!”
J: It’s a good name for the web page! [more laughter]…
L: Yeah… In the way that that brings a little bit of a smile, let that smile be everywhere in your body… You can even allow the feeling to amplify… just with your breath and with your awareness… What’s happening now?
J: I was feeling a wave of bliss as I was thinking about how… the Robert Frost poem2, two roads crossing in the wood and I took one of the paths (I don’t know the exact words) and it made all the difference in the world!!! … It really did! I’ll tell you…this is really great!! The difference is … I took my path and didn’t succumb to the “standard treatment”… and it made all of the difference in the world!!!
L: Yeah! Good! Just be with that! Kind of rejoicing in the path… the rightness of your choice… and the waves of bliss…
J: It’s that obvious!!! [laughter] It’s really nice… It’s also the first day of Spring… and every year this whole week I reminded of this Zen poem. It goes like this: “Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes and the grass grows all by itself!” … One of the things I learned from tennis is that you stay in your body and just let the ball play by itself. Whenever I think too much I don’t make nearly as good a shot as if I’m just totally mindless… And of course that’s the spiritual practice of tennis: letting go of the mind and being in the body… and you know for a fear type3 … a mental type … that’s a real essential thing to do…
L: Where are you right now?…
J. Ready to go deeper!
L: OK! Good! Just allow yourself to then go underneath these images and awarenesses that you’ve been describing… Just go right underneath… and when you’re ready, describe whatever you become aware of…
J: … I’ve been having the momentary… experiences… of emptiness… emptiness in the sense of emptiness of self — of pure awareness… It seems to be physically more like a black hole [whole???] than anything else… and I go into that moment and I say, “Is this real?” and it pops me right back out of it….
L: Can you describe more… the experience of emptiness?
J: I think the best description is pure awareness… the awareness of being aware!… Nothing happening!… It means allowing the grass to grow all by itself!!…
L: Let’s be there a little bit… letting the grass grow all by itself!
J: It’s funny – it started with “green!” Wow! [laughter]…
L: What are you aware of now?…
J: [images of thick, healthy grass with deep seated roots]… I saw this image of grass growing by itself… and that I took that same image … just let it drop down into my bladder… and allow healthy cells to grow all by themselves!!!
L: Yeah! Great!
J: And it’s such an amazing feeling… to know that that’s happening! I can just feel it – I can just feel the energy going in there… I can just feel the healthy cells just growing by themselves with no interference from me!!!… and with no interference from cancer!!!
L: Yep! Yes! Great!…
J: [At this point, I was noticing a deep, penetrating healing energy of bliss which I was focusing on the walls of my bladder. I had transmuted the image of the grass to the image of cells on a microscopic level] … It’s like… I know you’ve experienced these waves of relaxation – these waves of bliss that come from deep meditation and insight and that you just feel that going into those cells revitalizing, harmonizing, catalyzing and … just living!! To know that… follow your bliss!!! In this case directing the bliss to where it needs to be… [long pause while allowing bliss to work in the bladder!]… It’s like with each exhalation, more and more of that healing energy is being pumped in there…
L: Hum… Great!!!
J: … Now I’m beginning to head trip about how great this is!!! [uproarious laughter]… This six mind of mine… always wants to come back into the picture…
L: How do you want to respond to that six mind?
J: By body anchoring… by reality anchoring in the body… That’s the mainstay…
L: To coming back to the body…
L: Is there anything else about this process … about this healing focus that’s wanting to be know or explored or does this feel fairly complete?
J: Well, there’s a few things I wanted to tell you about it…. I didn’t want to speak while it was happening… But I think this is a real teachable phenomenon that I sort of accidentally discovered through doing this process… and it feels like it’s really … to the extent that it induces healing … doesn’t have to be verified medically… but when a person… when I felt this good about the energy going in there I can’t help but believe that if someone else needed that that they could do it too…
L: So there’s something about this experience that’s not only clearly of value for you now but has the component of being of service to others…
L: Good! Let yourself acknowledge all of that… the whole sphere of what this is about… for you and for others… Lots of levels… Well in a few moments we’ll begin to bring this toward a close… Is there anything else that feels like it was meant to happen before we do that?…
J: I have a sense of deep gratitude… to you… and to this work… and to all this stuff that I’ve done to prepare for this… [see below…]
L: Yes! Good! Take a moment to be with that!… and then begin to bring a closure for now knowing that you can always return again… and that you may be even able to carry the awareness and the benefits of this into different kinds of moments, into different kinds of ways… And the whenever you’re ready just find a transition that will allow you to comfortably open your eyes again…
1It is important to note that I was first exposed to meditation and guided imagery in 1968 while I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago, and that I have been consistently practicing some form of these for the past thirty years. This process could be a model for what I might call bliss healing, in which somehow you get in touch with your bliss and allow that feeling to heal your body in whatever way you think is need at the time.
2The complete text of Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken, is:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
If you’ve been following my story up to now, you’ll know the significance of this poem. I took the road less traveled by (i. e., choosing the Shipley protocol instead of the “gold standard” of treatment – radical cystectomy), and that has made all the difference. At this point, had I chosen the other path, I would not still have a bladder!
3Another important note is in reference to the discussion about the “fear type” and mention of the “six mind”, above. These refer to my “point” on the enneagram – a nine sided diagram that represents nine personality types.
Please visit the Enneagram Instrument for more information.
I would love to hear what you think about this session. Please write to me with your questions and comments! Have any of you had a similar experience of healing?