Empathic Perspectives ~ An Exercise To Develop Empathic Perception

We are going to be looking at an exercise to help you develop your empathy, by widening your base of perception. So lets start with a few basic definitions to help us get started and move on from there.

The Definitions

Feeler Clairsentience is a person picks up thoughts, feelings and experiences that manifest as a feeling. What they are feeling is energy translated into a feeling.

An Empath is a person who has an acute or highly developed sense of empathy. Empathy is the capability to share your feelings and understand another’s emotion and feelings and is often characterized as the ability to “put oneself into another’s shoes”.

Perspective in theory of cognition is the choice of a context or a reference (or the result of this choice) from which to sense, categorize, measure or codify experience, cohesively forming a coherent belief, typically for comparing with another. One may further recognize a number of subtly distinctive meanings, close to those of paradigm, point of view, or a reality tunnel.

On one site, Perception is defined as the process by which organisms interpret and organize sensation to produce a meaningful experience of the world.

Another defines Perception as:
1. awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation
2. physical sensation interpreted in the light of experience
3. quick, acute, and intuitive cognition
4. a capacity for comprehension

Empathic Perception is made possible through the power of visualization—to sense and become other living things. It is, in a sense, to leave the body and experience the Self in other forms of existence, and also to feel other forms of existence in one’s self. It is both of these. It is the ultimate unity of all living things that makes empathic connection, possible.

Empathic Perception Exercise

This exercise is a multilayered exercise to help you hone your already developing abilities of Empathy and Feeler Clairsentience. It is written to help you focus your singular perception into a perception based in duality, which means, that you retain your own perception while at the same time sharing that of another. This is what I liked to call Empathic Shapeshifting. Another good blog about this topic to take a quick peek at is Personal Perspective Vs. Empathic Perspectives ~ A Balance. Before beginning this exercise I would recommend reading both of these blogs to have a better understanding of what we are about to do.

The Exercise

1. Pick a picture, object (organic or otherwise), person, animal, plant, spirit, etc., before hand to work with during this exercise.

2. Lay down, close your eyes, and relax. Slow your breathing until it is even. Let your mind be filled with absolutely nothing. This can be tough to do sometimes, so make sure you have a quiet place to do this in where you will not be disturbed. And for those of you would either hate to or simply can’t meditate, fear not, because this is not a meditation. It is a visualization.

3. Once your eyes are closed, your mind is peaceful, and your body is relaxed, focus on the object or person you chose before. See it in your mind’s eye in vivid detail. See yourself holding it, and note the sensations the object sends through your senses, like how it smell, how it looks, how it feels along your fingertips, the weight of it, the smoothness, graininess, or the roughness of it, whether it is pleasing to the eye or not (yes this includes people as well, so try not to let your mind wonder to something naughty if you are working with a person please).

4. If you are working with a person, think about their emotional reactions and how they react to certain stimuli, such as a surprise birthday party, stress, romance, lust, tragedy, etc. Think about how their mind works. Do they react logically to any given situation with more of a ‘problem solving‘ attitude or do they react emotionally to any given situation with a ‘people pleasing‘ attitude.

5. Now see this person’s eyes, or the object as though it were directly in your line of sight.

6. Using all of the information you have just accumulated about the person or object, and try to shift your perspective, while retaining your own at a distance, to see through the other chosen object/person’s perspective. Another way to say it is, be the person or object. But remember to keep this exercise in the first person, as though you yourself are actually there, and not third person, where you are watching from above but have no direct interaction with what is going on.
See scenarios and react to them as they would.

  • If its an animal, as an example, such as a squirrel, imagine yourself storing food away for the impending winter. Feel the driving urge to find food quickly so that you will have enough to live on. And then imagine, as you are running along because you smell food somewhere, a car pulling into the driveway of a human home. What are your instincts telling you? What is your body doing? What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What are you seeing?
  • If its a person, see their face. Superimpose that face onto your own. See through their eyes and feel what they feel. Say they told you about a very traumatic experience in their lives. Visualize that event, via your imagination and based on the details they shared with you about the event, no matter how sketchy it might be. Improvise the rest. Now, while still in first person, go through this even as the other person might have. Knowing their personality, in detail, will help further this process along. React to it as they might have. Let your emotions be real here, whether it brings you to tears or causes you to laugh. See through that person’s eyes as you become that person for a while.
  • If it is an object, say like a very high walled and smoothly rounded bowl, feel that within yourself. Feel yourself as round. Feel the smoothness, the roughness, or what have you, against your skin. Feel your own weight. Feel your own translucence. Feel how you shimmer (or not) in the light. Let the colors of this object simply become you. In other words, be the bowl.

7. While doing this exercise, it is always best to start with something small and work your way up to something bigger, particularly if you are just beginning to do this.

8. This exercise doesn’t take very long, and if you practice it enough, it can become second nature. What this means is that when you encounter someone else or a particular object or animal, you will begin to naturally shift your perception toward the other party, without realizing that you do it.

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~ by Misuchi Sakurai on August 2, 2009.

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