Mindfulness and Psychotherapy – We can define The Hole by considering its opposite. So if the hole is the experience of complete separation, alienation, meaninglessness and isolation, then the opposite is complete integration, belongingness, wholeness, meaningfulness. Sounds a lot like the experience of enlightenment. So as it happens, the point of separation is also our point of connection. So actually, I see it not as a hole but rather as a diaphragm or a portal. So, therein lies the good news. As folks allow their attention to penetrate the dark emptiness of the hole, though they do experience many difficult and painful experiences, over time they can at least catch glimpses of the possibility of the “light”.
Now, let us be clear, I am not promising enlightenment here. I myself am far from being an actualized being so I probably would make a pretty terrible guide. But I do see that people lose their fear of the hole such that they can observe significant decreases in their myriad control behaviors that have served to “protect” them from the hole. So, for example many of us “feed the hole” through eating. As they lose their terror of the hole, people are more able to stay present within themselves and so spontaneously, are less likely to seek comfort through food.
So their is no great trick to get through the hole. And, paradoxically, the best way to get through it is to not try to; rather, to fully face and embrace the experience.
Using Mindful Exposure To Embrace the Hole
–The main thing to do is to simply allow the spotlight of one’s mental attention focus on the experience (emotional surfing).
–Pay attention to where in your body the experience emanates from. For many, the hole might occur in the umbilical or other abdominal regions. Others might experience it in their heart or chest area. This is most likely to be true when the hole is provoked by a recent loss, or separation. (emotional surfing)
–Allow whatever experiences are their to be viewed. Just take note and attempt to maintain objective detachment. Allow all the feelings, thoughts, images and memories that may pour out of the hole. Remember, no matter how unpleasant some of these experiences might be, you are not in danger. Nonetheless, no not hesitate to seek help with this endeavor.
–Pay attention to all the things you might do in the course of a day to avoid the experience of the hole. Attempt to resist these behaviors and instead allow the experience of the hole to come forward. You will not always be able to allow this. But any time you are able to do so, you will grow and over time it will get easier.
–Remember, that if you had very wounding parents, and never felt welcomed to the world, in a very important sense, they are not your only parents. They are a vehicle through which you came into the world. The universe is you parent. A little meditative imagery can help with this. As you sit in an erect but relaxed meditative pose, with each breath, you can visualize that you are breathing in the universe (perhaps seen as a white light) through your nose. Allow this light to circulate through your body, and into that empty place within you. Allow the contents of the hole to be breathed out with each out breath. Perhaps, this might be perceived as a grey or dark colored mist. It may take considerable repetitions before one is able to experience the universal light entering their hole area. That is OK. As with all meditation pursuits, let what ever happens, happen. Nature has its own time clock which may not necessarily correspond with our own!
Please feel free to post your own experiences with this stuff! I would be very beneficial to hear about others experiences with this. How one has experienced the hole, any other writings about it or references to it. Other therapists experiences with this phenomenon. This is relatively uncharted territory but I feel that it is more prevalent than we think. Thus I invite all input.