Skills Sets

These skills sets are designed to reinforce the exercises on this site. Each skill set uses neutralising and defusing techniques to be more present in the moment. It is hoped that your mind will be free of intrusive negative thoughts and feelings by utilising these skills.

Skill set 1: Waterfall

Get into a comfortable sitting position. Imagine that you could step into this photo and sit on a nearby rock. Whatever thoughts and feelings that are resisting your relaxing in this moment – acknowledge them and try to name them in appropriate clusters.

Now we are going to do a neutralizing technique… first, ground yourself by pushing your feet into the ground, straighten your back and drop your shoulders breathing in a deep breath, holding it and releasing it slow (about 15 seconds in all). Keep going through that procedure for about a minute.

Now looking out at the waterfall take those names for the clusters of thoughts and feelings and shout each name out – imagining all those thoughts drifting out and flowing down the waterfall away from you. Keep working through this until you feel in a neutral position: relaxed, breathing and admiring the view for what it is. 

Skill Set 2: Art

Take in the painting here – breath deeply following the lines and the patterns. Feel its presence. What thoughts come to the surface? Are they helpful or a hindrance? Keep the positive ones and try to let go of the unhelpful ones, remaining focused on the painting until all that you think in this moment is this image. Continue breathing deeply and stay there for a moment – hopefully feeling positive and at peace.

Skill Set 3: Stream

Get into a comfortable sitting position preferably bare foot and on the floor. Imagine that you could step into this photo and plant yourself on the grass looking at this stream. Try to take some deep breaths counting to 6 on breathing in through your nose, counting to 3 holding your breath, and counting again to 6 on the breath out through your mouth. Maintain this steady breathing as you continue…

Close your eyes and imagine the sound of the stream – the water flowing over the rocks and rushing into the pool below. Try to identify what thoughts are spoiling your enjoyment of this beautiful place. Whatever thoughts come up – imagine placing them on a leaf at the top of the stream and letting the leaf go – watching it meander down the delicate rapids and drift along with the current over the pool.

Keep your breathing up and let those intrusive thoughts go with the leaf, enjoying this moment – taking in the sounds around you, feeling the fresh air against your cheeks, and sensing the smells of the grass and the moss. Be present in this moment for a few minutes and relax.

Skill Set 4: Storm

Take a look at this photograph of a storm brewing. You may like to listen to the storm to immerse yourself, press play.

Ground yourself wherever you are sitting – push your feet in the ground, straighten your back and drop your shoulders, rotate your neck and relax… now breathing slowly in, holding it and out as you have done before.  

As you take in the clouds – name any thoughts or feelings that are disturbing, unhelpful or negative. As you breathe out imagine you blowing them into the storm one by one – letting them go until all you feel is a neutral relaxed position  – looking at this photo of a storm brewing. Remain in this moment for some time.

Skill Set 5: Flying

Sit and relax, regulating your breathing, in a comfortable position preferably with bare feet. You may want to try grounding your body first – press your feet to the ground, keep back straight, drop your shoulders.

Imagine yourself to be a bird flying into this scene and propping yourself on top of the Zen stone tower. Try to imagine the wind against your face and the sound of the waves against the rocks below. Try to be at peace in this moment as you flap your wings and fly over to that island off the shore. Land on the rocks over there and rest. Let any thoughts or feelings that may be present go as you fly – feeling the release of any stress or burdens that you may have sensed.

Now stay for a moment out there on the island – enjoying this moment – free from any burdens and be relaxed!

Skill Set 6: Rose

Try to empty your mind and be present in this moment taking in your awareness of the rose. Try to ignite your senses – what are you smelling? What are you hearing? What are you seeing? What would you like to touch? Take some deep breaths and continue looking at the rose…

Explore the patterns, the shapes, the folds of the petals. Whatever thoughts come up – acknowledge them and return your attention to the rose – sensing as many positive feelings that you can… stay in that space for a while and be relaxed.

Skill Set 7: Sculpture

Take a look at the sculpture in the middle of this dam. Notice the shapes and forms – imitating water lilies. Close your eyes for a minute and notice what thoughts that are distracting you from looking at the sculpture.

As you are aware of the intruding thoughts imagine placing them as shapes, objects, words, or artifacts on each of the flat surfaces. As you stack the sculpture up with these projections of your thoughts admire what you are creating – your own personal sculpture of your mind.

Try to remain focused on the sculpture and watching it change. Feel your mind lighter and free from those thoughts that were impacting on you. Finally close your eyes and imagine the sculpture floating in your head holding all those things that you have placed there. Stay alert to it, being aware of your breathing and let your mind become neutral – no longer fused to those thoughts and what they represented.