Altered States of Consciousness: Lesson One Learning Guide Group Track

Altered States of Consciousness Series

Professional Group Track Learning Guide

Lesson One: Conscious Breathing

Directions:

-The first step is ACT ONE. This interactive form section will give you an opportunity to delve deeply into the concepts behind our lesson and reflect on how they connect to your life and your role as caregiver. A critical element for the success of an ACT Learning Group is to provide some time and space for personal reflection and journaling.

-After completing this step, ACT TWO is a period of group discussion and reflection. All participants must be given a safe space to express themselves during this time. This portion of the interactive form is filled out with insights gained from your community exploration.

-Next, your group will move on to ACT THREE, the Best Practicesreal-world habits, ways of thinking, or behaving that can increase personal well-being. Goals to incorporate best practice suggestions can be made on the group or individual level and support systems can be developed during this time.

ACT Step One: Individual Reflection

Completed forms may be printed out by pressing CTRL button + P (Windows) or CMD button + P (Mac).

By submitting this form you are agreeing to contribute to our national research project. All information will be used anonymously.

ACT Step Two: Group Discussion

Completed forms may be printed out by pressing CTRL button + P (Windows) or CMD button + P (Mac).

By submitting this form you are agreeing to contribute to our national research project. All information will be used anonymously.

ACT Step Three: Best Practices – (Choose at Least One)

1. Matching one’s breathing with another can facilitate connection with a comatose person.

Explore this technique with another person in your life.

  • First, take a moment to focus on yourself, on your own breathing.
  • Then match your breathing to your partner’s rhythm.
  • What changes do you notice?
  • What are your partner’s observations?
  • In what way might this technique facilitate a connection with your partner that differs from your usual manner of being with another?

 

2. People in a comatose state are very isolated and appreciate loving contact.  Amy Mindell suggests the simple practice of placing your head close to someone you are comfortable with. 

  • Explore using your senses rather than your eyes to notice what you perceive about another.
  • What do you sense or notice about your partner?
  • Does your partner report noticing a difference in when ‘connecting’ in this way?

 

3. Pacing one’s breath can provide a simple way to enter into “another’s system.” Try placing your hand lightly on the back of your partner’s hand.

  • Pay attention to their breathing and then begin exerting light pressure as they inhale
  • Then, release the pressure of your hand as your partner exhales.
  • Continue this pattern for a few minutes before ending.
  • What, if anything, do you or your partner notice about this experience?

For one week, dedicate 10-15 minutes a day for reflective writing. As described in the quote above “Keep the pen moving; welcome everything; don’t worry about errors; let the subject choose you; write for your eyes only; feelings, feelings, feelings; and details, details, details!”

Closing Thought

“Overcoming our resistance to experiencing our pain can become the source of compassion for the world and other beings.” – Joanna Macy

Additional Resources