Preparation for Mindful-Exposure to Disturbances (2x)

Facilitator: Early misfortunes leave impressions.

Participant: I am the witness of my mental events.

Facilitator: Traumatic impressions bias our perceptions.

Participant: I am the witness of such traumatic impressions.

Facilitator: Emotional deprivation can leave us feeling constantly deprived.

Participant: I am the witness of such feelings of deprivation.

Facilitator: Social exclusion can leave us feeling recurrently rejected.

Participant: I am the witness of such feelings of rejection.

Facilitator: Abandonment can leave us feeling habitually deserted.

Participant: I am the witness of such feelings of desertion.

Facilitator: At times we prefer to escape our fears.

Participant: I accept my experience completely.

Begin the Mindful-Exposure to Disturbances

Mindful-Exposure to Disturbances

Important Note: It is important to study this application of mindful-exposure. However you should be mindful that exposure to disturbances occurs naturally during meditation. As we become less defended we begin to remember and trace back our defensiveness to the core experiences that wounded us. By learning to expose ourselves deliberately then letting go we cultivate the skill of tolerating the presence of our core fears and respond to them adaptively.

Instruction: Sit upright. Cast your gaze toward the ground about 4-5 feet in front of you. Begin steady breathing.


You will expose yourself to disturbing recollections and imaginings, allow yourself to feel distress then assimilate the experience by fully shifting attention to your breath and sensory experience, unquestionably accepting your state of being.

Open an image of an upsetting event when you were a child or as an adult. Or, you may open the image of a dreaded event that might occur in your future. When you identify the upsetting image, explore and analyze it. You may note how old you are, where you are and what the circumstances are. Note too the environment that you are in, imaging the setting and the associated people. This is the exposure phase.

Explore this event, exposing you to possible feelings of distress and grief. Allow yourself to quietly experience the imaged events. This is the feelings activation phase. Intermittently, shift your full attention on to your breathing, and sensory experience. Radically accept your emotional, sensory and thought experience as you suspend any effort to resolve issues or concerns. You may say to yourself: “This is my experience and I accept it completely.” This is the assimilation phase.

Alternate between exposing yourself to disturbances and full attention to your breath and bodily sensations.

As you explore the disturbance you may reflect on the nature of the experience. Thematically identify the type of experience you are witnessing. For example: “I’m being swindled, dismissed, caught, underestimated, intimidated, etc.” Thus, you are both in the image and witnessing it.

As your practice ripens, link your recurrent disturbing themes to schema themes (and perhaps coping modes). Choose from the schema-themes listing, if they are applicable:

Emotional Deprivation

You are deprived, just as your needs were not met before.


You are deserted and alone, just as you were abandoned before.


You are defective, just as your faults were painfully exposed before.


You are a victim, just as you were abused before.


You yield to pressure, just as you were coerced before.


You cannot succeed, just as you failed before.


You are in danger, just as you were helplessly vulnerable before.


You are rejected, just as you were excluded before.


You are shamed, just as you did wrong before.


You are vigilant and worried, just as you were shown a disappointing world.

If your experience does not fit into any of these categories attempt to find a term or a phrase that describes the type of recurrent experience you are having.

Follow-up by using media support.