Being Polly

During this period (April 1976) a new technique of group or partner work was evolved. I have called it Contact. It has arisen out of much that we have done in the past. It is deeply penetrating and effective.

Actually experiencing this form of meeting can be an amazing adventure or a real enlightenment. Here is an account of one such session between Ed and Polly.

I had know Polly for some time, but I had never used this form of meeting with her. Polly is a divorcee, a nurse, and someone I naturally like. My own situation at the time was of being married.

We sat opposite each other and were quiet for a while. I wanted to be in touch with Polly’s body in some way so I told her and she felt easy with that so we moved closer and held hands. I can’t remember every detail but I remember I was feeling close but without any desire to get closer. Then Polly started telling me she had warm feelings for me. With quite some feelings she said she loved me. I had used this approach quite often so it didn’t knock me back or anything. But in observing my own feelings I couldn’t notice any response to what Polly was saying, and I had the sense she expected a reply. So I said something like, “Well, what you are saying is really strong, but I don’t feel anything like what you say. I just feel calm and observing.”

Polly seemed to experience something powerful and started crying, and when she did that I could feel my own emotions respond. Then she explained that what I had said had suddenly pushed her to remember that this situation we were in was like a replay of something that used to happen between herself and her father. She had felt it as some sort of duty to tell her father that she loved him, but in fact she didn’t have any feelings for him. She had grown to believe her lie though, and it wasn’t until we had started being honest with each other that the lie had been exposed. This relieved me as I couldn’t understand how, if someone felt love for me, I wouldn’t have some sense of it.

After that it was like a wall had been dropped between us. I began to feel feelings of warmth and connection with Polly, and she with me. We played a bit and laughed and put our noses together looking into each others eyes close up. All I could see was one big eye looking straight into me. It was a very nice feeling. Then something amazing happened and I can’t even begin to understand how. Suddenly I was Polly. I was completely in her body although I was physically sitting in front of her. It was one of the strangest things I have ever known. Although Polly didn’t feel it to the same degree, she still felt something big had happened and held me close.

Gradually the feeling got clearer. It was like I was trapped in a woman’s body, and was scared I wouldn’t be able to get out. I realised it was about being born and told Polly. She then held me by wrapping her legs around me so I could really feel a woman’s body holding me tight. Slowly I wriggled free, and in doing so knew that I was facing a fear that getting near a woman might somehow trap me, and with Polly’s help I was finding my way beyond this fear.

Boundaries – are they fear or intuition?

What is the Technique behind using Contact

It can be used either as a group where people form couples to work together, or simple a couple, male to male, female to female or male to female who wish to explore each other in depth.

It must be understood that the couples have agreed to be completely honest with each other, and they start by either choosing a partner to work with, or sitting opposite each other and really looking at each other. Take your time with this because in looking at each other you are deciding to give each other honest and straight feedback.

Such honesty might be, “I find you extremely attractive, but am scared of showing it.” Or something like, “I am feeling extremely shy and unable to really say what I feel.”

If you are being honest and watching your partner and your own feelings you often note subtle changes in your partners face or body and you know what they  indicate – if so say what you see to your partner.

An enormous part of this technique is about being aware of the flow of feelings and even emerging images that you note in observing yourself. Observing your own ebb and flow of thoughts and feelings, your own habits and responses to things, it is one of the most powerful of tools to use in transforming your life. This also leads to a fuller connection with your intuitive connection with your core.

Much of our behaviour is largely or wholly unconscious. Becoming aware of something can by itself produce a change. If you are not aware of how you act or respond, there is less likelihood of satisfying change.

But before you start, remember that some things you do are not comfortable to become aware of. Personal growth is not a constant delight. There are growing pains occasionally. Remember also that self observation is not aimed at correcting wrong behaviour. There are not a set of right things to do. But there are ways you can discover of satisfying yourself more fully, and there are ways of responding and living that have the opposite effect to producing satisfaction and peace.

Another important thing to remember is that most of what we do is habitual. It takes no thought or effort to do it. Habits feel right because they have been done for so long. Even emotional responses are often habitual. So when you change you are going to confront a habit. Practising the new thing is necessary. Practice self observation until it is itself a habit and easy. See Habits

Such honestly can have amazing effects. Here is part of an explanation of a couple of males meeting while using contact. “I also remember seeing a vision of you spinning around in a huge golden light filled tube and feeling very sad (more tears) by realizing that as a spiritual teacher it could be very lonely on that mountain top as not many people could scale those heights, then I remember us rolling around on the floor like a couple of animals hugging shouting and laughing……I described it once, as having a spiritual/psychic orgasm.”

I believe the rolling around the floor started because after some time of honest sharing, Bob said to Andrew as they were breaking through barriers that had held them apart, “But if you say you love me, I wonder if the next moment you could walk away and leave me.” To which Andrew replied, “Yes, I could walk away.”

And that broke the last barrier and led them to meet deeply.

It is so simple and yet so powerful, why not try it?

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