- Preparing for Sentic Cycles:
- How to Sit
- Mounting the Finger Rest
- Position of the Arm and Finger
- Doing Sentic Cycles:
- Getting started
- What to do while Sentic Cycles is running
- Am I doing Sentic Cycles correctly? A quick checklist
- Which arm should I use?
- What will happen if I do not follow the instructions?
- Caution: Incomplete Cycles
- Some General Comments:
- Your Experience of Sentic Cycles
- Some notes about specific emotions
- What you may experience while doing Sentic Cycles
- What you may experience after doing Sentic Cycles
- Extensions to the standard method
- Apollonian and Dyonysian ways of doing Sentic Cycles
- Taking notes on your Emotion Experience
- Sentic Cycles for Couples:
- How couples can do sentic cycles together
- The couple’s way of doing sentic cycles together
- How to work on your relationship using sentic cycles
Sit on a simple straight back chair, a computer chair, or kitchen or dining chair is fine. (A chair with armrests is useless for Sentic Cycles. Ease your seat as far back as you can into the chair. It is good to place a thin cushion or pillow below your shoulders between the back of the chair and your back.
Your feet should be on the ground, apart, and your thighs supported by the chair.
Sitting up correctly, your spine will be straight.
The incorrect ways to sit:
The correct way to sit:
2) Mounting the Finger Rest
The finger rest needs to be secured with the velcro patch on a hard surface at a height about the same as the chair.
The right top corner of your computer keyboard, a coffee table, or night table, of the right height is useful, or a second chair if it has a hard seat (don’t try to do Sentic Cycles with a table of wrong height; wait instead until you can use one of the right height). The coffee table or night table should be solid, and not wobble (wobbling tables are useless for Sentic Cycles). Remove the plastic cover on the bottom of the Velcro patch, and press down on the finger rest to secure it on the chosen surface.
If you use a coffee table or night table or chair, secure the finger rest just a little off the edge of the table (as shown).
3) Position of the Arm and Finger
Place the finger rest table to the side of your chair in front and side as shown in the figure. Place the third finger on the surface of the finger rest touching it with the soft pad of the tip of your finger. Your upper arm will slope slightly forward and your lower arm will slope somewhat downward. Your wrist follows your forearm smoothly, without flexing. Your third finger is gently curved as shown. Your other arm rests on your lap or thigh.
For ‘grief’ you may want to use both middle and ring finger together.
During Sentic Cycles the finger stays in contact with the finger rest all the time (the other fingers are relaxed and do not touch anything). Except for “joy”.
It is best to do Sentic Cycles in dim light, in a place where you will not be interrupted. Close your eyes.
Turn the volume control down so that the knocks sound quite softly.
The Sentic Cycles emotion cycle contains eight words:
- No emotion
- Sexual Desire
Between a word and the next there are a number of knocks (knocks) for several minutes. Each knock in the series tells you when to begin your expression. Always wait for the next knock before starting your next expression.
What to do while Sentic Cycles is running
The first word is “no emotion”.
It is followed by a sequence of knocks (taps).
Each time you hear a knock you do a single short pressure action on the finger rest such as you might do in depressing a typewriter key. (BUT KEEP YOUR FINGER IN CONTACT WITH THE FINGER REST THROUGHOUT THE CYCLE).
Do one such short pressing action whenever you hear a knock. Wait always for the next knock before doing the next action.
During “no emotion” press each time without expressing emotion, in a mechanical way.
The next word is anger.
After this word again there are a number of knocks. As you hear a knock, you now express anger with a single expressive pressure action on the finger rest. (You can express your anger without fear of punishment. ) Wait for the next knock before pressing again, and then express anger again with a single characteristic finger pressure and so on, till you hear the next word:
Now, for each knock express the quality of hate. Again, one expression for each knock. Then comes
You may sense that a slower expressive pressure of a different character expresses this quality. Again, one expression for each knock.
Similarly for the following periods of love, sex, joy, and reverence, you will find that each emotion has its own characteristic kind of expressive pressure action.
Always do one expression for each knock, and wait for the next knock before doing the next one. Each separate expressive pressure is transmitted from the arm to the finger.
At the end of the cycle, remain sitting quietly for about two minutes before resuming your activities. You may find it most appropriate and pleasant not to converse for a little while after doing EFA. Ease into your activities gradually.
Am I doing Sentic Cycles correctly? A Quick Checklist
- Do I sit straight?
- Is finger rest in the right position?
- Is the Sentic Cycle Program being played softly?
- Are the eyes closed, feet on the ground?
- Do I keep in contact with the finger rest all the time, except for “joy”?
- Do I express one expression for each knock?
- Do I use a different kind of expressive touch for each emotion?
- If you answer YES to all the above, you are doing it correctly!
If you are tall you will mostly need a substantial pillow on your seat, so that your thighs will be supported. (Chairs are made at the same size, unless their height is adjustable, such as computer chairs – but people are not. )
Short people need a support under their feet (a large book, for example) to allow the heels to rest flat.
Remember, the idea in Sentic Cycles is not to strive to have the emotions be as intense as possible, but rather experience them in a moderate way.
Which arm should I use?
Each time you do a cycle use only one arm for a complete cycle, either the right or the left arm, and place the finger rest accordingly. You will find it valuable to do Sentic Cycles with either arm, and experience their subtly different quality and emotional effects (whether you are right- or left-handed). Don’t switch arms in the middle of a cycle.
What will happen if I do not follow the instructions?
- Your arm will get tired.
- You may have discomfort and impede the flow of experience.
- You may not be able to generate some of the emotions, and may be bored.
- You will not experience the quietness, serenity and energy generation.
CAUTION: INCOMPLETE CYCLES
DO NOT INTERRUPT DOING THE SENTIC CYCLES, ESPECIALLY DURING THE NEGATIVE EMOTIONS.
You may end an emotion cycle at any point after the love phase, if you need to, but you should complete the cycle unless there is reason not to. It is possible also to begin a cycle with the love phase and proceed to the end of the cycles if you can spare only a few minutes time.
Remember, the idea in Sentic Cycles is not to strive to have the emotions be as intense as possible, but rather experience them in a moderate way.
Your Experience of Sentic Cycles
You will notice that for some emotions you will tend to express in a direction away from the body, at a downward and outward angle, for others you may wish to press vertically, or slightly towards your body. Thus, anger and hate will tend to be away from your body. Grief and joy, near vertical. Love will tend to have a caress-like form-you may wish to slide on the finger rest slightly, for each expression.
Your body will feel very relaxed and quiet, almost as if asleep, except for your expressing arm and your head. You will find that your head will tend to tilt a little differently for each emotion. Your breathing will also vary with each emotion.
For “no emotion” you need not make an effort to feel nothing, just do not express a feeling.
Some notes about specific emotions
Some persons find it difficult at first to clearly sense the difference between anger and hate. Yet it is clear that for example, you can be angry at a child and not hate the child. You will gradually become clearer about the passionate destructive impulse of hate and realize that anger does not have this wiping out or killing quality, but can be constructive when allied with appropriate impulses. You will notice their different expression and learn to distinguish anger from hate in yourself and in others. Hate is included in Sentic Cycles, not so that you can learn to hate better, but so that by knowing what hate is, you can better recognize and cope with it, both in yourself and in others. In most of us there tend to be vestiges of hate usually related to frustrated, unexpressed anger and especially a sense of injustice. As a person becomes more adept in doing Sentic Cycles, he/she will gradually find less need for the hate phase as an expression of his feelings. It will still retain a usefulness, however, as a means of empathically understanding what others may experience.
Love and sex are polarized in the Sentic Cycles cycle. The love phase is meant mainly as an experience of brotherly or motherly love. That is, a love without sexual urgency. Sex is meant to focus on the purely erotic. Feelings of love can be combined with this. As your experience in Sentic Cycles grows, you may be increasingly able to differentiate and combine love and sex and their expressions.
A good way to do joy is to imagine oneself jumping, or taking off, with each expression and then gently, gradually float back to the ground in an ecstatic way. You will notice that the way in which you ease back to the ground in imagination is important to give the expression of joy its true character. While in actual jumping the body, being heavy, returns to the ground quite quickly, in imagination (in expressing joy) we float back more slowly to the ground. When done right with your arm and finger, the experience will give you a particular sensation throughout the body, down to your legs and feet.
Hugging another in joy is a different image that would give rise to a different expressive pattern, a rather more compound emotion.
Reverence, of course, is not meant as reverence for a particular person but as reverence for nature, God, something much larger than oneself (not an elephant!). Many persons may find the expression of reverence somewhat unfamiliar. If you do you will probably gradually discover its form for you within two or three sessions, and have satisfaction in doing so.
What you may experience while doing Sentic Cycles
Assuming that you are doing it correctly you will experience much of the following:
Your body will become very quiet. Yet you will experience various bodily sensations: heaviness with grief, lightness with joy, a sense of flow with love. In anger and hate you may sense muscular tensions in the abdomen, perhaps some clenching of the teeth and sometimes a sensation of your limbs tending to fly apart. In addition, you may experience physiological changes in your body-some sexual excitement during sex, possibly some tears and crying during grief. You may experience changes in your heart rate (although these may not be noticed) and, of course, changes in your breathing.
You will know when you are expressing a particular quality correctly from the way it feels to you. For each expression you can be aware how that expression felt. You will gradually become more familiar with many subtle qualities of each emotion, in a self-refining process.
What you may experience after doing Sentic Cycles.
Shortly after doing Sentic Cycles you will probably experience a marked sense of calmness and peace. If not shattered by immediately succeeding, traumatic events, this feeling should last several hours. You will be relieved of anxiety and nervousness.
In this calm, filled with energy, you will have a different perspective on your goals and desires, and be less anxious about their fulfillment. In the words of a nurse who has done Sentic Cycles for several years, you may also have “awareness that I have energy to do any tasks I may want to do”.
If it is time for sleeping, or if you have accumulated a sleep deficit, you will feel like sleeping and quite likely have a sound, deep and restful sleep.
The insights you have gained will remain with you and help you to understand the nature of your emotions and those of others, and help you to spontaneously communicate the qualities of your feelings. In time, you will be more readily in touch with your real self, and express it to others.
Most of all you will often experience gladness to be alive – based on a fundamental feeling of the rightness of things, the blessedness of existence.
Let your breathing go as it feels for each emotion. You will tend to breathe in harmony with your expressions. You will probably find that for anger and hate you will often breathe with a sharp expiratory puff for each expression. With “no emotion” your breath will tend to be even and comparatively shallow. For grief you may breathe like a sigh with each expression, tending to stop at the end of each expiration.
For love, breathing will tend to be even, slow and rather deep. Love expressions may begin anywhere during the breath cycle, but are favored to begin near the end or the beginning of inspiration.
For sex, breathing will tend to be chopped, with short, mostly expiratory gasps, interspersed with stops.
For joy, inspiration will tend to coincide with each expression.
For reverence, breathing is quite slow and will tend to stand still at the end of each deep inspiration. It is the opposite of sighing.
Breathing will generally be faster for anger, hate, sex, and joy; slow for grief, love, and reverence.
At first you may find it easiest to generate each emotion by imagining a particular scene or person. After a number of sessions you may find that you often don’t need to imagine such scenes and recipients in order to express these emotions.
As you express the various emotions, you will find that each emotion may flash memories into your awareness associated with it. Acting as a search light to illumine your various past experiences, perhaps way back to childhood, it will bring them into focus effortlessly, in free association.
You may also spontaneously generate fantasies about new experiences.
Whenever a new emotion is announced , you will tend to be quite fresh in being able to experience the new emotion. As you do many expressions of the same emotion, you may find that for a while each expression will tend to increase the intensity of feeling; but after a while the intensity having reached a certain level, for some emotions your mind may at times begin to wander and the intensity to fluctuate. Doing Sentic Cycles does not require you to strive to have high intensity emotions. This wandering of attention if It occurs is quite common. When you become aware of it, simply bring your mind back to the quality of the emotion. Towards the end of some of the emotion periods you may feel satiated with that particular quality. However, you will probably be quite fresh to experience the next emotion called for in the cycle.
You will find that it takes a few moments to change from one emotion to another. Changing from one emotional state to another during the cycles will become progressively easier with practice.
The quality of feelings that you will experience may teach you insights about relationships and experiences that will come to your awareness as you express. These insights may be very valuable to you.
As you become familiar with doing Sentic Cycles you may find that the 25 minutes will seem to pass very quickly and may seem perhaps no more than 10 minutes long. You will also find that the knocks seem to follow each other with little waiting time. Doing Sentic Cycles can produce an accelerated time sense.
By contrast, your daily activities after doing Sentic Cycles may seem deliberate, quiet, and spaced out with plenty of time to maneuver in. This sense of spaciousness of time is one of the consequences of doing Sentic Cycles, and goes with the absence of anxiety.
Some extensions to the standard method
- Expressing joy, you should lift your arm off the finger rest about a foot during each expression.
- You can sometimes use both 3rd and 4th fingers together for grief, love and sex only.
- During reverence, love, and grief you may at times wish to do one long expression in the time of two knocks, ignoring the second knock.
Apollonian and Dionysian ways of doing EFA
As a person becomes more adept in his experience of Sentic Cycles, he or she becomes aware that every emotion can be expressed in two different ways of innerconnectedness. The first way is the way in which a person expresses his own feeling as a person, as a personal ego trip. We call this the Dionysian way. You will tend to use this method when you are under considerable emotional stress, and doing Sentic Cycles in this way will be a helpful outlet to your feelings, defuse the stress and relieve your anxieties.
When you do Sentic Cycles in the Dionysian way with high intensity emotions, the experience can be quite draining. You might feel exhausted and drained instead of being energized. Repeated experience of Sentic Cycles will tend to even out the intensities and settle at a moderate level of intensity.
Another way of expressing your emotions is in their own pure quality, as existences – like the experience of going out into a beautiful garden, being under the starry skies, or being rocked by the waves of the ocean. In this Apollonian mode the emotions are expressed as their pure essences, and may be enjoyed in their purity. The negative emotions too can be enjoyed, much as a musician may enjoy performing a sad piece of music – and, in many instances, the sadder, the better! In this way the emotions become transformed from ego trips to a celebration of existence. Even reverence attains an additional dimension as we appreciate the special gift of its quality.
There is no hard and fast line that separates the Dionysian and Apollonian way of doing Sentic Cycles, and the two may merge into each other, especially for “Love”, or fluctuate in any given experience. But you will become gradually clear about their polarities.
Taking Notes on your Emotion Experience.
For those who are doing Sentic Cycles on a continuing basis, it can be useful to make regular notes concerning your feelings, bodily experiences and fantasies, about a half hour to one hour after each experience. Make notes for each emotion of the cycle, and score yourself from 0 to 5 on the intensity of each emotion experienced. Aim in general not to eventually achieve high scores, but rather enjoyable moderate levels.
Your accumulated notes can become a valuable resource to you, documenting your progress and insights.
How Couples can do Sentic Cycles Together
One of the best ways off doing sentic cycles is to do them together with your partner. It can be a wonderful experience, and doing it repeatedly can greatly enhance your relationship.
The two partners first learn to do sentic cycles individually, using the same tape and finger rest at different times. It is good to do sentic cycles at the same time, using the two finger rests supplied with each CD or tape. The finger rests should be mounted on separate tables so that the expression of one table does not jar the other.
The Couples Way of Doing Sentic Cycles Together
After the two partners of the couple have learned to do sentic cycles well separately, and have discovered their own forms of expression and emotions (this will normally take three sessions) they are ready for a special treat: they can now do the sentic cycles expressing directly on the palms of their partner’s hands, without a finger rest. To do this they need to learn a couple’s special way to do sentic cycles.
In this way, a couple sits on the floor with folded legs, facing each other, knees touching.
Each person puts the hand that is not expressing on the knee of the partner, palm up. Both partners express with the third finger of their expressing hand on their partner’s palm (see figure). The sentic cycle CD or tape is played as usual and partners express at the same time, with each click.
(Long fingernails can cause your partner pain. If your fingernail is long, don’t try to do sentic cycles in this way — your partner will experience the wrong emotion!). You will probably find a place somewhat to the side of the center of your palm most comfortable on which to express. Do not press directly on the knuckles. It is a good idea to sit on a cushion when doing this so that your legs will not “fall asleep”. Some persons may need to have their backs supported, by sitting against a wall or the foot of the bed.
Couples doing sentic cycles will be amazed to discover how they can traverse the entire spectrum of emotions together. Intense feeling of one phase may be replaced by the next phase and so on until at the end of the cylce you will feel the wonder off having shared all these feelings and you may realize how similar changes of emotions may occur in daily interaction and yet the common bond may strengthen. Doing sentic cycles together in this way can strengthen a couple’s empathy for one another and deepen their caring for each other.
How to Work on your Relationship using Sentic Cycles
Apart from the pleasant experience that doing sentic cycles with each other gives you, you will find the period of calm after doing sentic cycles invaluable for relating to each other in a new, different way. Matters that may have been troubling you about each other can be discussed in an hostility-free atmosphere and you may be able to communicate with each other in a very different way, causing various breakthroughs in your relationship.
When you do this systematically for some months, you may find that your growth together has been immeasurable enhanced.
By practicing sentic cycles you will learn to express your feelings and desires better through touch and to communicate sexual excitement, arousal, as well as affection and happiness. Sadness, too can be shared better when fully and faithfully expressed.