Quotations from the book Focusing (1978):


What is true is already so. Owning up to it doesn't make it worse. Not being open about it doesn't make it go away. And because it's true, it is what is there to be interacted with. Anything untrue isn't there to be lived. People can stand what is true, for they are already enduring it.


What is split off, not felt, remains the same.  When it is felt, it changes.  Most people don't know this!  They think that by not permitting the feeling of their negative ways they make themselves good.  On the contrary, that keeps these negatives static, the same from year to year.  A few moments of feeling it in your body allows it to change.  If there is in you something bad or sick or unsound, let it inwardly be and breathe.  That's the only way it can evolve and change into the form it needs.


Experience is a myriad richness. We think more than we can say. We feel more than we can think. We live more than we can feel. And there is much more still.


[T]he process of ... changing feels good. ... The change process we have discovered is natural to the body, and it feels that way in the body... The experience of something emerging from there feels like a relief and a coming alive.


A felt sense is not a mental experience but a physical one. Physical. A bodily awareness of a situation or person or event. An internal aura that encompasses everything you feel and know about a given subject at a given time—encompasses it and communicates it to you all at once, rather than detail by detail.


If you want to smell the soup, you don't stick your head in it.


Often this transferred knowledge seems to be part of a tough problem, and it might be expected that this would make you feel worse. After all, you now know something bad that you didn’t know before. Logically, you should feel worse. Yet you don’t. You feel better.


If what happens does not feel good, ‘like fresh air,’ then it isn’t really therapy that is happening.


If you find it hard to accept someone with unlovely qualities, think of the person as being up against these qualities inside. It is usually easy to accept the person inside who is struggling against these very qualities. As you listen, you will then discover that person.


In arguments both people endlessly repeat their positions, over and over. It saves a lot of time if you restate the other’s position.


One begins without understanding the parts or the whole very well. Only the whole gives the parts their roles and meanings. But of course we arrive at an understanding of the whole only part by part. A better grasp of any part can change the sense of the whole…The meaning of the parts is not fixed; they must grow in meaning.


Every bad feeling is potential energy toward a more right way of being if you give it space to move toward its rightness.