Essay

This Too Shall Pass: Extending Scope in Time

By Duff McDuffee on September 30th, 2011

Mike Bundrant is an NLP trainer I’m currently learning a lot from. Here is a simple little exercise from Mike that allows you to get an experience of “this too shall pass” (or the Buddhist notion of impermanence) when in an anxious or other unpleasant state, thus decreasing its intensity significantly:

I found this to be a nice application of extending what Steve Andreas calls “scope in time” (from his Six Blind Elephants, vol 1) to get a larger perspective. One of the ways we create meaning from an event that then generates an emotional response is how we represent the experience in terms of time.

I just tried out this exercise from Mike in the video above and added another piece that worked well for me that I wanted to share. I visualized my timeline out in front of me, seeing it out there and seeing that past Duff in a movie frame having an unpleasant emotional experience over there. I made sure to zoom out far enough so that I could see the times with corresponding movies before and after when he was experiencing a more neutral or pleasant experience.

After just two examples from the past I could already get the sense of this new learning beginning to generalize. Try it out for yourself, see how it helps you get a larger perspective, and add your thoughts in the comments below (a free Intense Debate or WordPress.com account is required to post due to large volume of comment spam).

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One Response to “This Too Shall Pass: Extending Scope in Time”

  1. Steven says:

    I've used this technique on myself for quite awhile now – it works wonders. The lesson of impermanence is probably one of the most valuable things I've learned throughout my growth these past few years. I almost got "this too shall pass" as my first tattoo.

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