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The Practice

A revolutionary new technique?

Adaptation Practice has been called a revolutionary new technique for mental health, but it would be more accurate to call it a revolutionary ancient way of emotional training.

Emotion is as natural as our heartbeat

Through Adaptation Practice we come to see for ourselves that emotion is involved in love, joy, warmth and compassion as well as in distress, anxiety, anger, hate, depression. Which it is, depends on our preferences: our likes and dislikes, our opinions and beliefs.

Emotion is always normal: never alien or malign. It is as natural as our heartbeat, and to try to get rid of it, as we so often do, or to view it as a disease, only increases the distress we seek to address, and alienates us from the life in us. Emotion, moods and feelings are the most fundamental aspects of us, designed by nature, so to speak, to move us towards what we want, and away from what we do not want.

In the Practice, we train ourselves to accept the emotion as natural, and to live in harmony with it. And yes, unfashionable as this notion is, particularly in the West, we must also seek to bear it rather than try to extinguish it. Bearing how we feel develops resilience in us.

Why?

Because by bearing how we feel, little by little, an inner strength develops in us which changes us and the emotion itself. In the process we adapt to life as it really is, instead of living in a fool’s paradise or a self-made hell.

It is this insight that lies at the core of the Practice. Insight comes from experience, not from thinking.

Since this is a training and not a medical intervention, I refer to all those who do the Practice as students. They are not clients, and certainly not patients.

It is essential as a first step towards self-knowledge that you come to understand that you do not have an illness. This is in no way to minimise or belittle the severe emotional pain that you suffer, but you are not ill.

East and West

Adaptation Practice is based on the training I have been through in both western medicine and psychology and in far eastern philosophy and psychology. Eastern philosophy and psychology have been developed and refined in traditional Zen Buddhist practice over more than a thousand years. This has given rise to what is perhaps the most profound philosophy and psychology ever known. You only have to see a picture of a Zen monk, let alone meet one in reality, to realise how a practice can bring such deep calm and tranquillity even when events outside are in turmoil.

For Adaptation Practice you do not need to shave your head, wear robes, burn incense or learn Japanese, you only have to try to follow the simple practical instructions to the best of your ability and to persevere. I hasten to add that there is nothing religious about Adaptation Practice, it is totally secular. There is no dogma or belief: only practice.

It is a system in which you train, much as you would train to become a ballerina, a rock climber or to ride a bike.

No special skills or previous experience are required to do the Practice, anyone can do it. But it is not easy. It demands commitment and dedication just as learning any new skill does. All that is required is the willingness to try to do it. As with learning any new skill change comes from trying.

Sometimes positive effects of the Practice manifest themselves within a few weeks, but it might take longer.

Not a quick-fix

Adaptation Practice is not a quick fix. The underlying causes of your difficulties and problems are far too deep for any quick-fix to reach let alone deal with. You have probably tried all the quick fixes, and the very fact that you have found your way here leads me to believe you already understand that. Adaptation Practice deals with the causes: the symptoms then change as a result.

Read about how to train in Adaptation Practice.

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