To see these offerings in a printable format, click here.

Please familiarize yourself with the intention of the group in the classroom on or here.

Session 1: Exploring Chapter 10, The Path Out of Depression
Focus: Resonance practice and/or Finding the Seed of Alarmed Aloneness

Options for group resonance and discussion, created and offered by Jaya Manske

As always, you can also look at the alternative formats at the bottom of the document, or create your own format.


1. Take a moment to settle in and say hello (Timing: 1-2 minutes)

2. Choose someone to lead this session. We recommend a different person volunteer to lead each time. This person will track time and read aloud the instructions that follow (you may also pick 2 people, one to track time and another to read instructions). (Timing: 1 minute)

3. Check-in. Please go around the circle, giving each person an opportunity to share:

– One feeling and/or body sensation you’re experiencing

(Timing: 1 minute each, total 3-5 minutes)

For ideas about creating a group that is safe to explore this material, please remind yourself of these guidelines.

4. Group or small group exercise: Resonant Language Practice – offering resonance to the self-critical voice that arises when you experience depression
(Timing: remaining time leaving 5 minutes at the end, approximately 45 minutes)

Decide as a group if you will do this in smaller subgroups or a large group. Smaller groups will allow you to have time to also do the exercise provided by Sarah during class, or you may choose to skip to it (see #5). Regardless what you choose, please leave a few minutes at the end for needs met and gifts received.

  • Choose a person to share first.
  • Identify a self-critical message that arises when you are experience yourself as depressed. If you don’t identify with depression, choose a message that comes when you make a mistake. (For example: “I should be over this already!”)
    • Make a resonant empathy guess for your inner voice. (For example, based on the above statement: “[your name]’s self-critical voice, are you genuinely bewildered by the enormity of the emotional impact on [your name]? Is it scary when [your name] is so impacted, and do you want them to survive?”  Or, “[your name]’s self-critical voice, do you need acknowledgment that in some of your beloved relationships, you have heard this message before? And, based on that, do you need a little acknowledgment that sometimes you aren’t sure that your feelings or experience really matter to anyone else?”)
    • After making your guess for yourself out loud, pause and notice any changes in your body or thoughts. How does your inner critical voice respond?  What happens in your body (or thoughts if body sensations aren’t available)?
    • Share with the group what happens for you with this guess
    • Based on your response, either
      • Make another resonant guess for yourself
      • Or, if you prefer, ask someone in the circle to offer you a guess
    • Pause again and check-in with self
    • Rotate to the next person

(Timing: approximately 9 minutes each, 18-45 minutes)

5. Group or small group exercise: Are all nonspecific feelings words signs of alarmed aloneness?
In class this past week, Sarah introduced an exercise exploring nonspecific feelings words, contrasted with feelings that are connected to the circuits of emotion and motivation.  Below is a second exercise deepening the exploration of nonspecific feeling words and how they may or may not connect back to the PANIC/GRIEF circuit.

  • Choose an A and a B
  • A: Choose a challenging moment in the past week
  • A: Choose the word from below that most applies to your experience
  • B: Ask, “is there a seed of alarmed aloneness in this feeling?”
• Distressed • Disturbed
• Worried • Disquieted
• Troubled • Uneasy
• Anxious • Bothered
• Concerned • Perturbed
• Agonized • Disconcerted
• Panicked • Stressed
• Brooding • Fretting
• Upset
  • Rotate
  • If time is left over after everyone has gone, share or discuss any discoveries/insights.

(Timing: approximately 8 minutes each, 16-40 minutes)

6. Closure: please close by having each person name a need met or a gift received after this discussion. You can read more about this practice here.

(Timing: 5 minutes)

The suggested format above is meant to create ease, however, your group might instead choose to structure your time around any of these activities or create your own:
1. Offer resonant empathy to each other, either in the whole group or in smaller sub-groups (you can use this resonant empathy circle format if you’d like)
2. Listen to the meditation from chapter 10 together and talk about what comes up for you – The Gentle Path Out of Depression
3. Do one of the homework exercises suggested and discuss

Healing Codependency is Possible


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