The Stop Exercise is very famous in the Gurdjieff Work.
The Stop Exercise is said to be impossible to do on your own. The aim is to immediately stop whatever you're doing and freeze in that position, mentally, emotionally and physically, so that you can observe your current inner state. The command to Stop should come from an external impartial source such as a group instructor or designated assistant or even a randomly activated computer program. When you Stop, you should remain immobile and observe the state of your physical, emotional and intellectual centers and evaluate whether you were Self Remembering or were Identified. You should attempt to note your physical position and Sensations, your level of emotional arousal, and the thoughts occurring in your intellectual center. Observe your physically state - were you in a position of stable balance or an awkward, off-balance position? Were you aware of the sensations of your body? Observe your emotional state - were you worried, angry, depressed, happy, etc.? Were you aware of your emotional sensations? Observe your intellectual state - were you thinking about the past or future or what other people thought about you, or how you would get revenge, etc? Observe if you were you aware of your surrounding environment or lost in an inner world of subjective concerns?
The STOP exercise has now gone mainstream...
The Now Effect: A Must-Read New Book on Mindfulness
The Now Effect by Dr Elisha Goldstein Phd.
Question: The STOP method is one of the many fantastic techniques you have in the book. Please describe the STOP method and an example of how to put it to use.
Dr. Goldstein: STOP stands for Stop, Take a breath, Observe your experience (Body, Emotions, and Thoughts) and then Proceed by asking yourself what's most important to pay attention to.
Everyone loves this practice because it is so accessible and practical. You can use it in so many aspects of life. If you're a frantic parent and find yourself overwhelmed you can practice STOP for one minute to regain composure; if you're at work and you find yourself continually pulled into distractions, you can practice STOP to get back in touch with your intention. Before eating a meal on auto-pilot, practice STOP and give yourself the chance to enjoy what is there. If you're just wanting to be grounded more throughout the day, many people put a reminder in their phones to practice STOP a few times a day and get back in touch with what matters.
The Endless Search © 2004 Ian C. MacFarlane