Guardians of the Kingdom

The following are mindfulness exercises that can also be viewed also as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) metaphors for coping with difficult experiences.

Exercise 1: Treasure Monsters

(Jo) At one side of the space during ash walk, the participant sees a majestic kingdom full of innumerable treasures. The participant begins walking toward it. Meanwhile, there are monsters awaiting in front of the kingdom like gargoyles.

(Ha) By the middle of the journey, however, monsters appear and approach nearer every time the ash walker comes forward. The ash walker ignores this and continues, but the monsters keep approaching. They keep approaching till they are in the personal space. The ash walker, finding this unbearable, turns back around and discover the monsters gradually dispersing. Though this leaves temporary relief, the idea of the magical kingdom returns. Now the ash walker finds it unbearable to ignore the kingdom, so he/she/they turns back around for a second round.

Again, the monsters approach with every forward step. Despite, the ash walker keep going. He/she/they keep going even though the monsters intrude the personal space. They even take their intensity to the maximum. The ash walker begin noticing that they can actually do no physical harm, that it is all commotion and drama. So the ash walk continues forward.

(Kyu/Kyu to New Jo) The majestic kingdom is reached. Here, the participant breaks out of Ash Walk and resonates with success despite the obstacles.

Exercise 2: They Will Laugh at You

This is a similar exercise, except the monsters are now drunkards that disapprove of the protagonist’s choice. They laugh to the point of obscenity with every forward step. Instead of the palace on the other side, the protagonist sees their true self. It is vital for the victim to keep a straight face. Do not break character.

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