The Seven Spheres Instruction Manual

by Mark Ivar Myhre on December 16, 2010

Note:  I’m writing an instruction manual – a ‘user’s guide’ to help you get the most out of the Seven Spheres meditation.

Here’s the first half of the manual:

This manual provides a written explanation of the Seven Spheres technique, as well as offering some background material to help you get the most out of it.

Let’s start with the background material first.

You have seven ‘human needs’ – just like I do, and everyone else does on this planet.  These aren’t wants, or preferences, these are what we need – or rather, what we all seek.  Meaning, you don’t have to consciously choose to fulfill these seven needs, because you inherently will seek them out.

It’s like the urge to seek out these needs is hard-wired into our bodies.  To live a happy and full life, to live a satisfying life – we must meet these needs.  You can’t be happy; you won’t be happy; if these needs aren’t met, at least to some degree.  So what are they?

Your Seven Human Needs

1. Safety
2. Security
3. Belonging
4. Love
5. Knowingness
6. Beauty
7. Spirituality

You may be familiar with Abraham Maslow, the founder of ‘Humanistic Psychology’.  He was the first to come up with a hierarchy of needs that varies slightly from the ones I’ve listed above.  His version of the human needs consists of survival, safety and security, love and belonging, esteeming, and finally, self-actualization.

Humanistic Psychology says that humans are motivated by a higher calling than just reacting to the day-to-day situations; namely, to satisfy the five human needs.  Especially self-actualization.

Unlike his contemporary psychologists, Maslow studied healthy individuals rather than those with some sort of mental or emotional dis-ease.  Unsurprisingly, his theories were met with much resistance 50 years ago, and still are today.  I personally consider him to be the grandfather of the self-help movement, and obviously I’ve copied and modified his hierarchy of the five human needs.

Basically, I’ve broken apart his fifth and highest need – self-actualization – into the three needs of knowingness, beauty, and spirituality.  Hopefully, he’s not turning over in his grave!   Also, I consider esteem to actually be a type of love, so that’s why I put love in the fourth position instead of esteem.

Why do I mention the human needs?  Because not meeting your needs is one of the most common sources of pain.  Plus, it’s the focus and the theme of the Seven Spheres Technique.

Moving forward…

Pain, as I’ve mentioned, comes from a longing for, and a separation from, some thing.

When there’s something you want – really want – but you don’t have it for whatever reason, that creates pain.  On a most basic level, the greatest separation one experiences is separation from self.  When we don’t function as the person we truly are, that in itself creates pain.

The most basic and fundamental pain comes from separation from self.

For example, when we function from a place of ego, or from our inner child, or our inner adolescent, we separate from ourselves.  We identify ourselves as being someone who we’re not.  Or rather, we identify ourselves as being only one small part of who we truly are.

We could also function from a place of an inner victim, an inner martyr, or a ‘broken man’ of shame.  And many other ‘lesser’ parts of us exist as well.  For me personally, (and I suspect for many others as well) I functioned as a combination of several of these lesser parts.  It’s like I was living from the back seat, and in the front seat driving my life were a bunch of rowdy drunken delinquents.  No wonder I was always scared half to death.

Another common separation comes from being separate from our own thoughts and feelings.  The separation from feelings you can probably understand better, especially since I’m always hammering about it.  But thoughts, too, can become alien and separate.  This happens because so often we don’t really think.  We exist on ‘automatic pilot’ – just going through our days without really stopping to question anything.  Often times, without even stopping to look at what thoughts are streaming by.

And feelings?  Well, if you’ve been on my list for any length of time at all, then you know how I always try to stress the importance of reuniting with what you’re feeling.  Unfortunately, most people feel only their stories about emotions, rather than feeling the actual feelings themselves.

And those stories hurt!  Because they create a separation from the true feelings.  And your heart always longs to feel your true feelings.

We’ve built up defense mechanisms to ‘protect’ ourselves from the hurt and the painful experiences of early childhood.  Because of the ‘ways of the world’ – because of the very nature of modern society – we’re practically forced to build internal, mental walls against feeling.  We build mental walls around our hearts.  Well, so what?

Your heart is the seat of your consciousness.

I know, I know, everyone says your mind is the seat of your consciousness.  And who am I to argue with ‘everyone’?  All I can do is tell you my experiences.  You can accept or reject them as you please.

And my experiences tell me that I’m much happier, I’m much more centered, I’m feeling much better, and yes, I’m even smarter and wiser, when I let my heart be the center of my consciousness as opposed to when I try to make my head the center of my consciousness.

It just feels right.  It feels real.  And it works for me.  I couldn’t imagine going back to making my mind the center of my consciousness.  To me, that would be an incredibly dumb thing to do.

And please understand, I LOVE my mind!  I love the way it works and thinks.  But I’ve got to put my heart first.  I’ve got to put my heart in charge.  Or at least try.

But that’s just me.

Anyway, one of the most critical components to a successful meditation – with the Seven Spheres or any other type of visualization exercise – involves being able to feel as fully as possible.  And as cleanly as possible.

So before we go over the exact steps to the meditation, let me say a few words about how you can do this; how you can feel more deeply and richly and honestly.

You feel with your heart. No surprise there.  But you would be surprised at how common it is for people to try to feel with their minds!  I believe this to be the mechanism that causes all emotional pain.  If you can get your mind to stop getting in the way of your heart – then you can resolve any emotional pain you may be feeling.

You won’t end the pain all at once, but you will over time.  Because there’s only one way to resolve that pain.  It has to go through your heart.  It has to be felt and released.  It has to be processed by your heart, because your mind can’t process it.  It can only think about it.  And best-selling books to the contrary, you can’t think your way out of misery.

You have to feel your way out of your pain.

So how do you do it?

An excellent way to start is by removing the wall that surrounds your heart.  That’s what I did.  If you’ve got a wall around your heart, then how are you going to let in the feelings?  They’re blocked.  They can’t get in.  And thus, they can’t be felt and released.

This wall was first formed some time in childhood, probably.  As a way to protect yourself from being hurt by others.  You may have needed it then, but now you’re older and wiser.  You can discern.  You can evaluate.  You can size up situations and you can handle them as an adult.  You no longer need a wall to protect you.  Unless you’re still functioning as a child.  And even then, you’d be well-advised to remove this wall and take back your power from your inner child.

See, this wall around your heart has become an additional source of pain.  And you can’t truly end emotional pain as long as it stands.  Fortunately, you can discover your wall of pain – the wall that surrounds your heart – in meditation.  You can find it and go to it.  As a visualization exercise, you can imagine it and then take one brick out of it, then another, and another, until you’ve dismantled it.

You need to do this in a certain way.  You need to feel each of those blocks you’re removing.  I have a meditation specifically designed to help you, if you’re interested.  Just go to –

In addition to this wall around your heart, you also need to be aware of how your mind comes in to block yourself from feeling.  One way, as I’ve mentioned many times, is by the stories we tell ourselves about what we’re feeling.  Fear stories, anger stories, hurt stories, pity stories…

It’s like we have to explain to ourselves (if not to others) why we feel a certain way.  If I’m scared or anxious, I have to know why I’m scared or anxious.  I can’t just feel the feelings.  I have to explain them.  This urge to explain our feelings keeps us from simply feeling and releasing the feelings.  In other words, the explanations keep the feelings around.  That’s when the pain starts.

Or, say, with anger, we have such a tendency to want to blame others for what we feel.  It’s impossible for anyone to make you angry.  It has never happened once in the whole history of humanity that one person has created another person’s feelings.  You don’t make anyone angry, and no one is making you angry.  It can’t happen that way.

But if you blame another for your anger, it guarantees you will hold onto the anger and that will cause pain.  You can’t get rid of something that’s not yours.  I can’t go throw away my next door neighbor’s lawn mower because it’s not mine.  Likewise, if I don’t own my anger, I can’t feel it and release it.

Oh, I can huff and puff.  I can put on a show; acting melodramatic.  But that’s not feeling.  That’s just a stupid show.  And I always pay a price.  When I get righteous with my anger I will end up in pain.

These are just two of many examples of how we use stories to keep us from simply feeling our feelings and being done with them.  We’re in love with the story.   Or, I guess, more correctly, we’re addicted to it.

A second blockage to feeling, beyond the story-telling, involves knee-jerk reactions to the feelings themselves.  I may want to feel my anger; I may truly want to just feel it and release it, but every time I try to feel the anger, some sort of unseen pathway seems to reroute that anger away from my heart.

I flinch.  It’s like if someone comes up and acts like they’re going to take a swing at my face.  I instinctively move or duck out of the way or throw my arms up.  In a similar fashion, when I start to feel, some sort of hidden mechanism comes up to block the feelings.  So I won’t get ‘hit’.

Rather than a general wall around my heart, this mechanism is situational.  It’s activated only as ‘necessary’.  It only comes up when I’m about to feel my feelings.  And it happens so fast, and seemingly so automatic, that I don’t even realize what I’m doing.  It’s a knee-jerk reaction.  It’s become reflexive.

So what do you do about it?

First, just being aware of the problem can help.  Know it’s there.  Begin to notice it in your own life.  Recognize what it’s doing to you.  And forgive yourself for having created it in the first place.

For me, it took awareness, forgiveness, and practice to end this knee-jerk reaction to not feeling my feelings.  And a few other things I did helped as well.  I’ll get into that later.  For now, you can start by practicing feeling ‘wonderful’ feelings.

Allow yourself to completely surrender to the ‘warm and fuzzy’ feelings.  Practice letting in the feelings you want to feel.  Completely surrender.  Practice letting in the feelings as fully and completely as possible.  Just let them in.  And a great way to start is by working with those seven human needs.

You see, you may not really be safe and secure.  You may not really ‘belong’ – at least not as much as you want.  But you can always feel safe.  You can always have the emotional feeling of safety, even if you live in an unsafe world.  Likewise, you can always experience the emotional connection to security, belonging, and the rest.

And that’s where it has to start anyway.  You first have to feel safe to be safe.  It’s not the other way around.  You create the feeling first, and the beingness – the actuality – the reality of it happens next.  Safety doesn’t come from guns and bigger locks on your doors.  Rather, safety comes from first feeling safe.

You meet your needs by first feeling your needs.

To paraphrase from ‘The Field Of Dreams’ –

“Feel your needs, and they will come.”

Does this sound Pollyanna?  Only if you’ve never truly experienced the feeling of safety.  Feeling safe makes you safe.  Really, truly, and honestly feeling safe.  It’s never the other way around.  I’ve tried it both ways.  And now, I truly feel safe.  And I am safe.

Am I saying nothing bad can happen?  No, of course not.   Anything can happen.  But most likely, I will indeed live out the safety I experience inside.  And I certainly have the peace of mind.

If I feel safe, I’m much better equipped to deal with any unsafe situation. Being scared is not a deterrent to something fearful happening.  Being scared makes it more likely something fearful will happen.  Besides, I’d rather feel safe.

Fortunately, it’s easy to feel safe.  (Believe it or not!)  These seven human needs come naturally to you, if you’ll just let them in.   That’s what the Seven Spheres meditation is all about.  There’s almost a magnetic attraction between you and the experience of safety.  And with the other six as well.

You long for these seven.  You need these seven.  And there’s nothing in the world that can stop you from feeling them.  So, as you’re doing this meditation, practice on opening up and allowing the feelings into you as much as possible.

Surrender to the safety.  Surrender to the security, the belonging, the love, the knowingness, the beauty and the spirituality. Let these feelings ‘have their way’ with you.  You can trust them!  You can open up to them.  You can surrender fully to them.  And as you do, not only will you be experiencing the wonder of these feelings themselves, but you’ll also be gaining valuable practice in opening up to all your feelings – even the ‘bad’ ones – which is the only way to release them anyway.

And finally, before we get into the meditation itself, I’d like to define each of those seven words – safety, security, belonging, love, knowingness, beauty and spirituality.   As a way to give you a better understanding of what you’re surrendering to!  Then we’ll jump right in with the meditation.

So what does safety really mean?


Okay, that’s as much as I’ve written so far.  But I should have it finished hopefully by tomorrow.   Once it’s done, I’ll be uploading it to the download page and you can read the whole thing.

Or, if you haven’t yet ordered your copy of the Seven Spheres Technique, you can still do so by clicking the link below:


Jane December 16, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Mark….this is what I so need this meditiation….I just learned through this meditation…I really don’t know myself… Any way I’m using this to got to know about me. Thanks Jane

Mark December 16, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Glad it helps!

And guess what?

After you’ve practiced this a little bit, then you can do it during the day as you go about your activities – such as when you’re waiting in line at the post office!

You don’t even have to close your eyes.

Just imagine yourself going into the spheres – and you can even bring in the whole post office lobby if you want to…

zvone December 22, 2010 at 2:01 am

Dear Mark. I agree with you in my mind and my heart. I enjoy to read your tougths and its beauty.

Greetings from Slovenija..


Mark December 22, 2010 at 3:05 am

Hi Zvone,

glad to hear it!

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