Calendar Archive 2010

  • Event
  • Location
  • Date

Mindfulness of the body leads to an awe practice – the miraculousness of existing in a body at all, and awe opens our senses and hearts and minds to sacred. Mindfulness of the mortality of the body wakes up to the preciousness and the impermanence of the body, not to take our form in this moment for granted, even for a second.

An exploration of the second foundation of mindfulness – the perception of feeling tone, which is a crucial practice of awakening. Our conditioned reactions of positive, negative, neutral can lead us immediately into greed, hatred, delusion. They can also be a gateway to waking up, if we can use our mindfulness and empathy to stop, take a pause, allow and tolerate our experience without reactivity, take a moment to reflect and break the automaticity of our reflexive rather than reflective response patterns, take a moment to discern rather than react our of unconscious habit. Then we have woken up out of conditioned patterns of response and can make a wise choice, wise effort.

Poetry validates our own experience, leads us deeper into our own experience, leads us beyond our experience into the unknown, leads us beyond ourselves to connection with others, to connection with the divine, with the essence of life. Practical suggestions will be offered for using poetry to share our gratitude, joys and sorrows, to guide a meditation or inquiry, to find refuge, to find meaning.

Oxytocin is the hormone of safety and trust, of bonding and attachment. It is the body-brain’s direct and immediate antidote to the stress hormone cortisol. When we can teach our clients techniques to activate the release of oxytocin, through experiences and memories of feeling safe, loved, cherished, even in our therapeutic sessions, they can reliably return themselves (or recover in the first place) a baseline of calm, relaxed awareness and relational engagement.

An exploration of forgiveness practice as advanced Wise Effort, a practice as essential as loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity, to keep our hearts open in the face of very real human suffering. The talk outlines ten principles of a daily forgiveness practice, based on the books and years of teaching of Jack Kornfield, author of The Art of Forgiveness, Loving Kindness and Peace, and Fred Luskin, author of Forgive for Good.

  • The Neuroscience of Resilience
  • CorStone
    Sausalito, CA
  • September 11, 2010
    9:30am-3:30pm

Knowing how our body-brains respond to stress, loss, and trauma can teach us skillful ways to recover resilience and well-being. Clinicians learn techniques from body-based trauma therapies to help people stay within their “window of tolerance, techniques from attachment-based, relational therapies to help people activate the release of oxytocin, the hormone of safety and trust, of “calm and connect,” techniques from mindfulness-based therapies to help people better attune to and reflect on their own experiences and the experiences of others, shifting perspective to recover resiliency, and techniques from interpersonal neurobiology to help people use their innate social engagement system to find comfort and support from other people.

Western psychologists research the conditioning that either leads to the development of a healthy sense of personal self or leaves us vulnerable to the characteristics of greed, hatred, delusion that obscure our true Buddha Nature. We explore how psychological practices of resonance, attunement, empathy, and Brahma Vihara practices of loving kindness and compassion, bring our sense of personal self into alignment with our self-less True Nature.

Attachment styles – our lifelong and largely unconscious patterns of feeling, dealing and relating – profoundly shape our sense of self in relation to others. Modern brain science is rapidly illuminating why these attachment patterns become so deeply entrenched in the neural circuitry of our brains in the first place. Neuroscience is also identifying precisely what therapeutic strategies are the most effective in helping clients “re-wire” their patterns into healthier ones, supporting greater success in relationships as adults.

Through didactics, readings, and case discussions, clinicians learn to apply the essential, cutting-edge treatment techniques of attachment-focused treatment modalities necessary to transform individuals’ and couples’ attachment traumas into healthy, secure attachment.

Gratitude – awareness of the interdependent giving and receiving of life – is a worthy mindfulness practice. We explore the benefits of a gratitude practice to our personal well-being, as a vehicle of connection with all of life, as a gateway to the sacred Source of life. Experiential exercises help us deepen our gratitude practice in the moment.

An exploration of forgiveness practice as advanced Wise Effort, a practice as essential as loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity, to keep our hearts open in the face of very real human suffering. The talk outlines ten principles of a daily forgiveness practice, based on the books and years of teaching of Jack Kornfield, author of The Art of Forgiveness, Loving Kindness and Peace, and Fred Luskin, author of Forgive for Good. The talk also includes practical tools to help clients – ourselves – move past the stuckness and contraction that can make offering forgiveness a challenge.

A practice of gratitude, like all practices, can be a refuge in times of trouble, a resource to help us keep going, a way to come into loving presence in the moment, an antidote to the complaining mind, a way to shift focus away from a funk, a way to open the heart as well as to clear the mind. When we pause to notice what we usually take for granted, we change how we perceive and respond to experience in life We see what is filling and fueling our lives rather than what is missing. As we cultivate the habit of being grateful, the mind naturally comes to rest on the goodness of our lives. If you have the intention to awaken gratitude, over time it will gradually become the natural rhythm of your heart. Gratitude becomes a whole new way of being, strong enough to hold even suffering. When we’re faced with challenges, gratitude opens us to a larger perspective that helps us more effectively address them. And that way of being further shapes how we perceive and respond to life with greater and greater acceptance, ease and joy.

All of our Wise Effort in spiritual practice comes to fruition in a deepening into a place of calm, effortless, inner peace and well-being of simply being. When we rest in the spaciousness of Being, we naturally open to a sense of life energy moving through us, the same life energy that moves through all beings, the same life energy that connects us with all beings. Being is the well-spring of all love and joy, of all caring and sharing, of all wise action in the world. We move in the world, we re-engage with the world and with the myriad details of ourselves in the world from this well-spring of being wisdom and love.

Links to venues

Spirit Rock Meditation Center
San Rafael Meditation Group
Insight Meditation Community
CorStone
Institute for Spirituality and Psychology
Community Institute for Psychotherapy