Healing Trauma

RockRose


 Trauma is a global impact.
Casting its shadow across
generations & incarnations,
Every human child is touched
in some way by the waves of war.

Some go sad & scared.
Some go tough & mean.
But none go free of it.

The nerves are shocked.
The heart is numb.
The mind is flashing.

So we sit fiercely vigilant.
Simply breathing the breath.

We let our hearts be great.
Spacious enough for
the pain, grief & fear,
the shame, anger & guilt,
even the hope & joy
to finally come to peace.

We train our minds to watch.
Promptly facing our wrongs.
Asking only to know the right path.

We sit in the presence
of kindness & wisdom.
Breathing the breath.
Minding our hearts.
Everyday we practice
acting upon the peace.

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Warrior Spirit

TheRoad2


Two years ago
I was on my way out of the house
& a very nice lady called me.

She said, “We want you to teach
mindfulness for veterans.”
I said, “You know,
I don’t do clinical anymore.”
She said, “Yes, I read your website.”
I said, “You know,
I just do spiritual now.”
She said, “Yes, I read your website.”
I asked, “Who did you say you are with?”
She said, “The local office of Veterans Affairs.”
I said, “The VA wants me to teach
mindfulness meditation
for traumatized military veterans?!?!?”

I have been studying & teaching
mindfulness for three decades.

Dear friends have said to me,
“Why are you so into mindfulness?
Nobody cares about that.”

And suddenly…
the United States Federal Government,
not especially known for being woo-woo,
has adopted an ancient spiritual technique
as an appropriate method for treating
the equally ancient psychic wounding of warriors.

This is a sign of world change.

So I have been working with
a group of military veterans
meeting weekly for eighteen months,
not for clinical therapy
but for the practice of mindfulness.

We have grown a great depth
of trust & care between us.

And from them I have learned
some things of import to us all:

Traumatization is a spiritual crisis.
Our naive sense of ourselves gets broken.
Wrong things can touch us.
And wrong things do change us.

But that crisis is the beginning
of the journey of awakening.

We can come to peace
with wrong things
by letting them teach us
what is the right thing.

There is one elite distinction
these friends of mine have in common.
Each has passed through the point
of willingness to give one’s life
for something other than one’s own self.

The healing of the world demands
just that struggle to be of service.

The truth will win
& the lies will fail,
because truth is real
& lies are naught.

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Mind & Heart

Version 2


I have been teaching that mindfulness
might just as well be called “heartfulness.”

In the practice we witness
our own body, heart & mind.
We observe our thoughts & feelings
& so come to know ourselves deeply.

And in this process we befriend
our body, heart & mind also.
We embrace thoughts & feelings
& come to love ourselves more fully.

Human beings are able
to use their minds to think.
But minds can also see.
My mind can cling to a belief.
Or I can see what is.

Human beings are able to
use their hearts to emote.
But hearts can also feel.
My heart can cling to a desire.
Or I can feel what is.

Our mind is a light
meant to show us the Way.

Our heart is a love
linking us to other beings.

The Sanskrit word is Smrti
“Remembrance.”
Zen calls us to remember
our own original essence.

The Arabic word is Zikr
“Remembrance.”
The Sufi calls us to remember
human unity with the Divine.

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Innocence

Rainbow33

My business training gave me
a set of very clear priorities:
You don’t perform a service
without a “return on investment.”
You don’t leave the room
without making sure
everyone has your card.
You don’t announce an event
without a “call to action.”

I tried to do all those things.
But I couldn’t stand myself.
So I don’t do any of them.

My coach also taught me –
“Just shine your light
& they will come.”
I do that one.
I simply teach my classes
& allow people to choose
how to work with me.

I’m not saying it is easy.
E-blasts & flyers don’t get read.
Clients cancel sessions.
Students don’t come to class.
But it makes sense to me
to let beings make their own choices.
That leaves me free to be & do
what I am meant to be & do.

Occasionally I catch myself
still trying to force things.
It doesn’t feel like peace
because it is driven by fears.

My friend Bonnie Rose
talks about “purity.”
Not striving for numbers.
Of either people or money.
Simply feeling your way
towards what seems right.

My friend Pamela Phillips
talks about “goodness.”
Not self-serving actions.
Simply letting the beauty
unfold itself through you.

The Taoist holy sages
taught Wu-Wei.

This term is usually translated
as “non-action” or “not doing.”
But it can also be interpreted
as sincerity or simplicity.

Innocence is not mere naïveté.
It is bringing yourself to peace.
So that you can serve
what is greater.

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Awakening

PeacePole1

It begins with the love
of living creatures
for their own lives.

Then the love
of mothers & fathers
for their children.

Then the tribal chieftain
who loves the people
as if they were family.

Then the holy sage
who loves each person
as if they were the self.

It ends with the world server
who loves every one of us
as if we were a single being.

The awakening of humanity
is an expansion of identity.

Let our hearts be great.
Great enough to embrace
the whole of our very self.
Great enough to befriend
the unity of all beings.
Let our hearts be great.
Great enough not to
abandon even one of us.
Great enough not to
betray any part of us.

Let our hearts be great.

The awakening of humanity
is a universal consciousness.

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Becoming

Subie1

Over the past couple of decades
I have talked with a thousand or so
students & clients about their lives –

“Who are you really? And
why are you in this world?”

There is an emerging profile –

Intuitive.
We just know some things.
Empathic.
We just feel some things.
Creative.
We are finding our own way.

We are also developing sensitivities.
Maybe you can’t stand the Mall any more?
I can’t seem to handle as much caffeine.

And authenticity is becoming essential.
Work, Love, Self – It has to be Real.

Many of us are finding that we need:

1. our spirituality to be universal
not so bound by sectarian doctrines;

2. our relationships to be partnerships
honest, respectful & free of coercion;

3. our vocation to be adventurous
serving deeper meaning & purpose.

The shifts we are going through
can appear as stress, loss or crisis.

But these changes are really about
becoming what we are meant to be.

(The photo is of my
Spiritual-Counseling
Adventure-Mobile,
parked at one of
my favorite offices.)

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Mindfulness

Watching

By 1991 I had realized that Mindfulness
was a practical solution to serious problems
such as anxiety, depression & addiction,
as well as a powerful technique
for facilitating spiritual actualization.

Since then I have taught Mindfulness
in schools, colleges, churches, centers,
rehabs, clinics, hospice & other agencies;
& have spent over a year training a group
of traumatized veterans at the request
of the local office of Veterans Affairs.

It seems very safe to say that
Mindfulness has proven itself
as a reliable method for
helping people to become
what they are meant to be.

So I am offering a set of classes
on Monday evenings in Ventura
at the Center for Spiritual Living:

I. MINDFULNESS CLASS
1st Mondays 6:30-8:30pm
This class is open to everyone.

II. VETERAN’S CLASS
2nd & 4th Mondays 6:30-8:30pm
This class is by invitation only.
Contact me for referrals.

III. ANCIENT WISDOM
LECTURE SERIES

3rd Mondays 6:30-8:30pm
This class is open to everyone.

All of these classes are offered
on a voluntary donation basis.
Any proceeds go to the making
of brief books on related topics.

We meet in the basement
of the Church –
101 South Laurel Street,
corner of Santa Clara.

Blessings!

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Loving Wisdom

Annelle Travis

“Our lives are not our own.”
(Annelle Travis, 1948-2011)

My late wife taught the discipline of discipleship –
living as a servant to the Masters of Wisdom.

Acting as if
the Light of the Buddha
and the Love of the Christ
were real forces
in this struggling world.

She devoted herself to “the Work” –
seeding a planetary culture of human kindness
based upon the Wisdom Teachings that:

1. All beings are One Group.
2. The Plan is Love & Light.

She spent her years striving for
the awakening of humanity,
quietly healing & teaching,
helping others find the Way
of their own Soul.

“My head, my heart
& my two hands
offered in service.”

She helped me to know past any doubt
that our species is a single whole unit.

She told me once,
“Help our friends
as if they were me.”

She meant those strange ones
that serve a deeper cause.

This is my Valentine to you –

No one treads this Path alone.
There is no such thing as alone.

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Wholly Human

ViewSE copy

I once asked my friend Bonnie Rose
if she ever wanted to go totally holy.

She just said, “NO!”

I can’t remember what we were discussing,
& her reply was so vehement that I have
forgotten the conversation that followed.
But that moment has had a lasting impact.

Bonnie Rose is the reverend minister
at the spiritual center in Ventura
that has given me a home to teach
classes in non-dual wisdom.

Rev B & I occasionally walk & talk about
the rigors of being spiritual professionals
in twenty-first century America.

What I admire most about her is:

That she has the courage
to share her own struggles.
&
That she chooses to embrace
& even cherish human frailties.

I will be sure to run this blog by her
prior to posting it on FaceBook.
But at this moment I don’t really know
what she meant by such a forceful “NO!”

What that reply has come to mean to me
is a warning not to fall into the traps of
contemporary spirituality –

Like striving to be perfect.

I have been studying
humanity’s wisdom teachings
for well over forty years
& as near as I can tell
there is a universal consensus –

The primal yoga of the holy sages
is to rest the mind in the quiet heart
& to act upon the counsel
of the presence found there.

If I can let my mind be great,
bigger than my petty biases,
then it becomes a light
that links me to a Greater Light.

If I can let my heart be great,
bigger than my little wishes,
then it becomes a love
that links me to a Greater Love.

I feel the great saints are urging us
to go towards the perfection,
not by trying to be what we are not,
but by the simplest of Ways –

Service to the world.

We are like shards of glass
embedded in a mosaic.
The perfection lies in the whole.

www.venturacsl.org
(The Church I teach at.)

www.holychit.org
 (Rev Bonnie’s Blog.)

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Moment & Purpose

MatilijaGrotto copy

I walk into the room & a little girl
greets me with a delighted request –
“Can we play the piano?!”
She remembers the first time we met.

My client & friend comments fondly –
“Brock, a normal person would say,
‘Let me talk with your Great-Aunt for awhile,
& maybe we’ll play the piano a bit later.’
But you just say ‘Yes!'”

I’ve never done what I was supposed to do.
Learn their name. Scan their clothes.
Notice the politics. Assess the finances.
I’m always busy doing something else.

When I was an educator I would
get a quick sense of the disabilities.
Then I would ignore them
so I could focus upon the capacity.

When I was a therapist I would
get a quick sense of the pathologies.
Then I would ignore that
so I could focus upon the potential.

This six year old attacks the keyboard
with two fisted alternating bashes.
So I suggest we try some Rock & Roll.
She drops into harmonious attunement.
And our jam mellows into Free Jazz.

The session leads the three of us
(along with their giant sweet dog)
into a grotto up in Matilija Canyon.
The child learns what picnic means.
The four of us make a meal together
seated upon a boulder embracing us all.

Then she wants to climb rocks.
I am following the unfolding beauty.
So we make our way together
an elder man, a little girl & a dog
playing back & forth across the creek
while Auntie watches from the boulder.

My focus goes total –

Keep the other adult in
line of sight or earshot.
Let the child plan the route
but structure for safety.
She has a little cough
the water is very cold
her feet must stay dry.
Let her focus settle naturally.
Gently direct for learning.
Stones, brook,
roots, leaves,
golden sunshine…
silver reflections…
She is watching & listening –
Point her senses toward beauty.
Help her grow toward becoming
the special being she is meant to be.

For me there is a moment of wonder –
How do I know how to do this?
This was not a part of my training.
This is what I was born to do.

And she will forever remember herself
as a competent successful
negotiator of tricky passages.

This girl is a shrewd bargainer,
& I honor my promises,
so at the days end
we return again to the piano.

I feel the call to comp on some chords
originally composed by Pachelbel.
She drops into the spirit of pure play.
And together we enter into sharing
a four-handed co-creative improvisation
making a moment of music
that no one who was present
will ever forget.

It is as if we must
let the ways of the form die,
so the way of the Soul
can be born.

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