Category: Spirituality & Mindfulness

Transformative approaches to crises, self-doubt & extreme states

Crises and self-doubt plague all of us at different times in our lives. A natural response is to want to escape the turmoil and angst, and return to solid ground as quick as possible. Yet when we can remain open to suffering, and not shut down or numb out, troubled times can become opportunities for deep transformation. Murray Stein describes …

Individuation and the spiritual aspects of healing trauma

I am reading Murray Stein’s wonderful book, Minding the Self: Jungian Meditations on Contemporary Spirituality, after spending the weekend assisting a sensorimotor psychotherapy training. On first glance, spirituality and neurobiologically-informed psychotherapy might seem to have little in common. However, one of the topics in the sensorimotor psychotherapy training was the model of structural dissociation — …

“Unfinished Conversation: Healing From Suicide and Loss”

Robert E. Lesoine’s best friend Larry took his life by suicide on October 15, 2005. Although Lesoine knew Larry was struggling with feelings of disappointment, dejection, and loss, along with the return of debilitating pain associated with a past injury, Lesoine did not see the intensity of Larry’s despair. In his grief, Lesoine, who practices …

Too stressed to meditate?

Buddhist psychology claims there are three primary feelings, or sensations, which meditation can help access: Pleasant, Painful, and Neutral. Arising from these primary feelings are our reactions to them, the so-called secondary emotions. For example, we feel desire or joy in reaction to pleasant feelings, anger or fear in response to painful feelings, and boredom …

The wisdom of no escape

For several days, I felt a physical uneasiness in response to the Newtown tragedy. From my sensorimotor psychotherapy training, I interpreted the activation in my body and my unusual emotional sensitivity as evidence that I was outside the window of tolerance. You know you are in your window of tolerance when you are resilient to …

More wisdom from Pema Chödrön

In her “Smile At Fear” Retreat (2010), Pema Chödrön spoke to the challenges of living with uncertainty —and the fear it produces — during difficult times such as ours. (I also shared about the retreat in this post.) Here are a few more pearls of wisdom from Pema’s teachings: • Fearlessness starts with unconditional acceptance of your basic …