Resources

Books

Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early trauma Affects Self regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship, by Laurence Heller, PhD and Aline LaPierre, PsyD

Rebuilding Shattered Lives: Treating Complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorders, by James A. Chu, MD

Scared Sick: The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Disease, By Robin Karr-Morse

POPPY3.JPG

Hakomi Body-Centered Psychotherapy, by Ron Kurtz

Touching Enlightenment: Finding Realization in the Body, by Reginald A. Ray 

Emotional Alchemy; How the Mind Can Heal the Heart, by Tara Bennett-Goleman 
           
Nonviolent Communication, A language of Life, by Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D.

The Seekers Guide, by Elizabeth Lesser .

Broken Open, by Elizabeth Lesser.

Mysticism, The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness, by Evelyn Underhill

The Book of Secrets, by Osho 

A Course in Miracles,  published by The Foundation for Inner Peace          

The Power of Now; A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle

A New Earth; Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle 

Loving-Kindness, The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, by Sharon Salzberg 

Start Where You Are; A Guide to Compassionate Living, by Pema Chodron
 

Websites
The Hakomi Institute: http://www.hakomiinstitute.com             

The San Francisco Hakomi Institute: http://www.sfhakomi.org

Meditation 
There's a method of combining mindfulness practice with whole-body awareness that gets very settled and still. In fact, the Buddha himself combines them in his description of the first four steps of breath meditation: (1) being aware of long breathing, (2) being aware of short breathing, (3) being aware of the whole body as you breathe in and breathe out, and then (4) calming the sensation of the breath within the body. This, as the texts tell us, is basic mindfulness practice. It's also a basic concentration practice.

Preparing for Sitting Meditation
To prepare for sitting meditation, let the body and the mind relax as much as possible. It is useful to prelude your meditation with some yoga practice. Maintain the body in a well-balanced posture, with the spine relatively straight. This aids a relaxed, but alert attitude. Do not change the posture abruptly or unmindfully during the sitting, if you are about to move, note the intention to move before actually moving.

Vipassana
Vipassana or Insight Meditation, is above all, an experiential, mindfulness practice, based on the systematic and balanced development of a precise and focused awareness. By observing one's moment-to-moment mind/body processes from a place of investigative attention, insight arises into the true nature of life and experiences. Through the wisdom acquired by using insight meditation one is able to live more freely and relate to the world around with less clinging, fear and confusion. Thus one's life becomes increasingly directed by consideration, compassion and clarity.

Mental Noting
This is a technique of repeatedly 'naming' or 'labeling' with the purpose of directing the attention to the mind/body phenomena in order to understand their true nature correctly. The guiding principle in Vipassana practice is to observe whatever arises at the moment of its occurrence—by noting the present, one lives in the present.

Gap Consciousness
Begin your sitting by noting the breath as it comes in and goes out. Consider your self as a kind of "gate keeper," noting each breath at a prominent place- perhaps the nostrils, or the rising and falling of the chest. After a while, begin to notice that each breath, after an exhale, needs to pause at one point before it comes back in. The same is true at the other turn: The breath has a bit of a pause after an inhale, before the next exhale. This "gap," this "no-breath" in your breathing comes with a particular kind of consciousness- an exquisite kind of rest. Simply watching your breath is restful, but attending to the gap is a very still place. You won't hold your breath, but you may pay attention to that very still kind of consciousness, and "hold" that even throughout the breath. Wonderful.

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

Resting the mind is as important as resting the body.
"Imagine, after having toiled for the whole day, how much the body stands in need of rest; how much more then must the mind stand in need of rest! The mind works much faster than the body. Naturally the mind is much more tired than the body. And not every person knows how to rest his mind and therefore the mind never has a rest. And then what happens after a while is that the mind becomes feeble. It loses memory, the power of action. It loses reason. The worst effects are mostly brought about by not giving the mind proper repose. If such infirmities as doubt and fear happen to enter the mind, then a person becomes restless, he can never find rest. For at night the mind continues on the track of the same impressions. Simple as it seems to be, very few know the resting of the mind and how wonderful it is in itself. And what power, what inspiration, comes as a reaction from it, and what peace one experiences by it, and how it helps the body and mind! The spirit is renewed once the mind has had its rest."

"The first step towards the resting of the mind is the relaxation of the body. If one is able to relax one's muscular and nervous system at will, then the mind is automatically refreshed. Besides that, one must be able to cast away anxiety, worries, doubts, and fears by the power of will, putting oneself in a restful state. This will be accomplished by the help of proper breathing."

"The work of the body is sometimes kept under a man's control, but he does not keep the work of the mind under his control. This is not because he cannot do so; it is because he never thinks about it.
Mastery lies not merely in stilling the mind, but in directing it towards whatever point we desire, in allowing it to be active as far as we wish, in using it to fulfill our purpose, in causing it to be still when we want to still it. He who has come to this has created his heaven within himself; he has no need to wait for a heaven in the hereafter, for he has produced it within his own mind now."

ray of light.jpg