Organic Intelligence® (OI) is an elegant approach to healing and the cultivation of resilience rooted in principles of mindfulness and kindness for ourselves and others. Developed by Steven Hoskinson, OI is rooted in the brilliant trauma resolution work of Dr. Peter Levine known as Somatic Experiencing (SE), the Polyvagal Theory of Dr. Stephen Porges, Buddhist mindfulness practice, and Complex Systems Theory. Restoring healthy self-regulation in the nervous system through a gentle, relational process, it is an approach to counseling, a beautiful map for healing and personal growth, and a model for supporting systemic change in organizations and communities.
If you are seeking support in your process, or would like to read more about how I use OI and Buddhist inquiry in an individual counseling setting, go to “Sessions”.
The central training in the OI curriculum is the Human Empowerment And Resilience Training, or HEART. It unfolds through a series of intensive retreats over 3 years, with video content online to deepen both theory and clinical practice, and ongoing support between the retreats, including mentorship, personal sessions, peer practice, and small group coaching around integrating the material into your own work.
The HEARTraining weaves contemplative (personal), clinical (dyad), and group (systemic) work together, focused on mastery of the OI Clinical Protocol, an elegant systems-based model for the restoration of resilience and coherence in living systems. While the protocol supports powerful and effective counseling and individual therapy, it also has implications for both personal contemplative practice and group participation and facilitation. As a mindfulness-based process, it builds individual skills of awareness, non-judgmental witness, and tracking states in ourselves and others. As a template for healing work, it supports both trauma resolution and spiritual growth, fundamentally understanding them as not separate. And as a model of resilience in living systems it suggests pathways for re-visioning work with groups, especially around challenging or inflamed issues.
I am excited to announce the first East Bay HEARTraining, which will take place at Rudramandir in Berkeley, starting in September 2018. While most of our live trainings are done in a residential retreat format, HEART Berkeley will be non-residential, increasing affordability and accessibility for folks who may not have the time or resources to join the residential retreat format. Students from outside the area can either stay in nearby hotels or be set up for home-stays with local students. The first six retreats will be non-residential in Berkeley, and the last two will be residential in San Diego, completing the HEARTraining process with immersion in community life and practice.
As core faculty for HEART Berkeley, I am inviting artists, activists, healers, and spiritual contemplatives to come train together. We will weave between theoretical and experiential study of Organic Intelligence, supported by meditation and movement work based in Buddhism, Haṭha Yoga, and other forms. All the work we do will be accessible to people of all body types and physical abilities.
We strive to make the training as affordable as possible, and discounts and scholarships are available for members of traditionally marginalized populations, groups, household/family members, and graduates of allied somatic trainings. Please reach out to us if you need scholarship support, and you can read about the various discounts here.
DATES: WEEKENDS 1-6
Weekend 1: September 7–10, 2018
Weekend 2: January 18–21, 2019
Weekend 3: April 5–8, 2019
Weekend 4: July 26–29, 2019
Weekend 5: October 18–21, 2019
Weekend 6: January 17–20, 2020
830 Bancroft Way at 6th St, Berkeley, CA
DATES: YEAR 3
Year 3 will be residential, in San Diego, taught by OI founder Steven Hoskinson:
Retreat 5: April 20-25, 2020
Retreat 6: Oct 4-9, 2020
For a free consultation call around whether HEART Berkeley would be a good fit for you, please write me. I look forward to talking with you, and to sharing this powerful work with you and our blessed communities.
For more on the focus of the Berkeley training, here’s some writing on OI & trauma resolution in the context of Buddhism & Yoga in the West.
As Buddhist and Hindu Yoga lineages take root outside of Asia, their insights into human nature, the causes of suffering, and the paths to joy and liberation are finding fertile soil in sincere seekers and dedicated spiritual practitioners worldwide. As many of us find our personal and collective journeys deeply served by contact with these ancient teachings, we are also finding that the particular conditions of our postmodern lives require care and in many cases real healing if the yogic practices of introspection and embodied inquiry are to bear fruit. The collective traumas of racism, sexism, economic precarity, and environmental crisis affect us all, and despite our various privileges many of us suffer in addition the painful symptoms of attachment rupture, physical and emotional abuse, injury of many kinds, and the stresses of busy, unstable lives. (Read more…)