Resilience & trauma-resolution for meditation & yoga practitioners
Welcome, and blessings on your path.
I support dedicated practitioners of Buddhism and Yoga in spiritual and psychological healing and cultivation. At the heart of this work is the recognition that the path of liberation, if we choose to walk it, encompasses every aspect of our life, weaving together body, family, community, and culture in the healing process.
Meditation and postures (āsana) were never meant to be the only tools in spiritual development. Both of these South Asian contemplative practices are traditionally embedded in community-based religious systems where practitioners would engage together in ritual, devotional practices, study, and communal life.
Because our lives are so different from those of the creators of these practices, most dedicated practitioners need additional guidance and practices if they are to find relief from suffering. I offer groups, classes, and individual conversations to help you craft your path and life in the service of liberation and the end of anxiety and doubt.
I am currently restructuring my practice, and no longer offering ongoing weekly or bi-weekly sessions. Practitioners who want to work with me are encouraged to first come to Tuesday evening Satsang, or to a workshop or class with me, and then set up a time to connect by phone once you have a sense of my offering. Students coming for individual sessions should have these aspects of their practice ongoing:
- Consistent attendance at a class or group oriented around meditation and/or yoga practice, and participation in that community as best you’re able. For Bay Area meditation groups, see this list.
- A formal commitment to practice that establishes your intention to be on a path to liberation. In the Buddhist traditions, this would include having gone for refuge. In Yoga traditions, this may be more informal, but should be heartfelt and sustained. (We can discuss what this might be for you, and work toward it as well. I do formal refuge ceremonies at my group every few months.)
With these supports in place, I see practitioners monthly or as-needed to support deepening on the path. If you would like to connect with me for an initial consultation, please click here and tell me a bit about your process.
Basics of resilience & trauma work for contemplatives
Contemplative disciplines like meditation and yoga are designed to reveal to the practitioner life-changing truths about who we are, how to understand the seeming chaos of fluctuating experience, and how to best act in service of safety and well-being for ourselves and others. Before these insights can flower fully in the whole being of the practitioner, however, the body, heart, and mind each need to be able to settle into present-moment awareness, not lost in anxious or judgmental thought, intense emotion, or overwhelming sensation.
These common challenges are the natural results of past experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant, but in many cases the basic mindfulness instruction to simply notice them and return to a chosen focus (like the breath, or the body in a posture) is ineffective at uprooting them as an ongoing pattern. In many cases this is because the pattern is not just the natural activity of the mind, but the lingering effects of past wounds and harmful conditions, or trauma.
Skillful work with these patterns that so bewitch the mind and heart can radically shift our experience of formal practice, relationships, and identity in the world. In many cases that work is better accomplished with direct guidance than in formal contemplative practice, partly because the conditions of much formal practice (solitude, silence, inwardness) are exactly the opposite of what nervous systems need to heal from trauma: safe relational contact, sensory engagement with the external world, active cultivation of ease and comfort, and skillful intervention that retrains a system habituated to vigilance, aggression, or collapse.
Spiritually-grounded trauma resolution and resilience work can be a powerful step toward our own well-being and support for deeper formal practice. Sessions with me are oriented toward practitioners who want to deepen their practice, unwind trauma, and bring clarity to aspects of their life that solo practice on the mat or cushion is not reaching. I also work with those who are experiencing difficulty during or after periods of intensive spiritual practice.
Sessions are rooted in Organic Intelligence (OI) and Buddhist psychology, supported as needed by the physical disciplines of Haṭha Yoga, prāṇāyāma, and Authentic Movement. Depending on each person’s unique needs, we focus on practice (meditation, yoga, movement, breathwork), or inquiry and the cultivation of resilience, looking something like a conventional counseling session. I work in conversation, in open or guided movement, and with touch (on a massage table, fully clothed, non-structural) as needed and appropriate.
Whatever is bringing you to this page, I know that searching for, and reaching out for, therapeutic support can be difficult, and I wish you as much ease as possible through the process. Please reach out if my support might be of service to you.
Rates & Scheduling
Sessions last between 60-70 minutes, and cost $140.
Some sliding scale available in cases of need.
I see people in North Oakland, in the Temescal neighborhood.
Virtual sessions (using Zoom) are available.