aspects of trauma

The Illusion of Safety, and How to Get Past It

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The Illusion of Safety, and How to Get Past It

There is an old story:  a heartless general, at the head of a ruthless army, devastates village after village.  He arrives at a temple and, to his surprise, finds the gate unlocked.  In the middle of the courtyard within kneels a monk.  The general dismounts, unsheathes his sword, and approaches the monk.  The monk fails to prostrate himself before the general, which offends him.  “Do you not know who I am? I am not afraid to kill you,” to which the monk replies, “Do you not know who I am? I am not afraid to die.” Trauma is the result of overwhelming stress, and the terror at...

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Hypervigilance and the Present Moment

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Hypervigilance and the Present Moment

BY CONTRIBUTOR NANCY WEAVER (Note: Nancy was the one who got me thinking about the religion series to begin with, here is the article that got it going) A friend was lamenting that other people don’t pay enough attention causing her to always have to take care of details.  This woman has repeatedly told me that she has been hyper-vigilant since childhood.  After our talk, my mind moved to the difference between hyper-vigilance and attentiveness. In Buddhism there is a concept called the near and far enemy.  Each of the virtues is considered to have both enemies, ie, that which keeps us...

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Giving the Gift of Honesty, by Guest Writer Nancy Weaver

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Giving the Gift of Honesty, by Guest Writer Nancy Weaver

Nancy Weaver is a wonderful craftsperson currently living in Texas, and is an explorer of inner and outer worlds. I hope this insightful commentary from her gives you the same inspiration it did, me. Today I am giving myself the gift of honesty. Not that brutal judging interaction we sometimes call honesty.  But unconditional love and the courage and support to look at my deepest shame. Yesterday, a friend’s blog arrived, usually a joyful event, something to read over coffee, mull over, find inspiration in. But yesterday it was about early trauma and rejection and it was so painful that I...

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Trauma: Love’s Barricade

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Trauma: Love’s Barricade

Imagine, if you will, standing on the very top of the highest peak of a great mountain. All around you, the most magnificent view. Yet, you find yourself only able to look down, in all directions, the precarious slope, falling away in all directions to certain death. Wouldn’t you become rigid with terror, afraid to move, even to breath? And so very alone. This is the real cost of trauma. When, we are overwhelmed by stress, when we are not able to resolve it, to comfort ourselves or receive the soothing embrace of another…in short, when we experience trauma, either from a single event or a...

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Attachment: A Bridge Just Far Enough

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Attachment: A Bridge Just Far Enough

So here’s a story, and it’s a true one, the very best kind. It’s about monkeys, baby monkeys no less, adorable and playful…and very intelligent. This makes them a good study for human babies. In the fifties, a study was done using these monkeys. First, the scientists rigged a chicken-wire “mother” with feeding apparatus. The monkeys went wild! Fed to their hearts’ content. Then they removed her, and in her place, another “mother,” this time warm, fuzzy, making soothing noises and with many nooks and crannies to crawl up into and sleep. The babies loved her, too. Then they...

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Attachment (Pt 1): Essential to Love

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Attachment (Pt 1): Essential to Love

Attachment. If you’re Buddhist, you know this is a baaad thing. The source of all suffering, in fact. If you’re a traditional psychotherapist, or a rabid reader of self-help books, you might identify this as the driver for codependence. Also, very baaad. And if you subscribe to the American ideal of individualism, you avoid it like the plague. And yet, we cannot survive without attachment. It is as real as any other biological necessity, as thirst, hunger, or the longing for a healing good night’s sleep. However, despite a huge body of evidence for this, psychiatric questionnaires...

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