Releasing Our Traumas

Releasing Our Traumas

Discussion date: Thu, May 31, 2007 at our weekly Thursday evening practice

Dear Still Water Friends,

Alaine Duncan, the co-founder and co-director of Crossings, has been apeace activist for more than 30 years, and an acupuncturist for morethan twenty. In recently years, Lani has reached out to work withreturned soldiers and nursing staff at the Veterans Administration andat Walter Reed Medical Center, through the programs of CrossingsHealingworks, a non-profit arm of Crossings.

Working with the military family, Lani notes, has been the “grittiest,grimiest and most compelling peace work” she has ever beeninvolved in.

In addition to practicing traditional Chinese acupuncture, Lani bringsto her work with veterans a method of releasing trauma called SomaticExperiencing. It is defined by its originator, Dr. Peter Levine, as ashort-term naturalistic approach to the resolution and healing oftrauma. As explained by Levine:

It is based upon the observationthat wild prey animals, though threatened routinely, are rarelytraumatized. Animals in the wild utilize innate mechanisms to regulateand discharge the high levels of energy arousal associated withdefensive survival behaviors. These mechanisms provide animals with abuilt-in ”immunity” to trauma that enables them to return to normal

This Thursday evening, after our meditation, Lani will talk with usabout her work healing the wounds of war and how it has transformed her.

You are invited to be with us this Thursday. The best times to join usare just before the beginning of our 7 p.m meditation, just before webegin walking meditation (around 7:25), and just after our walkingmeditation (around 7:35).

An excerpt from Peter Levine’s book, Waking the Tiger, is below.

Warm wishes,

Mitchell Ratner
Senior Teacher


From Peter Levine, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma

“The roots ofwar run deep. Any truly honest person will acknowledge that we all havethe capacity for both violence and love. Both are equally basicaspects of the human experience. What may be even more significant inunderstanding the roots of war is the human vulnerability totraumatization.  We should not forget that it was in the frighteningsymptoms manifested by some of the soldiers who returned from combatthat the effects of trauma were first recognized… . Trauma createsa compelling drive for re-enactment when we are unaware of its impactupon us.

What if entire communities of people are driven intomass re-enactments by experiences such as war? Lasting peace amongwarring peoples cannot be accomplished without first healing the traumasof previous terrorism, violence and horror on a mass scale.” 

Discussion Date: Thu, May 31, 2007


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