Sun, December 17
Sun, December 17, 1:00 pm–5:00 pm
Michael Nguyen's path to becoming a Dharma Teacher is unusual. His family came to the US from Vietnam as immigrants when he was two years old. Thirteen years later, in 1989, he met Thich Nhat Hanh at a retreat and took the Five Mindfulness Trainings. However, rather than continuing in a spiritual direction, at the age of 17 he joined the Navy. He served in Iraq during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, from 1991-1995.
Michael's return to civilian life was difficult. As mentioned in a Huffington Post article about him, “when he went to sleep he returned to the combat zone, battling ghoulish enemies in dreams that were so intense that while he was sleepwalking he would punch out the walls of his bedroom. ‘I would be constantly fighting, kicking, screaming, swearing, having to patch up my walls pretty much every single week.’” Suffering from PTSD, it was difficult for him to keep a job or maintain a relationship.
Eventually, he found his way back to a spiritual path. He attended a retreat at Plum Village in France in 2002 and stayed on as a monastic, receiving full ordination in 2007. He was ordained as a Dharma teacher in 2010. In 2015 Michael left the monastery and returned to lay life, so he could dedicate more time to working with veterans and their families, sharing mindfulness and trauma releasing exercises they can use each day. He was the primary organizer of a 2014 veterans retreat at Blue Cliff Monastery in New York called "Welcome Home, How to Truly Come Home." He currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
During this Mindfulness and Trauma Relief Workshop, in addition to guiding our sitting and walking meditation, Michael will guide us in gaining competence with the Trauma Relief Exercises (TRE). According to Dr. David Berceli the developer of TRE with whom Michael has studied, the trauma and tension relief exercises:
help individuals release stress or tension as a result of difficult life circumstances, immediate or prolonged stressful situations, or traumatic life experiences. TRE consists of six simple exercises that help individuals release tension from the muscles, which in turn relaxes the anxiety of our minds, by evoking a muscular shaking process in the body.
There will be two experiences of the TRE cycle of exercises on Sunday. Additionally, there will be ample time for questions and sharing. (More information about David Berceli and TRE is available on the TRE for All web site.)
Because this workshop is limited to twenty participants, please register early to ensure a place. The Still Water MPC has established a sliding scale for this workshop so that all may attend:
The suggested donation is $90 per person
The benefactor donation is $130 per person
The limited income donation is $55 per person.
You are welcome to contribute any amount between the limited-income contribution and the benefactor contribution (or more if you wish), in accord with the urgings of your heart and your means and circumstances. With your contributions, the Still Water MPC is able to offer support to Michael and his work, meet its financial obligations, develop new programs, and create space for those with limited incomes. If contributing at even the limited-income level would be a hardship, please let us know and we will endeavor to make other arrangements with you.
Register now. If you have questions, please contact our registrar, Gene Klinger: firstname.lastname@example.org or (240) 731-3732. For directions to the Yoga Center of Columbia go to http://www.columbiayoga.com/Directions.html
We hope you can join us.
Michael will also be offering a Day of Mindfulness on Saturday, December 16, 2017, at Blueberry Gardens, and will be joining the Still Water group at Crossings in Silver Spring on Thursday evening, December 8, 2017, 7:00-9:00 pm and the Still Water Columbia Group on Sunday, December 17, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Yoga Center of Columbia
8950 Route 108
Columbia, MD 21045