14 Jul Why healing is a community effort
Two weeks ago, June 29th – July 4th, 2017 was the first retreat of our 2017 Authentic Tantra Certification Program. We were honored to have students from as far away as China(!) fly in to attend this 5 day immersion experience.
During this retreat I was touched, moved, and inspired by the depth of connection and community I witnessed emerging. Seeing these students, who were strangers until a few hours before, share some of their most profound, most precious and tender wounds with one another, filled my heart with hope for the world.
The experience brought to mind a statement I heard recently from one of my favorite trauma healing experts, Dr. Peter Levine, which was- “the breakdown of our society fosters trauma.”
This statement stemmed from time he spent studying alternative healing practices with Shamans in South America. According to these particular shamans there are only two causes of illness; soul loss or curses.
Curses are defined as “negative energy, directed with harmful or negative intent”.
This consciously directed negative energy is thought to weaken the immune system, both energetically and physically. (I find it interesting that in Tibetan Medicine, curses are also one of the 8 primary causes of illness)
Soul loss (which is also referred to in Tibetan Healing as Lha), occurs as a result of traumatic experiences that remain unhealed and unresolved.
Dr. Levine describes an event in which one of the tribe’s women was deeply traumatized by the loss of her child through a difficult child birth, which had occurred at an allopathic medical facility. He described how several members of the community retrieved her from the facility, where she lay in bed in a catatonic state, because they believed it would be impossible for her to heal from this tragedy alone in a hospital bed, and without the support of her tribe.
They brought her back to the village, and the entire tribe held a ceremony that evening to help her reclaim the pieces of her soul which had been “lost” or damaged by her experience. The ceremony consisted of this woman being placed in a circle of support, while the other members of the tribe danced around her. This ritual went on for many, many hours, with every member of the tribe offering up their dance and sharing their heart with this woman. Eventually after several hours, the woman awoke from her catatonic state, stood up and began to move and dance with them. Before long she fell to her knees keening with grief. At this point the entire tribe wailed and cried and grieved along with her, until finally, her heart was complete and the trauma had been processed.
Dr. Levine then went on to describe how the breakdown of our society fosters trauma, by creating isolated environments in which survivors have very little to no community support to heal. He referenced the recent wars in the middle east, and how these young men and women coming back from war zones have little access to effective resources for healing the depth of trauma they experience. He also noted that the trauma people bring back from war is infecting our society at large, as evidenced by the increasing violence and desensitization of our society as a whole.
It is a well know fact among trauma experts that trauma begets trauma. Trauma is passed down generationally via social interaction, as well as genetically by altering the DNA to be predisposed to certain forms of illness, anxiety, depression, addiction, and other mental and physical health issues.
It is also a well known fact amongst somatic psychologists that the key to healing trauma lies in the wisdom of the body, and this is one of the reasons I believe so strongly in Tantra as an alternative healing modality, particularly Tibetan based Tantric practice.
In Tibetan based Tantric practice, the body is considered Buddha, and many of the practices are geared towards clearing obstructions (traumas), which prevent us from being fully anchored, relaxed, and aware in our physical form.
With Authentic Tantra™, we weave these very ancient and potent Tibetan based Tantric practices with Western somatic healing techniques, specific Tantric breathing practices, and presence, to release stored trauma and access the inherent wisdom of the body. And we do this not merely as individuals, but as a community of healers, teachers, and practitioners.
Watch the video below to hear our students share the power of coming together as a community to support each other in healing and reclaiming more of their human potential. Find out more about how you can become part of our healing community here.