Newsletter November 2012
Hello everyone,

'My name is Bond, James Bond - Martini please, shaken, not stirred ....'
This was the world a charming lady was reveling in when it was time to make the decision whether she was going to attend my lecture or not. After my last public lecture she came to share with me this delightful gem of life's moments:
She had been in a quandary - part of her wanted to come, but she was seriously engrossed in a James Bond movie. As she began to ponder her options, she asked herself which approach to life she wanted to cultivate further: The eye-for-eye, tooth-for-tooth, tribal, reptilian James Bond approach, where macho Martinis are king and Adrenalin the drug of choice? Or the complex, socially engaged, integrative, loving-kindness approach, where gentle GABA reigns supreme, squirted by the medial prefrontal cortex onto the anxious amygdala to calm our organism down? She wisely chose the latter and expressed satisfaction for having done so. We both chuckled about this situation, and I thought to myself: "Is there anything more fascinating and exhilarating than exploring how we construct reality?"
'My name is Ddha, Bu Ddha - GABA please, squirted, not stored ....'
I'll have a gentle GABA over a macho Martini any time - shaken and squirted, not stirred and stored ....

This brings me to gratitude:  

The gratitude for being touched in such lovely ways as this lady did, and for being privileged to learn from so many sharp and smart students.


One student shared a poem with me - the result of sweating in the trenches of our mindfulness boot camp:


" When you have come to the edge

Of all the light you know

& are about to step out

into the darkness of the unknown

Faith is knowing that one of 2 things will happen:

There will be something solid to stand on

Or, you will be taught how to fly."


She then added: "Thank you for helping me find my feet to stand solid on, and to sometimes use my new found wings to soar into uncertainty with."


You are very welcome, Carina, and thank you for sharing this poem and your journey! We are all traveling with you! 


1. For more inspiration, sign up here for 'This Moment's Question' in addition to the newsletter.

2. Registration
(click here) for the Public Lecture Series continues:
The last of this fall's public event is coming up, just in time for Christmas reflection:


Saturday, December 1st, 2012, 3pm-5pm   


These two hours will provide you with a brief, yet intensive and direct experience of mindfulness meditation practice. Dr. Treyvaud will not lecture, but guide you through a sequence of fundamental meditation practices with explanatory comments along the way.


Prepare yourself to leave the session with a sense of having been challenged in your customary ways of moving from moment to moment. You may leave refreshed, exhausted, exhilarated, disturbed, intrigued or all of the above (most likely). There will be time for questions at the end.


Participants beware! Participate at your own risk: This session may forever change your Christmas hoarding (shopping?) habits:





Here is a story one of my students just shared yesterday morning:

She is in her eighth week of the Introductory Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program. In brief, she came to the program despairing about a massive months-long fear of having damaged her brain with a medication. All her energy was invested in trying to get rid of the anxiety and the obsessive ruminations that accompany it. The energy she used to fight her plight became so all-consuming that she barely managed to get through the day and in a robot-like fashion move her children through their daily routines.  


Things became really terrifying when I taught the mindful technique of inviting the pain into full embrace, turning towards it instead of away from it, and welcoming it into full acceptance and awareness instead of trying to get rid of it. It seemed like she was taught to invite the devil for tea into her kitchen, instead of trying to destroy it (which had never worked anyway!). I reassured her that this was indeed exactly what she was asked to do - learning to do the unimaginable, and invite what seems most unacceptable about herself to reconnect with her whole being. As is often predictable, her engagement in mindfulness training seemed to make things worse - yes folks, it is stressful to take the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program!  


This meditation she was learning, called 'allowing and letting be', went totally against her grain. At first she could not handle it. But with the patient support of the group process she began to find the courage to soften towards what seemed to be evil, this awful fear of being destroyed, not realizing at first that she was learning to rewire the neurocircuitry responsible for developing a deeper relationship to herself.  


Suddenly, after seven to eight weeks, she discovered something remarkable: She began to be able to allow the energy of this monster to fully wash through her with far less resistance, holding the process in awareness as it unfolded. A deep, although still subtle sense of relief started to set in as she felt more open, present and available while this anxious energy flowed more freely through her with diminished resistance. She started to feel less afraid of facing her shadow, allowing it to reveal to her what she had ignored for years. Paradoxically, our most feared pain and suffering carries the key to our healing and liberation.   


Most intriguingly to her, she began despite her anxiety to be more present with her children, actually engaging them and asking them about their day instead of just pushing them through their routines. Relating to their soul became more important than getting them through routines. We now know of course, that the same neurocircuitry responsible for our relationship to ourselves is also responsible for our relationships with others. By engaging in her own meditation practice, she not only deepens her relationship with herself, but also her relationships to others.  


What is most exciting is the fact that she has actually begun to shape the wiring of her children's brain towards reflection, relationships and resilience, the three RRRs of future mental and physical health and wellbeing, instead of continuing on the destructive path of autopilot living causing disharmony and dis-ease. By engaging in her practice of mindfulness, deliberately creating an awareness gap between her impulses and actions, she is not only healing herself, but also healing her children and her family, as she is engaging in an act of immense personal and sociopolitical importance!  


This is mindfulness at its best, mindfulness in action - the invaluable journey of awareness. She has a long way to go, and yet, she has managed to make a phenomenal shift in consciousness, which now requires cultivation.  


The trick from now on: Make mindfulness your life-long way of life! We will all accompany you on this journey! 

With kind regards,

Dr. T.

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Copyright � 2012 by Dr. St�phane Treyvaud. All rights reserved.