This retreat invites participants to open to their most elemental relationship, that which exists between the body, mind, and the natural world as it manifests through eating, breathing, and our senses. This is not a workshop about nutrition or eating, but begins with how formal mindful sensory meditations and awareness of body sensations, including eating awareness, develops mindfulness/ mindful awareness. This is how the mindfulness is learned. This awareness then widens to include the deep nourishment we receive from being in mindful relationship with each other.
Workshops with CE Credits for Psychology
Embodied intimacy is the body-to-body intersubjective connection between parent and infant that shapes the brain and grows secure children, underlies the affection between mates, and arouses erotic lovers. Research shows that many of the vital qualities of nonverbal communication shared by intimates are necessary elements in the therapeutic alliance. Therapist attunement to the client’s facial, vocal, and body language in the present moment (and whose own body reflects empathy and understanding) is more critical for client growth than psychotherapeutic orientation.
The impact of stress on health is well recognized. Now the efficacy of stress reduction as an adjunct to medical treatment is being recognized in more and more health care settings. In 1996 Dr. Mark Abramson founded a program at Stanford University Medical Center using the 2,500-year-old technique of Mindfulness Meditation to train patients as an adjunct treatment for many different medical conditions.
Experience a weekend immersion in compassion cultivation, based on the Stanford Compassion Training program developed by psychologists, scientists, and contemplative scholars at Stanford University. Explore strategies for strengthening self-compassion, connecting with others, finding peace in difficult circumstances, and overcoming compassion fatigue. This session will include lecture, meditation, self-reflection, experiential exercises, and discussion.
Join us for an exploration of the benefits of practice from three distinct, intertwined perspectives. Mornings will begin with intensive mindfulness and loving kindness meditation led by Dharma teacher, lay contemplative, and scientist Nikki Mirghafori. She will facilitate sitting and walking meditations and help participants refine and integrate their practice and insights. UC Davis neuroscientist Clifford Saron will lead a voyage of scientific discovery into brain function.
More than 10 million people today use EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) for both mental and emotional health. Thousands of case reports and dozens of clinical trials show that EFT is extremely effective at reducing stress. This is because it combines acupressure, affirmations, and cognitive exposure therapy in an elegant yet simple self-help formula. Unhealed traumatic events from your past can compromise your health. Once emotional distress is removed with EFT, the body quickly rebalances itself.
For peace, one must remember: As a bird cannot fly with one wing, as a man cannot applaud with one hand, so a country cannot make peace just with one side, with itself. For peace, we need the two of us. -Shimon Peres
Mindfulness teachings often isolate the practice from larger cultural, spiritual, and expressive contexts. This workshop goes the other direction: it integrates secular mindfulness practices with the wisdom of World philosophies and with the creative arts. The workshop is for those new to mindfulness, those with an established practice, and for psychotherapists interested in integrating mindfulness into their clinical work. It is co-taught by a psychiatrist and cultural scholar from New York University, and an experienced meditation teacher.
Each one of us is a product of how we think and interact. When we have a secure base in our lives—someone who provides a sense of safety and trust—we can push the edge, take risks, and ultimately unleash our full potential. Only when we know that someone cares and stands behind us can the defenses of our brain shut down and allow us to really “Play to Win”—to truly dare ourselves to do the impossible.
Scottish-born psychiatrist R. D. Laing devoted his career to exploring the nature of alternative realities and heightened awareness. In this year’s workshop, designed for those in the mental health and healing professions, we will explore the nature of altered realities, including extreme states. To alter a state of awareness suggests a catalyst, an instrumentum employed to initiate a transformation in consciousness, whether by invoking mindfulness, yoga, meditation, breath work, or imbibing a drug, whether psychedelic or psychotropic.
Much emphasis in couples’ enrichment focuses on verbal communication, particularly articulating feelings and mending bridges. Yet subtle nonverbal communications can elicit unresolved past emotions in a nanosecond without either partner recognizing that their facial micro-expressions, vocal tones, and gestures are triggers. Being in touch with your bodily sensations and attuned to the other’s reactions involve present-centered body awareness and skills that can help partners heal old wounds and enjoy the pleasures of love.
Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it. -Blaise Pascal
This workshop brings together a team of internationally recognized scientists, meditation teachers, and clinicians to deepen our understanding of how to live a meaningful, healthy, and joyful life. Weaving together ancient wisdom traditions with modern neuroscience, we explore the transformative effects of meditative practices. Participants will be taught simple yet potent meditation practices, and will also learn about revolutionary research in neuroscience that offers this hopeful message: We can change and reshape our brain to live healthier, happier lives.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful therapeutic method for healing trauma-based problems. Shedding new light on trauma survival —including sexual and physical abuse, accident and surgical trauma, and grief — EMDR is opening doors of the heart to genuine spiritual transformation. This course is for mental-health professionals who are licensed to provide treatment. Through lecture, hands-on practice, and demonstrations, participants will be shown:
• Protocols and procedures for using EMDR with a wide range of diagnostic categories
Empathy is possibly your most essential skill. It helps you understand yourself and others, and it is the core skill in your ability to communicate and relate to the world around you. However, many of us trip over empathy because we were never taught how it works. In this workshop, you’ll be taught new ways to work with your empathy and your emotions in order to create more successful connections. You’ll explore:
• The Six Essential Aspects of Empathy model, which makes empathy clearly understandable
Our inability to handle personal criticism from loved ones is a common Achilles’ heel. The more deeply we love, the more fragile we feel. Soon, couples feel they are walking on eggshells, unable to express themselves honestly, and their love fades. Raising children and money magnify the problems even as they become the reason couples stay together. The result? Couples often remain legally married but psychologically divorced—in a minimum-security-prison marriage. The biggest culprit? Defensiveness. Active listening, a good solution, is rarely used.
The human brain is the most complex object in the known universe, and the study of its structure and function is one of the most rapidly developing fields in contemporary science. Yet many great mysteries remain, including understanding the brain processes involved in memory, perception, mental illness, and arguably the greatest unanswered question in all of science: How are consciousness and mind related to the physical processes within the brain?
Our stress and its symptoms are maintained unconsciously as a distraction from emotional issues and harmful thinking. By addressing these issues, the body can let go, thereby improving physical health and enhancing performance and the ability to feel joy.
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
– John Quincy Adams
Self-compassion is the heart of mindfulness. It is warm-hearted, connected presence during difficult moments in our lives. Self-compassion provides emotional strength and resilience that allows us to admit our shortcomings, motivate ourselves with encouragement, forgive ourselves when needed, care for others, and be more fully ourselves. Rapidly expanding research shows that self-compassion is strongly associated with emotional well-being, lower levels of anxiety and depression, healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships.