Skip to main content

Posts

As the World Drifts Away

As Iain McGilchrist has suggested in his wonderful book The Master and His Emissary, there are two profoundly contrasting perspectives on life, or perhaps more accurately, of attending to experience:  From one perspective the world is composed of many separate objects, which interact with each other, but can be isolated, extracted, studied and represented in words and theories without any change to the object in question, or the context to which its connected. This is certainly the western, materialist, consumerist take on the world.
     The second view of the world is a perhaps more spiritual, certainly holistic, and in line with the profound discoveries of modern physics: that it is not possible to separate objects, beings, natural phenomena from its context, that there’s a fluidity and profound interdependence to the world. Things are iterations of and act dependent upon their context, we cannot isolate people, animals, flora and so on, without not only effecting the object itself …
Recent posts

Is There Life on Earth?

Our ancestors knew that physical proximity, being seen in the eye of others via direct, face-t0-face contact was, and is, the core foundation of mental and physical health. Without the emotional co-regulation that community provides, our sympathetic nervous systems never switch off, we’re forever on guard. 
Remember: The human species survived and thrived because we lived in tribes where individuals labored not just for themselves, but the benefit of others; we didn't survive by outrunning predators, for we are without wings, shells or claws; we survive because we are pack animals, wired to connect, our primary means to survive threats and heal our wounds; without connection chronic stress is the inevitable result.
     Loneliness is not a spiritual state to seek, it’s a health risk: the bonds of community, emotional mirroring, acceptance heal our wounds, help us grow, produce states of ease and confidence. People in communities live significantly longer, healthier lives.
     Withou…

Self Therapy

We adults can spend our days trying to meet ever mounting 'to do' lists, unmeetable schedules, wearying routines, the ceaseless demands and responsibilities of adult life. After all, those bills don't go away on their own. And so it's easy to forget that along with us on this dizzying ride there's a child, often bewildered, overwhelmed, still healing from old wounds.
You've encountered the child many times in the past—it signal its fears through our frustrating procrastination, anxiety, insomnia and exhaustion; the embarrassing or shameful images that pop in the mind. How easily we misinterpret these important messages from what dwells in our unconscious as personal failures, behaviors 'to get rid of' by any means available.
You see, the child is too young to speak to us in words; but even if language were available to this forgotten self, our inner chatter would drown her out. But the child can express itself through the body, in all the physical sensa…

New Year's Eve Message (12/31/16)

It is deeply instilled by evolution into the wiring of the brain, not to mention embedded in all our cultural institutions, that we should seek security and meaning by producing, achieving, and accumulating. The ethos in a nutshell is ‘work and shop until you drop,’ an approach to living that lands us in what has been referred to as the rat race, the hedonic treadmill, the daily grind, the drudgery, survival of the fittest, the battle of life. Given the nature of these summaries is it any surprise that the Buddha noted in his first noble truth that life, as it’s commonly lived, is often stressful?
We’re set up to be enthralled by the rich neural rewards of the cheesy slices of pizza, yet we seldom recall the gastric discomforts that may well follow; we may feel magnetically drawn into the Apple store, hypnotized by the array of beautiful, thin and light gizmos, but the possibility of buyer’s remorse rarely comes to mind. A pair of jeans might look perfect in the store mirror, but back …

Reawakening the Frozen Body: How to Address Traumatic Memories

The following piece was written to summarize some of the experiences I've encountered in providing ten years of one-on-one buddhist mentoring, as well as to pay homage to the wisdom found in the works of Bessel A. van der Kolk's The Body Keeps the Score, Joseph LeDoux's The Emotional Brain, Peter A. Levine's Waking the Tiger and other classic texts on trauma and its healing.
~

Let's suppose a situation occurs during which you feel threatened by an aggressive individual or animal...but you feel confident enough in your strength to overcome whatever danger they represent. In such a case you may well go into fight response: your sympathetic nervous system will activate excitatory, stress-response hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which in turn will create emotional and physiological conditions allowing--even impelling--you to fight off the attack. You'll start to gulp air, your heart will pump blood, which will be diverted to your limbs, while shutting off…

Integrating the Head with the Heart

Integrating The Head With The Heart
Summary of Insights Winter 2016 - Josh Korda


~

I’m an empowered Buddhist dharma teacher, which means I spend a lot of time addressing groups of students, in the course of annual retreats and two or three weekly classes around Manhattan and Brooklyn; however, the focal point of my life’s work involves providing one-on-one spiritual and psychological mentoring to individuals. What’s of central importance to my interpersonal work is emotion integration, by which I mean the practice of bringing one’s underlying, spontaneous, instinctive feeling states into ongoing conscious attention and decision making. Now, you may well wonder, why would anyone need help perceiving or assimilating emotions? Aren’t they readily apparent? However, I’ve found, over the course of working in depth with hundreds of individuals, that many of us live at estranged distances from our authentic feelings, depending on strategies of denial, numbing, and other repressive tools to main…