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#1908 - Wednesday, September 1, 2004 - Editor: Jerry

Featured is Part 11 of 13 of the review/summary of The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy, edited by John J. Prendergast, Peter Fenner, and Sheila Krystal. Information about this book is available at

There is also a piece by Eric Chaffee on nondualism and the Bible, which is exclusive to The Highlights. In it he invites submissions on the topic. There will be a web page for it on

As well, you'll meet the Wolfgang Bernard, a nondual therapist.

Finally the Live Journal writings and photography of Iamkatia and Wildgarden are featured.

I'd like to once again thank everyone who writes us. We always enjoy hearing from you. No kidding! So if you ever thought of writing about anything whatsoever, please let us hear from you. Just click 'Reply' on your email program, compose your message, and 'Send'. All the editors will see your letter.

The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy

Chapter 11

Healing Trauma in the Eternal Now

by Lynn Marie Lumiere

Lumiere is a licensed Marriage, Family Therapist. She has worked with trauma and trauma-related issues for fifteen years. Her orientation is transpersonal and somatic.

This chapter begins with Lumiere setting forth that nondual awareness is unconditional love and as such accepts extreme ecstasy and extreme trauma equally. "It is only in this embrace of the manifest by the unmanifest that true transformation or healing takes place," she says.

Bessel Van der Kolk, M.D. is quoted for his definition of trauma: "the inability to be present with what is in the here and now." Trauma is destabilizing, bringing us out of the here and now and into the re-living of the past trauma. Lumiere say, "Healing trauma requires being present with what is in the moment."

Peter Levine, Ph.D., is noted as a leading researcher in trauma. Levine is quoted: "Trauma is about thwarted instincts. Instincts by definition are always in the present. When we allow them their rightful domain, we surrender to the 'eternal now.'"

Levine's method of healing trauma is known as Somatic Experiencing. Lumiere presents its key concepts and demonstrates how the method is applied in synergy with nondual awareness.

Somatic Experiencing uses a vortex model to illustrate how the energy or trauma is created and negotiated. Lumiere says, "The trauma vortex is a recapitulation of past, uncompleted responses and exists outside the stream of our present life experience. Nature simultaneously responds by creating a 'countervortex' to balance the force of the trauma vortex, which is also called the 'inner vortex.' The inner vortex exists inside mainstream life experience and is a primal rhythm or force that is a natural compliment to the trauma vortex. It contains resources that naturally assist the healing of the trauma. ... Initially the trauma vortex is much larger than the countervortex; this creates gravitational pull toward the trauma that interferes with our ability to be in the here and now."

Three key concepts of Somatic Experiencing include pendulation, titration, and resourcing.

Pendulation is the movement of experience between polarities, such as pleasure and pain. The outer and inner vortex polarity was noted above. Expansion and contraction are such polarities. With trauma there is an uneven or interrupted flow of pendulation. "When an even flow of pendulation is reestablished, it regulates the nervous system, creating the resiliency that is necessary to remain present and discharge trauma. This resiliency, or self-regulation, is the ability to allow experience to come and go without becoming fixated in some way."

As pendulation is reestablished, titration can be introduced. "Titration involves releasing traumatic stress a little at a time, staying with only as much as we can be present to in the moment. Titration slowly allows traumatic activation to be accessed and assimilated so that the nervous system can gradually adjust to each level of excitation."

Resourcing strengthens the center of gravity of the inner vortex so that it can balance the pull of the outer, trauma vortex. A resource is "anything that helps a person maintain a sense of inner safety and integrity in the face of threat or disruption." Lumiere says that direct experience of awareness is the best resource and that the awakened psychotherapist is a powerful resource. However, the author makes clear that not all awakened psychotherapists succeed at self-regulating and that a therapy such as Somatic Experiencing could help achieve resiliency. She says, "the powerful combination of self-regulation and awakened presence can magnetize the client into a resonance with primordial awareness and the natural movement of pendulation within it."

About half the chapter is devoted to a case study in which the key concepts of pendulation, titration, and resourcing are illustrated.

As part of her concluding statement to this chapter, Lumiere says, "Because its effects are so intense and pervasive, trauma can be a catalyst for profound surrender and awakening. I see it as a wake-up call for the human race. Trauma is a primary cause of human suffering, and yet it can only be truly resolved by coming home to the eternal now. In the healing of trauma, we must let go of the mind's illusion of control and discover the beingness that is always present."

~ ~ ~

The Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy, edited by John J. Prendergast, Peter Fenner, and Sheila Krystal. Information about this book is available at

Exclusive to The Highlights:

Eric Chaffee

"If Thine Eye Be Single"

(Including an invitation for submissions)

It would seem that few readers of "the Bible" (Hebrew/Christian scriptures) are inclined to look for its nondual message. The majority persistently contend that these writings are essentially dualistic, good and evil. While I was doing graduate studies at a prominent non-denominational divinity school years ago, I was dumbfounded when a lecturer proceeded to map various belief systems, omitting monism (nondualism). When I inquired about her exclusion, she responded by saying "It's so naive as to be unworthy of our time."

We hear a similar dismissal in an otherwise handy new volume entitled Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking, by DQ McInerny, Random House, 2004. As a first principle of logic we are introduced to The Principle of Identity: "The whole of existing reality is not a homogenous mass. It is a composition of individuals, and the individuals are distinguishable from one another." We're not told why all of existing reality cannot be considered as a homogenous mass (the ancient philosopher Zeno's important observations notwithstanding), aside from being told that an apple is not an orange. The logical(?) extension of the author's position would seem to argue that the nondual position is illogical.

Minority positions are often marginalized by terms such as 'naive' and 'illogical', but this needn't end the consideration of nonduality. Surely we can respond.
Although our fundamentalist friends, and even many thoughtful liberals, would probably agree with both of the above characterizations of nonduality, we can point to a significant nondual statement early in the Bible, my favorite textbook, that is most worthy of consideration. It is the powerful injunction first encountered in Genesis 2:17 -- "Of the tree of the knowledge of good AND evil, thou shalt not eat of it..." [emphasis added].

Those of a literalist bent seem to reason that the bell can't be un-rung, unless you join their club and subscribe to their interpretations and doctrines, which are decidedly dualistic, and, ironically, are adorned with, and seem to argue on behalf of, the very fruit which God has proscribed. Most of the Judeo-Christian world seems to believe that our two earliest ancestors blew it; we're left with their tainted fruit, a raging plague called sin, which even God could not quench with a flood (Genesis 6-10). Yet these same good folks seem less inclined to accept the advice offered by God to Ezekiel (18:1-3) "What mean ye that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use the proverb in Israel." So, heredity is out; blaming our parents' parents doesn't wash with God! -What to do, what to think, where to stand?

An excellent article, 'Who Told You?,' on our verse in Genesis 2, can be found in a slim but weighty volume entitled The Thunder of Silence by Joel S Goldsmith. (I happily came upon earlier this year while searching for mentions of this author.) Although I think Sarlo gives Goldsmith only a star and a half in his nondual rating on this site, I find him to be a compelling teacher because he is more than a theoretician; he practices and illustrates the application of nondual contemplation and living, if you will. The aforementioned title is one of his deepest volumes; those disinclined to eat the cherry first may prefer to start with Living the Infinite Way, which the author himself suggests, or a personal favorite that I like to share with those open to encountering this author, The Spiritual Power of Truth. He has assiduously prevented anyone from founding a church around his teachings; a few websites, of debatable merit, are hosted by some of his students. But primary sources are generally best. His lectures are also still available on tape and cd, through his estate, although the speaker departed the planet in 1964.

I am launching a project that identifies and considers nondual Bible verses. There is a treasure trove of material here that seems to have received little attention from this angle. The project doesn't belong to me. If someone else wants to seize the day and go to press with the idea, please send me a review copy. I don't know if my efforts and receipts will be of interest, or be worthy of sharing anywhere. I don't even know how to receive your nominations and commentary efficiently. (Anyone with insight or experience in digital compilation of such a project will win my eyes, ears, and gratitude.) With that disclaimer in place, I invite nominations of your favorite nondual Bible verses (any published translation will be fine as long as it is identified; I usually quote kjv, but I read numerous versions). Commentary is also welcome, although it may, or may not get associated with 'your' verses, depending upon my editorial judgment. The email address for the project is [email protected] Thanks for your contributions! (Credit will be given in lieu of payment, if anything is published or shared. By contributing your views to this project you agree to allow them to be published without other consideration or remuneration.)

~ ~ ~

Eric Chaffee chases sheep and tortures botanical Being on an organic farm near Buffalo NY. He also participates as a volunteer in a lively, nondenominational Bible study at a local prison every Saturday. will host the web pages for Chaffee's project, so please contact him via [email protected]

Wolfgang Bernard

My new teaching is a platonic dialogue style teaching intended to complement the unfolding of your true nature.

Human beings are intended to develop an identity which is based on the physical, intellectual and emotional development of intrinsic bio-psychological processes.

The end result of this process, at the end of puberty, is an identity that enables procreation, and the ability to face life independently. The resulting person is then referred to as an "adult". And this is where most humans stop in their evolution.

Yet, there is the possibility of a next step: keeping all that is learned during the process of the acquisition of identity and at the same time initializing the project of becoming aware of one's real nature outside the law of cause-effect.

This is what the "final dialogue" is about: to initiate a living process that will eventually generate it's own dynamics and which may show the way to the end of one's personal evolution.

Therapy usually remains inside the frame of identity, but the "final dialgoue" is expected to bring up the insight that "identity is a myth" (U.G. Krishnamurti).

The "final dialogue" intends to generate overall comprehension of the dynamics of life, which will be "correctly read" instead of interpreted, resulting in a life where you're detached from ups and downs, where something that could be called your real nature will grow continously as you become conscious of it.

My task will be to emphasize what is okay, the essential value, and to uncover the hang-ups, the original belief .
Your task will be to integrate all this into your daily life activities.

--Wolfgang Bernard


"The Delight Song of Tsaoi-talee"

I am a feather on the bright sky
I am the blue horse that runs in the plain
I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water
I am the shadow that follows a child
I am the evening light, the lustre of meadows
I am an eagle playing with the wind
I am a cluster of bright beads
I am the farthest star
I am the cold of the dawn
I am the roaring of the rain
I am the glitter on the crust of the snow
I am the long track of the moon in a lake
I am a flame of four colors
I am a deer standing away in the dusk
I am a field of sumac and the pomme blanche
I am an angle of geese in the winter sky
I am the hunger of a young wolf
I am the whole dream of these things
You see, I am alive, I am alive
I stand in good relation to the earth
I stand in good relation to the gods
I stand in good relation to all that is beautiful
I stand in good relation to the daughter of Tsen-tainte
You see, I am alive, I am alive

~ N. Scott Momaday, Kiowa (Native American)


I would be posting more often, and more thoughtfully, if I could.

Overwhelmed. Trying to run a home business, to do the cooking and the laundry, home schooling a surly adolescent whose bliss is currently lies in deepening his contacts in hacker circles. I don't know which is worse, this or having to go to school to pick him up after a fight. At least he's learning a lot more. It feels like he's leaving me in the dust.

At the same times, plaster falling and hammering and sawing in the next room. Carrying buckets of rubble across the floors to outdoors.
Right now my bathroom (the only one in this small house) is stripped back to the studs.
You can see the ground under the house through cracks in the floor, if you look up from the shower you see into the attic, and into a line of stored chairs.

The bathroom sink is disconnected.

There is a sense having a lot to organize in the next 6 weeks.

Taking a deep breath.

~ ~ ~

I want to share the view of the sky from my back door. This was taken at sunset on the day of Hurricane Charley.

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