Trauma Informed Meditation Teaching

Online Training with Pema Khandro – Learn at Your Own Pace
Includes 1 video recording.

Sometimes our own minds can be unbearable and intolerable. It is a reality that most people do not deal with until they have to – how body and mind can become injured, an injury that no one can see but which silently takes over our lives and disorients our sense of self. This is what trauma can be like. It is a terrible experience that sticks or one we cannot so easily become unstuck from.

This issue of how the past can remain present is one that is a deep concern of Buddhist philosophy, so Buddhism and Trauma theory are natural conversation partners for so many reasons. One interesting intersection is in concern over meditation and its goals. Both share this interest in how a person can learn to let go of the past, how to re-inhabit the body in a present-moment way (even when that can be difficult or horrific). They both share this concern with rewiring the nervous system to reign in present moment awareness in the midst of extreme states.

Another shared concern between Buddhism and trauma theory is how the body can stay stuck in past states, even without the mind realizing why. There is this whole process, of healing, that involves coming back into integration with bodily experience. Learning how to safely feel the body and how to calm and soothe ourselves viscerally. The good news of trauma and meditation is that it is possible to heal from trauma and that meditation can help. But the reality is that meditation does not actually always help. This course explores what it means to be a trauma informed meditation instructor. Some of the questions Pema Khandro addresses are:

What do we do when sitting in silence makes things worse?

What about those for whom meditation increases anxiety?

What happens if someone has PTSD flashbacks when meditating?