Essays

Translating Spirituality for Traumatized People


By Deborah Boyar

I often feel the need to "translate" spiritual teachings so that they will be understood by people who have suffered trauma:

"When we rest in the unconditioned mind, we are healed."

The emotional body and the autonomic nervous system might or might not be healed from resting in the unconditioned mind alone. The emotional body often also needs the attunement and interactive regulation of another caring, present, embodied human nervous system that is willing, unafraid, and impassioned to mirror you and feel what you feel, right along with you. The autonomic nervous system might also need specific support for trauma resolution -- for example, the tools and principles of Somatic Experiencing.

"When we rest in the unconditioned mind it is impossible to worry about a fear."

Yet there are times when we rest in the unconditioned mind, and agitation simultaneously persists at the oldest level of our brain, the reptilian area, where we negotiate survival and experience fight, flight, or freeze responses. This is very common with dysregulated nervous systems, and nothing to be ashamed about.

 

Deborah Boyar
  Saniel's Introduction to Deborah
  The Nature of my Work
  The Heart of Our Process
  The Rot
  Translating Spirituality for Traumatized People
  Spirituality and Trauma
  Mythical Kings and Iguanas
  Quiet Friend
  Beloved Quotes
  Testimonials