12 episodes

The Windhorse Journal’s mission is to inspire compassionate approaches to recovering sanity.

We do this by creating an evolving forum dedicated to exploring contemplative psychotherapy and the creation of therapeutic environments for the wellbeing of all persons involved. We envision this to be a rich dialogue among people with lived experience, family members, psychology professionals, and anyone interested in whole person-mental health and the diverse expressions of human sanity.

Windhorse Journal Podcast Windhorse Community Services

    • Mental Health

The Windhorse Journal’s mission is to inspire compassionate approaches to recovering sanity.

We do this by creating an evolving forum dedicated to exploring contemplative psychotherapy and the creation of therapeutic environments for the wellbeing of all persons involved. We envision this to be a rich dialogue among people with lived experience, family members, psychology professionals, and anyone interested in whole person-mental health and the diverse expressions of human sanity.

    Finding the Right Relationship

    Finding the Right Relationship

    Dear Listeners,
    Please find the latest WCS Journal podcast here.
    We’re delighted to be sharing the second part of a conversation we had about a year ago with Elizabeth Mattis Namgyal; a spiritual friend of Windhorse Community Services and gifted Buddhist teacher and author. Closely following the publication in 2018 of her second book, The Logic Of Faith, we had posted Part One of this conversation (entry #021), under the title “Taking Faith Apart.” For both podcasts she was joined by Gretchen Kahre, who is a close friend of hers and a senior Windhorse clinician.
    If you’re familiar with her work, you know what a fresh voice Elizabeth brings as a teacher. She communicates with warmth, curiosity, and fluidity, which for me invariably has the effect of raising my awareness and lightening my heart. Elizabeth is one of those unusual Buddhist teachers who as a westerner, fully embodies what she’s talking about. In listening to her there is no cultural leap to make—the only leap required comes from her invitation to connect with our curiosity and open heart; to step beyond habitual ways of looking at our minds and the world around us.
    In this particular conversation, Elizabeth and Gretchen are primarily focusing on two principles that are foundation to the Windhorse Approach; that we are fundamentally sane, or to use Chogyam Trungpa’s term, basically good, and that we’re also completely interdependent with our environments. When we can connect with and cultivate environments that are compassionate and wholesome, or put another way, “sane,” we invite our intrinsic sanity to be ever more present. And in a striking counter-intuitive twist of conventional logic, Elizabeth also suggests that as we become more confident in our basic health, we may make a discovery about our confusion; that by comparison to the unconditional nature of our sanity, our confusion is actually quite fragile.
    For those of you who are familiar with Elizabeth’s teaching, I think you’ll be pleased to find her in great form here. For those of you who are unfamiliar with her, this is an excellent place to jump-in. You’re about to hear a brilliant teacher who is not just speaking as a woman, but as a genuine voice of the feminine principle—that kind of wisdom which transcends gender, clearly seeing reality as it is, as compared to only how it appears. May this touch your heart and draw you closer to her powerful body of work.
    Happy Listening,
    Chuck Knapp

    https://windhorsecommunityservices.com/3117-2-p/

    • 28 min
    Integrating the Personal Experience of Trauma

    Integrating the Personal Experience of Trauma

    Dear Listeners,
    The following discussion on trauma captures only a small part of the story.  It is the honest and heartfelt accounts of two individuals (and Windhorse clinicians)—Polly Banerjee Gallagher and myself. We were chosen to share our stories, not because we are special or that our stories are unique, nor that we have completed a process of working with our traumas. Rather, we speak because the experience of trauma is ubiquitous; it is known to all.   And in sharing we desire for you who listen to find some peace in your own stories.
    However ubiquitous trauma is, it does not manifest in a single form.  Trauma is as unique in its expression in our lives as we are in our expression of ourselves in the world…  Because of this reality, there is no discussion of a single way to treat trauma, or even the idea that trauma is something that can be treated away.  What you will find are stories of acceptance and integration, of a living on-going process, of a recognition that our traumas are not a thing to be removed or hidden, but a part of our lives.  This is not to say that trauma defines us or determines our value, only that it is what we make of it.
    We wish for you to listen to these stories with an open heart and open mind, that you may find some place of resonance with us as tellers and offer compassion for our vulnerability.  And, in doing so, may you offer yourself the same kindness, and compassion in your personal journey to make friends with your trauma.
    Warm regards,
    Dave Dunlap

    • 41 min
    Attending Community

    Attending Community

    Welcome!
    In this podcast, Jamie Emery and I explore our connection to Windhorse Community Services, a community we have been members of for over three decades. Windhorse is an intentional community and clinical service that works with people who experience the complexity of extreme states. It is a place that stretches, grows and cultivates health. It is a place to overcome loneliness and isolation—where people come to feel valued as they are.
    The Windhorse community is a diverse array of families, clients and staff who have joined in partnership to explore the workings of community and how it can promote health. What draws us together and binds us is deeply personal and yet universal… At Windhorse, we trust and know that we are intrinsically healthy and sane, that we are inseparable from our environment, and that recovery is possible and mutual for all.
    Over the years, much like a tree growing toward maturity, there are rings that reflect seasons of both abundance and drought. We have learned much as we cycled through these together. In this season we find ourselves in a time of transformative tension: a precursor to growth. We are harnessing the intelligence of community—by promoting and listening to all voices with their unique perspective and offerings. We are deeply reflecting on elements of our work: where there is cohesion, up-uplifted and wholesome engagement as well as areas of diminishment and lost vitality. We are putting into practice what we know to be true: when an environment is synchronized, mutual recovery is possible, and with the belief in basic goodness our community can thrive and most importantly be sustained. In this season of growth, we seek balance between the evolving architecture essential for a functioning business and the fluid space within—crucial for our hearts and minds to flourish. Confidence arises, and our community is best served when this balance is struck.
    We hope that you, the listener, will take in what Jamie and I share and make a personal reflection on what communities you are involved in—a closer look, perhaps, from a new perspective based on listening to the podcast.
    With appreciation,
    Eugenie Morton

    • 31 min
    Radical Self Acceptance: the Practice of Maitri Space Awareness, Pt 1

    Radical Self Acceptance: the Practice of Maitri Space Awareness, Pt 1

    Dear Friends,
    Maitri Space Awareness practice, as described in this Podcast, has played a very significant role in my personal and professional life and development.
    I was first introduced to this view and practice at the (then) Naropa Institute in the summer of 1977. The class was taught by Marvin Casper who—as indicated in the Podcast—was instrumental in the early therapeutic development and application of the work with these practices and in the subsequent development of such practices as a key element in the training of Contemplative psychotherapists. This was my introduction to meditation and Space Awareness practice…
    Before this, I was a Social Worker and Therapist for many years and was curious about the dialogue between Eastern and Western Psychology. So, this class provided a seminal glimpse for me into this dialogue.
    These practices are taught initially experientially, meaning that the theoretical framework of each aspect of these teachings isn’t brought into the discussion until after one has had the experience.  I very much appreciate the integrity of this approach as a way to have the learning be less theoretical and conceptual and more coming from an inner felt sense of the practice.
    My first experience of the rooms was to have a definite bodily sense of the difference between these five psychological and personality types. For example, there was a sense of embodying the quality of equanimity that wasn’t just an insight. These qualities are cultivated by the color, posture and certain elements of each room.  The result was that I had a glimpse into the relative nature of these psychological qualities and also how changeable they are and can be. Thus, it created a feeling of permeability with any given narrative or style that I or a client might identify with.
    After this class, I did continue on for graduate studies at the Naropa Institute for a degree in East/West Psychology. And in that context I had the opportunity to deepen my study and practice of meditation and Maitri Space Awareness further in the form of a 90-day retreat.
    This all became the bedrock for my understanding of the Contemplative approach to therapy and also for Therapeutic Communities.  And it is this understanding that my fellow Windhorse clinicians and I explore in our discussion.
    Thank you for listening,
    Kathy Emery

    • 32 min
    Radical Self Acceptance: the Practice of Maitri Space Awareness, Pt 2

    Radical Self Acceptance: the Practice of Maitri Space Awareness, Pt 2

    Dear Friends,
    We conclude a short series on the contemplative practice of Maitri Space Awareness with a podcast. This is the second half of a conversation among clinicians Kathy Emery, Anne Marie DiGiacomo, Daniel Green, and Jeremy Ellis.
    In it, they discuss how maitri—as “unlimited friendliness”—has shown up in their personal contemplative practice and each one’s work. They also address its impact on the community at large, as acceptance of the variety of mind states within oneself allows space for others. Jeremy, Daniel, Anne Marie, and Kathy illustrate—through personal anecdotes and musings—how paying more attention leads to a bigger view of every situation, and a commitment to stay with it despite any discomfort… This collective sense of the workability of all that arises is an expression of the heart of Windhorse.
    Thank you for listening,

    • 20 min
    TRAINING OUR INNATE CARE & CONCERN – Part 3 of the dialogues on tsewa.

    TRAINING OUR INNATE CARE & CONCERN – Part 3 of the dialogues on tsewa.

    Dear Readers,
    Over the past year, Windhorse Journal has presented five entries on the topic of TSEWA. The entry you’re now reading will be the sixth. By now, it could be said, we have some kind of fascination with tsewa.
    Admittedly, six journal entries examining a Tibetan word is perhaps excessive. Since there are two additional tsewa related entries planned for the near future, it might be a little premature to cry “excessive!” just yet. Let’s instead say that our present fascination with tsewa would be more accurately identified as “inspiration”.
    In 2018, Shambhala Publications released Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche’s Training in Tenderness: Buddhist Teachings on TSEWA, the Radical Openness of Heart That Can Change the World. After spending some time with the book, we’ve concluded that the subtitle’s bold-sounding claim is not at all hyperbolic. If you have not already acquired a copy of this book, we encourage you to do so soon. We have posted several sections from the book in past Journal Entries (#009, #024,#036) if you’d like to sample. We’ve also produced podcasts from our conversations about the book with Kongtrul Rinpoche (#010,#025,#037).
    Far from some overly-simplistic plea of “can’t-we-just-all-get-along?”, Rinpoche’s presentation of tsewa, the warmth and care that naturally rises in our hearts, is deeply rooted in the ancient wisdom traditions of several streams of Buddhist practice and philosophy. Far from some dogmatic religious tome, Rinpoche’s concerns stand firm and clear in service to address human suffering without agenda or particular affiliation.
    Tsewa is your innate human inheritance. It is, at the very least, evidenced by the constant concern we experience for our own well-being. It is further indicated by the strong feelings of care we have for those closest to us. Those feelings of warmth, affection and care go a long way toward sustaining us, but through training and contemplation, everybody we encounter can become the genuine object of our tsewa. The positive effects of caring for just a few people are self-evident. If we can learn to extend that care outward, beyond our most intimate circle, then the positive effects of tsewa become immeasurable.
    It is our sincere hope that you find the ideas in this podcast and in Training In Tenderness as convincing, challenging, inspiring and revolutionary as we have.
    TSEWA!
    Michael Velasco

    • 42 min

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