265 episodes

Action-oriented mindfulness in life and in therapy.

Active Pause Active Pause

    • Education
    • 4.3 • 36 Ratings

Action-oriented mindfulness in life and in therapy.

    Peter Levine reflects on his life and work

    Peter Levine reflects on his life and work

    Peter Levine talks with Serge Prengel about his personal journey through trauma. He describes how the development of Somatic Experiencing was deeply grounded in science as well as his intuitive connection to the ineffable dimension of life.

    Peter A Levine, Ph.D., is the developer of Somatic Experiencing®, a naturalistic and neurobiological approach to healing trauma. He holds doctorates in both Biophysics and Psychology. He is the Founder and President of the Ergos Institute for Somatic Education and the Founder and Advisor for Somatic Experiencing International. He has received Lifetime Achievement awards from Psychotherapy Networker and from the US Association for Body-Oriented Psychotherapy. He continues to teach trauma healing workshops internationally. Learn more at somaticexperiencing.com.

    Dr. Levine is the author of several best-selling books on trauma, including Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma (published in over 29 languages). Peter’s new book, An Autobiography of Trauma: A Healing Journey is available at Ergos Institute and all major online booksellers. 

    • 42 min
    A framework for embodied meditation

    A framework for embodied meditation

    There are many ways to meditate. One of them is to think of meditation as an active pause. That is, a moment when we are not doing something in the conventional sense of doing something, but we are not passive either.

    Our intention is to be mindfully aware of our experience, moment by moment. Specifically, our bodily experience, such as our breathing and our posture. It does not mean that there are no thoughts, feelings, or other distractions. Of course, there are plenty of those. It simply means that we use meditation time to practice being more in a sensing mode, i.e., directing our attention to sensations as opposed to thoughts. The thoughts, feelings and other distractions keep occurring, but we remember to keep bringing our attention back to sensing.

    So, what is it that we sense? Generally, we notice what calls for our attention. That is, areas where we experience some sort of discomfort or tension. When we only pay attention to the squeeky wheel of experience, we miss out on a big part of our inner experience, the parts of our body that respond to stress by shutting down or collapsing.

    A lot opens up when we start bringing our awareness to these parts. I invited Merete Holm Brantbjerg to talk about why it is important to pay attention to the parts of us that are silent and invisible, and how to do it.

    Merete developed Relational Trauma Therapy, a psychomotor and systems-oriented approach specialized in including the invisible parts of us. She is an international trainer, group leader, and therapist based in Denmark. See her website and our other conversations .

    You will get the most out of this 20-minute video if you actively participate, following Merete’s instructions, the way you would if you were listening to the presentation live.

    Belo, you will find a brief recap of the video’s ideas, followed by an edited transcript of the video.

    Brief recap

    As you sit in your chair, you are sensing the contact of your feet on the ground and your sitting bones in your chair. Notice how your breating responds to your feeling more grounded.

    Experiment with ways to bring energy to your collapsed parts:

    * Sense both of your feet and then make a tiny little push with them, a tiny little push into the ground.

    * Try the same thing with just the outside of your feet..

    * And try it with just the inside of your feet.

    * Put your palms together. Then, push your hands gently into each other.

    * Instead ot the palms meeting, let the fingertips of each hand press gently against each oher.

    * Let your elbows find the back of the chair and make q tiny little push.

    * Shape your hands into hooks and pull with your fingers in each direction.

    In everything that you do, experiment with dosage. Try gently, and even more gently.

    Edited transcript of Merete’s talk

    I have worked with trauma therapy for many years. That’s not our context today. When you work with trauma, you notice that some things are gone. They’re gone from memory. They’re gone from sensory awareness.

    • 23 min
    Pablo Márquez: Photography as a meditative process

    Pablo Márquez: Photography as a meditative process

    Serge Prengel talks with photographer Pablo Márquez about his meditative approach to photography. Pablo describes how his art emerges from his being present. We hope this will inspire you to experiment with photography as a mindful practice.

    Pablo Márquez is a Mexican photographer whose work has been exhibited internationally. His photography reflects his committed to the human spirit in connection with Nature. See website.

    • 36 min
    Linda Modaro & Nelly Kaufer: Reflective Meditation

    Linda Modaro & Nelly Kaufer: Reflective Meditation

    Serge Prengel talks with Linda Modaro and Nelly Kaufer about their gentle, inspiring approach to meditation practice and self-discovery.

    Linda Modaro and Nelly Kaufer are the authors of: Reflective Meditation: Cultivating Kindness and Curiosity in the Buddha’s Company.

    Linda Modaro is spiritual director and lead teacher of Sati Sangha, an online meditation community. She also mentors teachers and offers ethical reflecting for Buddhist teachers. Formerly an Acupuncturist and master of Qi Gong, Linda created a bestselling four-part Qi Gong video series, Discovering Chi (1995).

    Nelly Kaufer is founder and lead teacher at Pine Street Sangha, a meditation center in Portland, Oregon. A psychotherapist in private practice, she integrates Buddhist psychology into her clinical orientation as well as in continuing education workshops for mental health professionals. Nelly has co-authored several books, including A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Renewal (Harper, 1994).

    See their website.

    • 31 min
    Raja Selvam: Embodying emotions

    Raja Selvam: Embodying emotions

    Serge Prengel talks with Raja Selvam about developing the capacity for emotions by making more room for them in the body.

    Dr. Raja Selvam, PhD, who has taught in over twenty five  countries on six continents, is a licensed clinical psychologist from California, a senior trainer in Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing (SE) professional trauma training programs, and the developer of Integral Somatic Psychology (ISP), a science-backed, body-based, and emotion-focused complementary approach designed to reduce treatment times and improve diverse outcomes in all therapy modalities including existing body psychotherapy approaches. He is the author of the best-selling book The Practice of embodying emotions: A Guide for improving cognitive, emotional, and behavioral outcomes.

    His work is informed by older body psychotherapy systems (Reichian Therapy, Bioenergetic Analysis), newer body psychotherapy systems (Bodynamic Analysis, Somatic Experiencing), and bodywork systems (Postural Integration, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy). It is also inspired by Jungian and archetypal psychologies, Kleinian and intersubjective schools of psychoanalysis, affective neuroscience, quantum physics, yoga, Polarity Therapy, and Advaita Vedanta (spiritual psychology from India). See: www.integralsomaticpsychology.com. 

    • 52 min
    Seth Zuihō Segall: In praise of Pluralism

    Seth Zuihō Segall: In praise of Pluralism

    Serge Prengel talks with Seth Zuihō Segall about his journey, making sense of life through the practice of psychology, Buddhism, and philosophy. We talk about values, and the importance of pluralism in modern liberal democratic societies.

    Seth Zuihō Segall, Ph.D. is a Zen Buddhist priest at Pamsula Zen of Westchester and a guest teacher at the New York Insight Meditation Center. He was formerly Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at the Yale University School of Medicine, and Director of Psychology at Waterbury Hospital.

    Seth’s most recent book is The House We Live in: Virtue, Wisdom, and Pluralism (2023). He is also the author of Encountering Buddhism: Western Psychology and Buddhist Teachings (2003), Buddhism and Human Flourishing: A Modern Western Perspective (2020), Living Zen: A Practical Guide to a Peaceful, Positive, and Balanced Life (2020), and chapters in The Routledge Handbook on the Philosophy of Meditation (2022) and the Handbook of Positive Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality (2022). He is a contributing editor for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, a review editor for The Humanistic Psychologist, and the science writer for the Mindfulness Research Monthly.

    See also a one-minute excerpt of this conversation as “the mindful practice of pluralism.”

    See also other conversation with Seth Zuihō Segall.

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
36 Ratings

36 Ratings

sbfeley ,

Somatic geek

I am a geek and psychotherapist and I am loving the condensed versions of the somatic practices in these approachable conversations! So glad this podcast exists.

Jennywawa88 ,

It has potential, but….

I could make a list of things that would make this podcast better. It’s boring.

Boppy12 ,

Great interviews

I just started listening to this podcast and have already saved more episodes than any other I subscribe to. At first I was annoyed by interviewer's voice and style, especially when he interrupts. However, I am beginning to appreciate that perhaps he is trying to slow down his enthusiastic guests and summarize so audience can digest. Sometimes his recaps are more helpful than others, but it does give listener a chance to breathe. I would love to have some guests come back, especially Raja Selvam.

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