TedX Boulder: Falling into Grace

 

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Deborah Bowman presents lessons learned from a climbing accident.

Some nights, stay up until dawn, like the moon does for the sun.Be a full bucket, pulled up the dark way of a well, then lifted into the light.                     Rumi

After my fall, I was lifted up by the grace of presence itself. Yet I recognize this lifting up as something we must do daily to stay awake to the gifts we are given.

There is no way to come up the well but the dark way.  We blow it, in big ways and small, and we suffer real consequences. We need examine our failings and our fears and then let them go.  May all of us, you and I, be a bucket full of lessons, overflowing with wisdom and love.

Click here to listen to Deborah’s 2014 TedX talk!

Click here to read more of Deborah’s articles about psychotherapy and healing.

Click here to learn about the Journey of the Feminine retreat in Costa Rica.

Finding Healing in Pain

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Lotus Bud at the Bangkok Market           Photo: D. Bowman

“Don’t you know that afflictions are nothing more than wisdom?  And that the purest of blossoms emerges from the mire?”                                                                                                                                                                                   Benming

The 10th century Buddhist nun, Benming, captures a striking human truth in her poetic question —that wisdom and affliction are intimately related.  If we had no afflictions, no pain, no struggle, no hard decisions; how could wisdom ever blossom?

Wisdom is the ability to see clearly into the most difficult of situations and imagine the least harmful intervention. This wisdom is born out of the mire of one’s own suffering and mistakes.  We only learn to free others of pain from having learned to free ourselves.  

A wise person waits patiently when submerged in the mire until a clear vision arises. Feeling her roots spread out in the mud and reaching her tendrils towards the light, wisdom arises gracefully like a lotus bud in a healing gesture.  

Waiting for that moment when mind and heart arise together in spontaneous repair can feel like watching mud settle; it works, but waiting can feel like forever when we are hurting.  Patience is often something we learn because we have so very little choice and impatience will just heap suffering on top of suffering.  

We remember how the purest of blossoms and the mud are inter-mixed when we are seriously afflicted and a friend bring us flowers at the hospital. Friends, like the lotus blooming from the mire, are there for us at times of need. In the same way, we can learn to befriend ourselves and others when there is suffering.

Learn about the Journey of the Feminine Retreat in Costa Rica, December 2019.

Click here to see Deborah’s psychotherapy and event website.

Guardians of the Mind

“Learning to discover the treasure within you is the most worthwhile thing in the world.  If you can put this into practice, you can live freshly, with a mind open like the sky, always overflowing with compassion.”        Daehaeng Sunim

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Asuras, temple in Angkor Wat, Cambodia    photo: D. Bowman

In Buddhist philosophy and poetry, the sky is often a stunning metaphor for mind; infinitely spacious, clear and compassionate. These figures, Apsuras, are protectors of the sky and in the image appear to be standing in guard of the temple and the secrets to the treasure of mind that the temple represents

The secret is actually no secret at all.  It’s just so close to our nose that we don’t see it at all.  Like the sky, the mind is transparent yet all-pervasive.  The depth of understanding that the mind affords us leads directly to a compassionate view of all of life, including ourselves and every human being.  

Yet mind’s clarity is often obscured by the clouds of our confusion.  Clouds we inherit from the prejudice of our culture and clouds we pile on through our habitual patterns and personal prejudice.  We pre-judge all of experience through the overcast lens of our past experience and foggy hopes for the future.   

The temple of the mind needs to be continually blown clean for us to see clearly, to see reality just as it is and to open our hearts with overflowing compassion for both life suffering and and life beauty.   The practice of mindfulness is like the wind, helping us see clearly what is right under our nose.  And noticing the breath, like a gentle wind, can be a companion guardian of the temple.   

Visit my website dbowmanphd.com to learn about mindfulness in psychotherapy and the Journey of the Feminine retreat in Costa Rica.

Journey of the Feminine: Creativity, Community & Compassionate Action

The feminine is understood as healing and embracing the whole; the whole our ourselves, our community and our planet. We invite you to join our small circle of creative healing so that you may bring your whole self into healing the larger circles of our world.   

Click here to learn more this workshop!

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Together we will create a container of safety and discovery to re-member the inherent gifts of the feminine in our lives.  Your guides will facilitate sharing, guided meditations, sacred ritual and expressive exercises.

Join Sue Wallingford and Deborah Bowman in Costa Rica for this workshop! December 8 – 14, 2019

Deborah Bowman, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, certified Gestalt therapist and has been in private practice for 32 years.  She is a retired Naropa University professor where she founded Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, Wilderness Therapy and the Naropa Community Counseling center.  She was a founding member of the Boulder Friends of Jung and facilitates the dream-painting process. Deborah is author of several books including The Female Buddha: Discovering the Heart of Liberation and Love. She enjoys hiking, birdwatching, photography and haiku.

Sue Wallingford, MA, LPC, ATR is licensed professional counselor, registered art therapist and associate professor in the Mindfulness-based Transpersonal Counseling Program, in the Graduate School of Psychology at Naropa University. She founded Boulder Art Therapy Collective and Naropa’s Community Art Studio-International, most recently known as Partners for Social Justice, where the aim is to collaborate with other socially minded organizations to inspire creativity, healing and compassionate action in the world. Sue is an artist and lover of the outdoors and nature. She is a part time resident of Tamarindo.

Click here to learn more about this workshop!

 

Client Access Fund – Naropa Community Counseling

You can help someone in need by sharing and/or giving to the Client Access Fund at the Naropa Community counseling center.

Click on this link – NCC Client Access Fund – to find out how a small donation can make the difference in someone’s life by giving them access to counseling sessions that they could not afford.

Share this link – NCC Client Access Fund – with your friends and contacts to help spread the word.

Currently all donations are doubled by a matching grant.  Because of this match each donation of $15 offers someone an additional psychotherapy session that could help them complete therapy.

Be a Boddhisattva Now!

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Year of the Earth Pig 2019 – Completing a Cycle

I love Mommy Mystic’s yearly commentary on the lunar cycle. This year it is the Earth Pig. She references mythology from around the world as well as children’s stories!

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Feb 5 2019 through through Jan 24 2020 is the year of the earth pig

Welcome to the year of the Earth Pig! Conventional interpretations of pig years within Eastern astrological systems are mostly very positive – pig years are considered to be times of abundance and good fortune (which we could all use.) Individuals born in the year of the pig are generally considered responsible, fortunate, and friendly. Of course, there are subtler messages to be gleaned within this general reading, so here is my annual intuitive exploration, using the pig as it is represented across many different cultures as a guide. Enjoy!

Tibetan astrology cycle – although the animal symbols are not all the same as the Chinese system, the pig/boar is the last of the 12 year cycle in both

The pig is the last of the 12 signs in the Eastern astrological systems that adhere…

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Deborah Bowman: Naropa’s Transpersonal Therapy Program

Share more history at Naropa, Passing the Torch, June 2 event!

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The newest episode of our university podcast, ‘Mindful U at Naropa University,’ is out on iTunes, Stitcher, and Fireside now! We are excited to announce this week’s episode features Naropa faculty Deborah Bowman, Dean of the Graduate School of Counseling and Psychologyand founder of theTranspersonal Counseling Psychology and theWilderness Therapyprograms at Naropa.

play-icon Episode 28: Deborah Bowman: Naropa’s Transpersonal Therapy Program

“The work of Carl Jung and of Stanislav Grof – as well as many others – have been under an umbrella of “transpersonal psychology,” a field that was developed in the ’50s as an extension of humanistic psychology. Abraham Maslow first developed humanistic psychology – a framework around many other professionals who were developing that branch of psychology, such as Fritz Perls and Carl Rogers, but Maslow defined the field. However, when Maslow studied individuals who were exceptional, he found that they all…

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Naropa Introduces 2-Year Hybrid Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling Program

This hybrid program makes it possible to stay in your community, keep your job and earn a Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree in a Mindfulness-based Transpersonal oriented program.

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Transform Yourself While Keeping Your Zip Code

The master’s degree program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling is a 60-credit hour program that offers theoretical grounding in transpersonal psychology along with rigorous clinical and mindfulness training.

Start in June and study through a combination of online coursework, and on-campus and retreat intensives. Complete the degree in two years.

Learn more about the 2-year Hybrid Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling concentration.

As a student in Naropa University’s Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling concentration—part of the MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling program—you will not only explore human mental and emotional health, but you will also delve into mindfulness, meditation, Gestalt awareness as well as different states of consciousness, and the nature of creativity to help clients—and yourself—live the most joyous life possible. Through academic course work, deep introspection, including your own psychotherapy and mindfulness training, you will come to a greater…

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KGNU Interview with Sue Wallingford

Sue’s work is such an excellent example of service learning providing outreach to an important population in need, children and adults who have been victims of the sex trade.

Naropa Community Art Studio-International

Art Therapy to help sex trafficking victims

Posted: February 4, 2016 at 3:51 pm by KGNU, in Breaking News, Featured, Morning Magazine

“(it’s) a way to make some sort of meaning to what feels completely incomprehensible.”

Sue Wallingford, Associate Professor in the graduate school of psychology at Naropa University in Boulder has been working alongside a group of her students to bring art therapy to women and children who have been trafficked in the sex industry in Cambodia.

“There’s a high risk of sex trade in South East Asia, particularly in Cambodia and its bordering countries of Thailand Laos and Vietnam because that’s where victims are usually trafficked to and from.” Cambodia is on the State Departments tier 2 trafficking watch list which means that the country has a significant number of trafficking victims. It is estimated that 1/3 of sex trafficking victims are below the age…

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