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May 25, 2024. Regulating the Nervous System in Spiritual Work
Spiritual work involves engaging the life-force energy in a process that takes one out of identification with the limited, individual form, so that consciousness can be “awakened” to its true nature and function (however that might be articulated in any given tradition or school of thought). This process can produce “stress” and “arousal” in ways that can trigger the physiological and psychological organism’s survival instincts. In order for this stress to produce growth rather than system shut-down (fight, flight, or freeze), the body’s nervous system needs to be regulated and resilient. A regulated nervous system has the ability to move flexibly between different states of arousal in response to stressors. What are some ways to assess and cultivate our capacity to move flexibly between states? What is the importance of self-regulation and co-regulation on the spiritual path? How might understanding these concepts help deepen our practice, mitigate some of the confusions that can arise in navigating spiritual practices and groups, and enrich our ongoing lives individually and with others?

Speaker: Clelia Vahni Lewis is the author of Stainless Heart: The Wisdom of Remorse, and is a freelance editor specializing in works of dharma, spiritual practice, self-help, and memoir.

Previous talks in 2024:
May 11, 2024. The Only Grace Is Loving God (Mary Angelon Young)
April 27, 2024. If You Don't Act Right, You Don't Feel Right (Matthew Files)
April 13, 2024. Walking the Razor's Edge: A Talk on Attention (Juanita Violini)
March 30, 2024. Spiritual Practice in a Human Body (Myosho Ginny Matthews)
March 16, 2024. Teachings of Dune: Clues for Living Like a Human from the Writings of Frank Herbert (Bandhu Dunham)
March 2, 2024. The Power of Identification (Red Hawk)
February 17, 2024. What the Heck is a Guru? (Rick Lewis)
February 3, 2024. Calling in Our Angels: Protectors, Friends, Guides and Midwives for Transitions Through Life and Death (Regina Sara Ryan)
January 20, 2024. An Ethical Will: What Values Can We Pass on to Future Generations? (Elise Erro/e.e.)
January 6, 2024. Gurdjieff's Aphorisms: Essence of a Teaching (Carl Grimsman)