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Of Vipassana, The Trauma of Birth, and Swords of Healing

Posted by Anjuelle Floyd | Filed under Articles and Essays, Relationships

Peace, a photo by TT IN THE DESERT on Flickr.

Peace hath higher tests of manhood Than battle ever knew. ~John Greenleaf Whittier

Buddhist teacher and vipassana meditation teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, once said, To bring about peace we [human individuals] must learn to live with peace. Agamemnon, brother of Menelaus and wife of Clytemnestra, declares in Homers Iliad, Peace is for the women, and the weak. Empires are forged by war. While Clytemnestras role is unclear in Homers Odyssey, according to the Iliad, Agamemnon dies at the hands of wife when, stepping from the bath, on its very edge, [as] she [Clytaemnestra] threw a cloak like a tent over it, fettered her husband in an embroidered robe, and cut him down. Stanislav Grof, the avid astrologer and European psychiatrist who pioneered the field of Transpersonal Psychology and developed Holotropic Breath Work, asserts that the first emotional trauma we suffer is that of birth, leaving our mothers womb and entering life on earth. All actions following the delivery of a infant need to assist in closing the emotional rupture of being expelled from the warm, soothing and protective uterus.

Words spoken to an infant while holding her or him mend the wound of physical separation rent at birth. He, like many others believes that everything that occurs within our lives, all human interactions are but an externalization of our internal world. Tom Jenks, former editor of Esquire, and presently co-editor of Narrative Magazine, asserts in his Advanced Writing Workshops that good dialogue, works like a swords fight, each character wielding his words in sharp and incisive fashion that increases tension and raises the stakes. What would happen in life if we wielded our words to breaking down barriers, and slice through the layers of pretense and defensiveness that separate us both within and divide us without? What if our words became swords that healed our wounds, mending us to each other, and ourselves?
Tags: Advanced Writing Workshops, Agamemnon, astrologer, birth trauma, Buddhist teacher, Clytemnestra, dialogue, Flickr, healing, Holotropic Breath Work, Homer, Iliad, mending, Menelaus, Mother Teresa, Narrative Magazine, odyssey, peace, psychiatrist, Stanislav Grof, sword fight, swords, Thich Nhat Hanh, Tom Jenks, Transpersonal Psychology, TTIN THE DESERT, vipassana meditation, wounds