Dharma Spirit

 

Dharma (c)Kazuaki Tanahash Dharma (c)Kazuaki Tanahash Om


Psychotherapy Sessions

Psychotherapy sessions for individuals and couples available by appointment. Initial half-session free consultation. Call (415) 492-1042 to discuss your questions and interests.

Groups, Practice Sessions and Classes

Note: No classes or workshops are being offered at this time.

Transformation Groups: Awareness & Skills to Transform Trauma
Meditation, Pranayama, & Prana: Awakening Awareness & Life Force
Sacred Dimensions of Relationship: Deepening Connection with Self & Others




Transformation Groups:

Awareness & Skills to Transform Trauma

Note: No classes or workshops are being offered at this time.

Download the flyer Transformation Groups:
Awareness & Skills to Transform Trauma
pdf

Download the handout Wellbeing Tool Kit
Download the handout Self Care Daily Reflection


“I can feel very alone in this journey, but I don't have to take this journey in isolation. We are conditioned by our society and culture not to talk about our pain. But if we don't talk, if we don't create a language to express our feelings, healing will not take place. We will continue to store up and re-create the cycles of suffering. What is helpful and necessary in this process is a safe container such as a therapeutic environment or a community of like-minded people who can assist, help, support, and encourage each other in this process of waking up.”
~ Claude Anshin Thomas, “At Hell's Gate: A Soldier's Journey from War to Peace”

“Coming out of isolation and separation is, in and of itself, healing. One of the most inspiring parts of group sessions is being part of a larger emerging wisdom. When people practice with others who have similar backgrounds, they discover they are not alone. They experience kinship. Over the duration of the group, participants learn from each other, and contribute to each other through both their struggles and their triumphs. And by holding strong common intentions, the group becomes a community of support and authentic inquiry.”
~ Dierdre Fay MSW, “Becoming Safely Embodied Skills Manual”

 

Trauma arises from any event or enduring circumstance that is markedly distressing and overwhelms your ability to cope with a perceived threat to your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual well being. The traces of big and small trauma that remain in your nervous system and mind can be released, freeing a new relationship with your self and your life.

Transformation Groups focus on the development of new capacities to transform past traumatic experience. Because revealing much of one's “story” can trigger yourself or others, this group's focus is not on talking about our history. Instead, the group is dedicated to helping you develop the awareness and practical skills to create safety, stability, and support; develop internal and external resources; transform your relationship to past trauma; promote mind-body-emotion regulation and integration; and create the conditions for optimal personal and relational health and well-being. This group may be a valuable adjunct to individual therapy or a first step toward exploring your relationship with your past.

I strive to create a safe, peaceful, and fun group environment that supports stability and well being during the group and in your life. Each week will draw upon practical tools of mindful awareness, self inquiry, mind-body awareness, conscious boundaries, and empowered choice to allow you to safely enter your internal world; begin to transform your mind and body into safe places for rest, reflection, and well being; and, take steps toward the life you want to live…

Week 1: Setting the Foundation
Practices that support safety, stability, and choice. Set intentions and group boundaries. Experiment with curiosity and fresh discovery.

Week 2: Belonging
Offset isolation and alienation, reconnect with the self, discover the threads of connection to others and the larger world.

Week 3: Mindful Awareness
Observe and notice without judgment, stay in the present, dis-identify from what is arising and triggers, develop the capacity to focus and direct attention, increase tolerance for internal kindness.

Week 4: Internal Information Flow: Thoughts/Feelings/Body Sensations
Build distinctions between thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, sustain awareness, notice habitual associations and deconstruct triggers.

Week 5: Separating Facts from Feelings
Separate facts from interpretations, evaluations, and habitual beliefs. Experience more calm if over-aroused and more energy if under-aroused, stay within your "window of tolerance."

Week 6: Addressing Parallel Lives
Separate the past from what is happening in the present. Discern between the adult/wise part of the self and those parts of the self that are triggered. Tools to actively notice triggers and choose adaptive responses.

Week 7: Working with Internal Parts
Stay centered in the neutral observing witness. Experiment with awareness and choice, support communication between different parts of the self, calm internal dys-regulation. Self-soothing strategies.

Week 8: Carving Out a New Path
Step-by-step means to change experience and choose new directions. Anticipate resistance. Identify small steps, support for success, and choices for the life you want to live.

Week 9: Telling & Retelling
Letting go of the old and developing new perspectives to observe your life. Discover empowered approaches to painful and entrenched life situations.

Week 10: Finding Guidance from an Older, Wiser Self
Access the inner wisdom that guides you through the challenges of healing from trauma. Listen more deeply to your inner “knowing” of your path and direction.

Week 11: Conscious Closure
Support for internal and external resources. Experience ending in a supportive, nurturing way. Integration and beyond.


Registration:

Note: No classes or workshops are being offered at this time.
Groups of 6-8 participants meet weekly for 1½ hours, for an on-going 11-week series. Day, evening, or weekend.
Contact Marilynne at (415) 492-1042 to discuss your interests and questions. Initial consultation prior to beginning the group.

Fee: $440 for the 11-week series. (Sliding scale available.)
Individual therapy available by appointment.

Cancellation Policy: Refund up to first session, credit thereafter.


May all that suffer find peace
May pain give rise to kindness and equanimity
May our intimate contact with suffering bring forth
A world of compassion and joy.




Practice Sessions

Note: No classes or workshops are being offered at this time.

Practice
Sessions are open to individuals, partners, and small groups up to 6 participants. For those new or for continuing students to deepen their practice. Individualized sessions or offered as a 10-week series. No prior experience is necessary.

Fee : $150 for 1½ hour session. (Sliding scale available) Individual and couples therapy sessions also available by appointment.


Meditation, Pranayama, & Prana: Awakening Awareness & Life Force

Mindfulness Meditation I
Introduction: Astanga yoga (8 limbs). Kosas. Mindfulness-awareness, silent sitting meditation.

Mindfulness Meditation II
Mantra and chanting. Mindfulness in everyday life: sitting and walking meditation.

Pranayama — The Breath of Life I
Conscious nutrition, eating meditation. Opening the Nadis. Lying pranayama: soft belly, diaphragmatic, Ujjayi.

Pranayama — The Breath of Life II
Mudra. P osture. Sitting pranayama: Ujjayi, sama/visama vrtti ,Viloma Inhalation, Viloma Exhalation.

Pranayama — The Breath of Life III
Sushumna, Ida, and Pingala Nadis. Sitting pranayama: Kapalabhati, Nadi Sodhana, Sitali/Sitkari, Bhramari.

Active Meditation — Awakening Energy
Awakening life force energy in authentic movement & silent stillness.

Active Meditation — Directing and Expanding Energy
Bandhas. Chakras. Sushumna breathing – clearing the nadis.

Active Meditation — Freeing Energy
Kriyas. Clearing physical and emotional blocks through dynamic movement and silent stillness.

Breathing Meditation — Transforming Energy
Dynamic breathing practice. Option: a supported breathing exploration using the Quantum Light Breath, a transformational breathing process.

Silent Practice — Cultivating Compassion
The Four Immeasurables. Tonglen practice. Deepening into silent stillness.

 

Sacred Dimensions of Relationship: Deepening Connection With Yourself and Others

Cultivating Self Awareness and Mindful Connection: Intentional Safety, Respect, and Openness
Generate wise intention and compassionate action. Create the physical and emotional conditions to be present and connected with yourself and another.

Conscious Communication: Expressing Truth, Deep Listening, & Attuned Connection
Create trust, authenticity, acceptance, and compassionate witnessing. Embrace and transform fear and resistance.

Cultivating Aliveness: Awakening and Expanding Energy
Explore breath & life force energy in movement, stillness, and connection with another.

Witnessing the Storm: Compassionate Presence, Inquiry, and Self Awareness
Embrace the cycle of harmony, disharmony, and repair. Develop external and internal boundaries, non-verbal presence, and energetic connection. Transform blocks to intimacy. Cultivate the art of inquiry and deep listening. Learn the skills of self-regulation and co-regulation.

Healing, Honoring, and Empowering the Temple of Your Body
Transform physical challenges, set compassionate intention, and honor the body's wisdom for your self and in relationship. Tonglen meditation.

The Sacred Art of Touch: Awakening Physical Awareness
Intention, boundaries, and reverence for sensory awareness and conscious touch. The gift of giving and receiving. No physical touch required during the session.

Yin & Yang Energy: Awakening the Feminine and Masculine Aspects of the Self
Embrace opposites with compassion & self awareness. Balance the under-developed polarity in your relationships as well as in different aspects of your life such as work, parenting, self care, living environment, and socially.

Energetic Connection: Developing Non-verbal Presence
Deepen attunement through breath & life force energy in movement, stillness, and authentic connection. Explore movement and breathing with a partner.

Awakened Heart: Expanding Wisdom and Compassion
Open to your inherent wisdom and compassion through integrating and embracing healing, intimacy, and transformation.



Practice Days

Note: No classes or workshops are being offered at this time.

Practice Days
are half-day workshops for those new or for continuing students to deepen their practice. While best taken in order as a series, they can also stand alone with no prior experience.

Note: Practice Days have been postponed. Should they resume, they likely will be held at:
Yoga Garden Studio in San Anselmo, a sanctuary to nourish body, mind, heart & soul.
Stress Management Center in Larkspur, specializing in therapeutic yoga for health and wellness.

Meditation, Pranayama, & Prana: Awakening Awareness and Life Force
(click to see full description and details)
Practice Day 1: Meditation & Pranayama I
Practice Day 2: Meditation & Pranayama II
Practice Day 3: Meditation & Awakening Prana
Practice Day 4: Meditation & Transforming Energy
(The mindfulness and body-breath-energy awareness cultivated in this Meditation class is a valuable preparation for Sacred Dimensions of Intimacy.)

Sacred Dimensions of Relationship: Deepening Connection With Yourself and Others
(click to see full description and details)
Practice Day 1: The Art of Intimacy: Self Awareness, Mindful Connection & Sacred Space
Practice Day 2: Conscious Communication: Expressing Truth, Listening Well, & Attuned Connection
Practice Day 3: Compassionate Presence: Witnessing the Storm & Embracing Opposites
Practice Day 4: The Temple of the Body: Transforming Obstacles and Awakening Physical Awareness

Continuing Education Units:
Each Practice Day is approved for CEUs for Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Licensed Clinical Social Workers as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. (#PCE3734)


Weekend Retreats


Note: No classes or workshops are being offered at this time.

Soquel
(other locations available)

Immerse and deepen in meditation & breath or sacred dimensions of intimacy in a setting of beauty and tranquility. Sacred shrines, vegetarian meals, and acres of hiking trails through redwoods and oak. Retreats have been held at Land of Medicine Buddha – a center for healing and developing a good heart. 5800 Prescott Road, Soquel, CA

The retreats have been postponed, hopefully to resume in the future.

Meditation, Pranayama, & Prana: Awakening Awareness and Life Force (Silent Retreat)

Sacred Dimensions of Relationship: Deepening Connection With Yourself and Others


Continuing Education Units: The weekend retreats are approved for CEUs for Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Licensed Clinical Social Workers as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. (#PCE3734)


Additional Workshops


Note: No classes or workshops are being offered at this time.

Other workshops designed to meet your interests are offered in a one-day or weekend format in the Bay Area and beyond.

To Register for Practice Sessions and Classes


Note: No classes or workshops are being offered at this time.

For more information or to register, call (415) 492-1042.
Cancellation Policy: Refund up to first session, credit thereafter.



Call Marilynne at (415) 492-1042 or email marilynne@dharmaspirit.com

 


Ethical Standards & Guidelines for Teaching and Practice

In 2002 Marilynne Chöphel consulted with SkyDancing Tantra regarding curriculum development for teacher training, and researched and co-wrote the Ethical Standards & Guidelines to preserve and uphold the highest level of integrity for teaching and practice.