GoddessCentric: Meditation & Trancework
Therapeutic Support Group
Enrollment starts Fall 2023
A Synergy Of:
*Zoom Group forming Autumn 2023* The "GoddessCentric" support and practice group will delve into mindfulness meditation and experiential trancework. This group is centered around femme-identified individuals (cis, trans, non-binary) within BIPOC communities. Welcoming to GSRD (gender, sexual, & relationally diverse) communities. Within this shared reality, we respectfully explore meditation and trancework through western scientific, Eastern mysticism and Indigenous shamanic lenses. For healing, growth, learning and community-building. A transpersonal approach fostering creativity, actualization, consciousness expansion and processing of eco-grief as well as adaptation to a rapidly changing natural environment. 60-90 minutes every other week plus in-person retreats.
Why Am I Starting This Group?
For some years now, I have been interested in melding the seemingly disparate worlds which have been vitally impactful in both my role as therapist and my personal journey of healing and growth. The first world has revolved around my identity and allyship within GSRD (gender, sexual, & relationally diverse) communities - genderfluid, nonbinary and trans spaces; queerness; ethical and consensual non-monogamy. The second world revolves around spiritual seeking, where I have found enrichment in both the study of vipassana meditation as well as sisterhood circles embracing metaphysical explorations. An overlapping world has been a reclamation of my indigenous roots via shamanic practices and rituals invoking the power of ancestors. And finally, the world of psychology has been a more normative backdrop which has critically informed these other activities by providing a rational scientific perspective via western hypnotherapy, Somatic Experiencing and mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral frameworks. Whenever I have been in any of these spaces, I have yearned to experience more bridging between these worlds. Hence, the commencement of this group as the seed of an integrative network of likeminded folks.
I see our collective consciousness as moving towards greater integration and away from either/or, "right vs wrong," overly binary ways of conceptualizing knowledge systems. As such, one goal of this group is to offer practices I have found useful in weaving together the worlds described above. Each of these worlds has its own sometimes rigid ideas about what is considered wise or true. In my own journey, I have found that I had to "break on through to the other side" by testing against certain preconditioned ideas. The payoff was greater insight and actualization via movement beyond egocentric focus into unity consciousness. This and other positive outcomes may be possible through the practices I will share in this group.
The Importance of Exploring on the Level of Beliefs: My Perspective
Both personally and in working with others, I have seen how vital it is to release from self-limiting beliefs. By doing so, we are able to connect with the bigger picture and achieve our life's mission. In my opinion, deep experiential work is one of the best ways to overcome our negative (and often unconscious) programming. For example, in order to allow myself to connect with the structures of both spiritualism and esoteric Eastern spirituality (channeling, divination, spirit guides)--which thereby catalyzed the manifestation of my lifelong dreams of authorship--I had to forgo the belief that such exercises were foolish "woo." By doing so, I was able to reclaim that which had been discarded by patriarchal, white supremacist science-- so-called women's intuition and non-western spiritual practices. Similarly, I had to learn to overcome the fear of all things psychic, an irrational exhortation to stay in the lines of western methodology even in the face of obvious trans-psychic phenomena evident within relational trancework and psychedelic explorations. Only then did I discover that western appropriation of traditional and indigenous trance practices tended to remove important protections. Namely, excising these procedures out of the context of traditional ritualistic boundaries was not simply the removal of unnecessary aesthetics and 'hocus pocus.' Rather, this diminishment in technique was more equivalent to taking a whole food and turning it into mechanically processed foodstuff. In anecdotal observations of demos at western trancework conferences versus more overtly spiritual gatherings, I have seen that the former often lacked psychological grounding and containment for the participants, increasing the potential for a more distressing experience. Witnessing the contrast between purely western "scientific" application of trance versus holistic approaches, I have wondered at how the former could reconcile disbelief in energy while simultaneously practicing energy work. Indeed, the dismissal of wisdom traditions with lineage going back millennia seems arrogant and small-minded, if not outright reckless.
I believe now is the time for us to synthesize the previous eras with their seemingly opposite emphasis on the numinous and the material. Within this new alchemy, false dichotomies and other illusory obstacles can be transcended. And we can attune to a third way--embracing paradox and the power of imagination, recognizing the universality of our kinship, and continually expanding inclusivity to compassionately regard all parts and presences.
Thank you for reading about my perspective and intentions behind this endeavor. If this sounds interesting to you, I invite you to reach out to discuss further. Feel free to use my contact form to request a free phone consultation. Note that this group will primarily meet online, with occasional in-person retreats. Namaste!
Structure of Online Meetings
Licensed Clinical Psychologist since 2015
Certified Shamanic Practitioner
20 years experience Vipassana meditation
20 years experience entheogen psychonaut +
Completed Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) training 2007
Founding Member Bay Area Open Minds since 2009**
13 years experience Acceptance & Commitment Therapy
12 years experience in Ericksonian hypnotherapy and trancework
(including 2 years at Dr. Steve Gilligan's Trance Camp & Clinical Supervisions)
7 years experience in Internal Family Systems and other parts work
6 years experience in Somatic Experiencing and associated body modalities
3 years experience in shamanic channeling
+currently only sober tripping aka endogenous altered states
**In 2009, after experiencing GSRD-related micro-aggressions during my first week in psychology graduate school (it was suggested that we attend Folsom Street Fair to observe a "different culture"), I began to network with other altsex-positive folks who were alumni of my program. That was how I met Dr. Keely Kolmes, who after hearing my story decided to form Bay Area Open Minds--kink-aware and poly-friendly psychotherapists affirming gender, sexual and relational diversity. The organization was formed to provide a network of support for therapists, a directory for clients, as well as establish a presence for education and advocacy. We were originally called Therapists Affirming Diversity in Sexuality (TADS).