Lovingkindness Meditation and The Power of Feeling Safe
The Intersection of Metta-Based Trauma Therapy and PolyVagal Theory Through the Use of Mind/Body Practices
February 15, 7-9:30pm with Guest Teacher Gina de la Chesnaye
Lovingkindness Meditation (LKM), also known as “Metta Bhavana”, has been in use as a technique to dispel suffering for thousands of years. As described in the Buddhist text, the Dhammapada; "Hatred cannot coexist with loving-kindness, and dissipates if supplanted with thoughts based on loving-kindness.”
More recently, it’s been developed into Metta-Based Trauma Therapy to aid people experiencing anxiety, depression, insomnia and/or PTSD.
Lovingkindness Meditation includes offering phrase mantras of safety and well-being to self, friends, family and others. Though based in an intention of kindness and love, for some the practice can create a sense of discomfort and even danger, especially when directing the meditation to “difficult” people.
Experienced teacher Gina will share best practices and techniques for instructors and clinicians to insure that their patients and students feel safe and are not re-traumatized during LKM practice. She will demonstrate how to utilize mind/body practices through the lens of PolyVagal Theory to better support and understand the neurobiology behind LKM, and share techniques to teach and practice Lovingkindness Meditation in a more nuanced and trauma-informed way.
In this introductory workshop, participants will learn the basics of PolyVagal Theory and why our bodies are constantly looking to feel safe through our innate neuroception, what happens when that neuroception becomes faulty, and how the utilization of specific mind/body skills can help us find calm and ease through a fully embodied Lovingkindness practice.
Learning to connect deeply to ourselves is the foundation for connecting deeply with others, and participants will learn and practice breath work, restorative yoga poses, and visualization techniques to encourage toning the vagus nerve, to effectively share these techniques with others.
About the Instructor
Gina de la Chesnaye is a core faculty member of Second Response which tends to the emotional & psychological needs of people exposed to trauma, providing body-centered methods to relieve the harmful effects of stress, distress & trauma most recently in Uganda and Kenya to survivors of sex-trafficking, refugees, street-children and the women of the Kampala slums as well as leading trauma informed trainings and Care for the Caregiver workshops for clinicians and street counselors. She serves as key faculty for The Lineage Project bringing mindfulness based exercises, yoga and meditation to at-risk and/or incarcerated youth and their support staff in New York City.
Gina is the Trauma Resource Director of the International Center for Mental Health and Human Rights where she facilitates mindful movement, yoga and meditation, a component of the Contemplative Based Trauma and Resilience Training.
She is an alumna of the 2017 Harvard Global Mental Health Trauma & Recovery Certificate Program. She also offers Contemplative Care classes to the Columbia School of Social Work, NYU and Baruch College as a visiting lecturer. Gina recently lectured on and led Care for the Caregiver at the 3rd Annual Joint UCPA (Uganda Clinical Psychology) and UBHA (Uganda Behavioral Health Alliance) conference at the University of Kisubi, Entebbe, Uganda.
Gina recently co-taught a 300 Hour Yoga, Meditation and Dharma Teacher Training at The Three Jewels Outreach Center in NYC with Michael Hewett. She is also a contributing writer and photographer to The Huffington Post, NY Yoga + Life and YogaCityNYC and has written numerous articles on yoga, meditation, martial arts and Buddhism. Dedicated to humanitarian relief, she has spent several years focusing on trauma and resiliency work with children in orphanages, schools, IDP camps and monasteries throughout Nepal with the volunteer organization 108 Lives. In March of 2018, Gina led a team of 13 volunteers.
She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her two daughters.