Tag Archives: Neurobiology

Spring Workshop Series with the Center for Transformative Change!

 

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With the tender aspiration of offering support and solace to foment transformation in troubled times, I am delighted to announce my Spring Workshop series in partnership with the Center for Transformative Change:

Register here for Healing for Change: Intergenerational Trauma, the Social Nervous System and Inner/ Outer Transformation.  The full workshop overview is below.  Overviews and registration information for the two other workshops coming soon! Check here and my blog for updates!

To RSVP for any of the workshops, for questions or to learn more about my individual and organizational services to nourish transformational healing, please feel free to contact me at:  mordecai@bodyeclectic.net.

Here’s an exciting Spring Spoiler!  ScienceOnOurSide will be spreading its wings and soaring as it becomes the Health Justice Commons. . . . . coming this Summer 2016 in partnership with Partners for Collaborative Change (formerly Practicing Freedom), a project of the Movement Strategy Center!!!!!

I hope to see you all soon!

In healing and in solidarity,

Mordecai


Healing for Change: Intergenerational Trauma, the Social Nervous System and Inner/ Outer Transformation

This interactive workshop for social change-makers provides participants with frameworks and tools for transforming trauma and distilling your own healing wisdom to nourish and inform your unique contributions to social transformation.

The workshop supports participants to co-create space for reflecting on and celebrating the inextricable connections between personal and collective healing. . . . being the healing and social transformation.

Space is Limited. Please RSVP and Register!

No one turned away for lack of funds! Please be in touch with any questions at: mordecai@bodyeclectic.net

 

The workshop offers:

* an overview of western trauma studies centralizing contributions by feminist, Native American, and African American psychologists, social scientists and activists such as Eduardo and Bonnie Duran, Joy DeGruy, and Judith Herman.

* an introduction to new findings in neurophysiology, epigentics and social epidemiology, which inform the conceptualization of the ‘social nervous system’ and which challenge fundamental capitalist myths that humans are inherently hierarchical and that evolution and innovation are driven primarily by competition

* experiential exercises based in somatics and contemplative practices to enable participants to ‘feel into’ the social nervous system and connect with their capacity and calling to contribute to and benefit from this collective field of transformation.

This workshop also provides safe space to reflect on the parallels of findings from the emergent ‘new synthesis’ in the biological sciences with universal spiritual truths while evaluating and critiquing the liberatory potential of science in the context of its oppressive history and ongoing role in enabling cultural appropriation and injustice.

 

******************** Presenters ********************

Facilitator: Mordecai Cohen Ettinger, MA, has over 20 years experience as a social justice change-maker, radical scholar, and healer. Mordecai serves as adjunct faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies. His academic research focuses on the neurobiology of the social nervous system, and its implications with regard to collective trauma, healing and social change. More at: www.bodyeclectic.net

Co-presented by the Center for Transformative Change, the first national center entirely dedicated to bridging the inner and outer lives of social change agents, activists and allies to support a more effective, more sustainable movement of social justice for all. More at: http://transformativechange.org

 

**************** Accessibility information ****************

To honor disability justice and nourish the health of our bodies and of the planet, this is a scent-free event. The Center for Transformative Change burns incense some days. The Center will not burn incense the day of the workshop. For more about how to be fragrance free, please see the East Bay Meditation Center’s guide. If you want more information about the scents in the space, feel free to contact me at: mordecai@bodyeclectic.net .

The Center for Transformative Change is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. I host other workshops in spaces that are wheelchair accessible – please be in touch if this is of interest.

 

****************Registration information****************

Please RSVP and Register. No one turned away for lack of funds! Please be in touch with any questions at: mordecai@bodyeclectic.net

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Towards A New Ecology of Justice: Intergenrational Trauma and the Social Nervous System Talk this Sunday at the Marxist Library!

Marxist Library Talk_4.4.16_BLM Protest Image

Happy Spring! I’m excited to announce my first of several Spring events! Please keep your eye out for other spring events and (spoiler alert!) big announcements about my new Health Justice project in collaboration with Partners for Collaborative Change (formerly Practicing Freedom)!

I am giving a free talk, Towards A New Ecology of Justice: Intergenerational Trauma and the Social Nervous System at the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library on April 10th at 10:30 am.

Talk of trauma is becoming increasingly prevalent, especially with the ongoing and shocking rise of violence in the US and globally. While western scientific knowledge has historically been produced and used to maintain hegemonic social control, a new synthesis in the biological sciences is emerging.  This emergent synthesis counters and de-naturalizes the central myth of capitalism, that competition and hierarchy are the primary motors of evolution, while offering new explanatory models and empirical evidence of how oppression and discrimination harm us down to the cellular level and is passed intergenerationally.

The material impacts of injustice on the individual body and across generations can no longer be plausibly denied nor can humanity’s radical connectivity with one another, our social world, and our histories.  Bringing the social theories of Gramsci and Foucault with post-colonial psychology and an overview of new findings in neuroscience and epigenetics, this talk will explore how we can understand the dynamic processes of social transformation and justice and critique the liberatory potential of science in light of this compelling paradigm shift.

I hope to see you all there!

Details:

Address: Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library, 6501 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

Contact Number: 510-332-3865

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Scent-Free Event: Yes

Liberating Science: Intergenerational Trauma and the Social Nervous System

telomeresTalk of trauma is becoming increasingly prevalent, especially with the ongoing and shocking rise of racist police violence. While science has historically been used to oppress and silence many groups of people, emergent studies in neuroscience and epigenetics offer explanatory models and empirical evidence of how oppression and discrimination harm us down to the cellular level and how harm is passed intergenerationally.

This lecture provides an overview of research of over 10 years on the neurobiology of the social nervous system
and explores the causal dynamics of intergenerational trauma in individual and collective behavior, social norms
and social forms. This lecture uses science as a tool of liberation to help people understand how trauma lives in
the body and the mechanisms by which it is passed from generation to generation. It will invite participants to
consider how healing trauma individually and collectively can help create new power and possibilities for social change to emerge.

About the Presenter:

Mordecai Cohen Ettinger, MA, has over 20 years experience as an educator, holistic healer, and social justice change maker. He serves as faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies where he is currently
creating a new Science, Technology and Society Studies Program.

His academic research focuses on the neurobiology of the social nervous system, and its implications with regard to collective trauma, healing and social change. Trained in Somatic Experiencing, Reiki, and Cranial Sacral therapy, he has studied with Dr. Peter Levine, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Dr. Raja Selvam and MaryEllen Sperling, PT.

Mordecai has served as Interim Executive Director of Caduceus Outreach Services, Interim Co-Director of Justice Now and co-founded the Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project in 2004. Other organizations Mordecai has had the gift of working include Advocates for Informed Choice (AIC), The Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Community United Against Violence (CUAV) the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, People’s Durham, San Francisco Women Against Rape, and Sins Invalid.

Space is limited! Please rsvp at mordecai@bodyeclectic.net

For those that cannot attend, there will be a live streaming webcast. More details to come!

Happy Happenings at the Omicron!

happy road sign

Hello dear friends,

Despite all the challenges we current face in our society, the natural world reminds us that May is the time for expansive possibility!  At the Omicron, A home for Healing Arts, inspiration and possibility can be your refuge.

Please feel welcome to join us at our upcoming events listed below.  To attend and receive the Omicron address, kindly RSVP via email. Or, send me facebook friend request and RSVP via facebook (for the Healing Arts Lab onwards, facebook event pages coming soon!).  Feel free to email me with questions: mordecai@bodyeclectic.net . Walk in beauty my friends!

Somatic Healing Circle, Tonight!!, 7:30 pm -9:30 pm: Somatic Circles use the social nervous system and somatic education to support participants to connect deeply and develop practices to alleviate the symptoms stemming from suffering. Participants will also experience the magic and alchemy of which we are all capable: transmuting pain to power.

Requested donation is $20-$40. If people cannot offer currency they are invited to offer barter or work exchange to help keep the Omicron thriving.

 Drop-in Self-Care Clinic, May 18th, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm:Come in, have some tea, and receive self-care coaching and consultation on issues such as stress management, pain management, better sleep and medical advocacy.

Requested donation is $20-$40. If people cannot offer currency they are invited to offer barter or work exchange to help keep the Omicron thriving.

 Healing Arts Lab!: May 24th, 1 pm – 5 pm: The Healing Arts Lab is an experiment in healing alchemy and gift economics bringing together holistic healers, somatic practitioners, body workers, and movement, visual and performance artists.  Participants will have the opportunity to have 20-30 minute sessions with any and all of the practitioners present. You can offer what you wish in return. No one will be turned away for an empty pocket. An open heart and mind hold the real value. 

Somatic Circle — Transmuting Pain to Power, May 25th, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

And coming in June. . . . . .

Meeting of Minds:  Transformational Economics Discussion, June 1st, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm: Join us for a ground-breaking, in-depth conversation on gift economies, barter and trade economics, open sourcing, and how to creatively hybridize them in our communities to form liberated zones that challenge and displace our current economic system.

About the host:  Mordecai Cohen Ettinger, MA, is adjunct faculty at CIIS where he teaches Science, Technology and Society Studies. He has over 20 years experience as a holistic healer, educator and social justice activist. Trained as a somatic, Reiki, and Cranial Sacral practitioner, Mordecai’s Masters research explores the social nervous system and the neurobiology of trauma and its transformation — particularly trauma stemming from injustice — as it relates to collective and individual resilience, healing and social change. Learn more at www.bodyeclectic.net or email Mordecai: mordecai@bodyeclectic.net 

About the Omicron:

The Omicron is a residential healing arts center on a peaceful block in the Lower Dimond District of East Oakland.  It’s a place where the doors of our hearts are always open and our minds are aligned in the aspiration to transform our inner worlds as a crucial path to the transformation of society.  The Omicron aims to return the care to healthcare and strengthen individual and community resilience through healing innovation, the implementation of transformational economics, and kindness.

To respect the health of our bodies and the planet, the Omicron is a scent-free and substance free space.

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Image by Richie Rhombus

 

 

Somatic Circle — Transmuting Pain to Power

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A BodyEclectic Event at the Omicron, Monday May 11th, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm!

BodyEclectic’s Somatic Circles use the social nervous system to support participants to connect deeply and develop practices to alleviate and transform the symptoms stemming from trauma. Participants will also experience the magic and alchemy of which we are all capable: transmuting pain to power.

While the cause of much suffering, trauma can be an amazing teacher and guide, leading us through the labyrinth of our deepest distress to vast possibility, grace, serenity and an expanded capacity for vitality. Trauma can also act as a bell of mindfulness to awaken us to our true gifts and most authentic, powerful selves.

Somatic Circles hold trauma as a sacred opportunity for transformation, both of ourselves and the world. It is a safe and nurturing space structured as a facilitated group providing:

1) Somatic education and experiential techniques grounded in neuroscience such as: the neurobiology of the social nervous system and of affect states, otherwise known as emotions, to facilitate grounding, mastery of boundaries, connection, empathy and new capacities
2) An approach to healing which situates trauma as a self-evident consequence of oppression and injustice

The requested donation is $20-$40. If people cannot offer currency they are invited to offer barter or work exchange to help keep the Omicron thriving. Please RSVP at: mordecai@bodyeclectic.net for the Omicron’s address!

About the facilitator:
Mordecai Cohen Ettinger, MA, is adjunct faculty at CIIS and has over 20 years experience as a holistic healer, educator and social justice activist. Trained as a somatic, Reiki, and Cranial Sacral practitioner, Mordecai’s Masters research explores the social nervous system and the neurobiology of trauma and its transformation — particularly trauma stemming from injustice — as it relates to collective and individual resilience, healing and social change. Learn more at www.bodyeclectic.net or email Mordecai: mordecai@bodyeclectic.net

What’s Somatics:
Grounded in the belief that the body in its wholeness is the foundation for healing, somatic practices combine body awareness techniques with findings in neurobiology and neurophysiology. These practices support & enhance the body’s innate self-regulatory and resilience-building capacities. Used with focused intention, these practices can lead to symptom reduction and deeper insight about who we are, the world as a whole, and how we wish to inhabit it.

On Trauma:
Trauma first became a popular concept when World War I survivors returned home with ‘shell shock’. A diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was developed over time. After World War II, a body of theory and treatments for intergenerational trauma was developed. Most of this work has occurred in the confines of western psychology and psychiatry, and while these disciplines offer some helpful explanatory tools to understand and treat trauma, they are limited and all too often stigmatize the people they are trying to help.

UnWinding the Social Nervous System: 4 Week Learning Lab in Motion

Dance Event Photo 1Exploring social change and personal healing through somatics and contact improvisation.


In this 4 week learning lab we will use contact improvisation, somatic techniques, and lessons in neurobiology to create a vibrant lab for learning. We will use this container to explore how oppression resides in our bodies, how it manifests in our interactions with one another and how our society manipulates the social nervous system to maintain control. We will also explore the social nervous system’s power as a resource for authentic expression and creation, both for the self and community. 

Participants will be guided in a supportive space to understand the complicated dance of internalizing or enacting oppression and to play, explore and discover how to transform these patterns and co-create justice and healing.

During this 4 week lab we will:

> Co-create a safe, nourishing and non-judgmental space to play, explore and heal

> Develop proficiency in somatic techniques such as grounding, tracking bodily sensations and split attention tracking

> ‘Hack’ our neurobiology by learning about the body’s fight/flight/freeze responses, parasympathetic nervous system engagement/disengagement, and affect states (emotions)

> Discover how your sensations relate to neurobiological shifts in your body, how your neurobiology relates to how you feel, and how you feel affects how you can connect to others

> Learn about the neurobiology of touch

> Learn how to shift the body’s neurobiology individually and in a group through tricks, shifts in attention, and state-based work with movement

> Co-create rituals which contribute to a culture of social justice and healing

To honor the health of our bodies and that of the planet, this will be a scent-free event! This venue is wheelchair accessible.

4 Thursdays, February 19th – March 26th, 7 pm -9:30 pm , Subterranean Art House,

Cost: $120-160.

Contact Jote to register. jotemahern@gmail.com

Please contact us if you are in need of a scholarship or work trade arrangement. NOTAFLOF

This is an experimental collaboration between BodyEclectic and Underneath Us 


Mordecai and Jote will be co-facilitating.
Learn more about us:

Gentle outlaw and gender transcender, Mordecai Cohen Ettinger, MA, has over 20 years experience as a healer, educator, ritualist and social justice change maker. He serves as adjunct faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies. His academic research focuses on the neurobiology of the social nervous system, collective trauma and healing. Trained in Somatic Experiencing, Reiki, and Cranial Sacral therapy, he has studied with Peter Levine, Bessel van der Kolk and Raja Selvam.

For Jote Mahern of Underneath Us dance and touch have been imperative to grounding myself in community with folks where I feel I can risk being my fullest self. The practice of dance and touch have also allowed me to grow into a person who can stand to bear witness and engage with the vastness of injustice in the world without collapsing under the weight of it all. For the past ten years, I have been exploring the flow of subtle energies in partner dance through contact improvisation and more traditional upright forms like tango, blues, contra, and swing. I think a lot about impulse, desire, and action- where our emotions begin, end, and what is happening in between- how the subtle shifts in attention and nervous system functioning can lead to vastly different possibilities for connection and collaboration.

Somatics for Social Justice: Embody the Change!

Butterflies with chrysalis

About the Workshop

The Somatics and Social Justice Workshop provides participants with an overview of: 1) somatic practices, how they ‘work,’ and what they are good for, and 2) the neurobiology and neurophysiology of stress responses and also of empathy, connection solidarity, and the social nervous system. Spoiler alert — the same neuro-anatomy and processes control all of these aspects of being, wow!

Through discussion and experiential exercises participants will learn somatic techniques for being and becoming the embryos of the better world we dream of creating. Participants will be invited to carry these practices into their lives however they wish to help to align with their personal goals for healing and social justice values.

This Workshop’s for you if:

  • You are interested in learning practices to embody the change you want to see in the world
  • You love science and want to geek out
  • You hate science and want to re-claim it as a tool for healing and justice
  • You want to build community in which to co-create transformative healing practices
  • If you want to feel better!

All are welcome, especially beginners!!

When: Thursday, December, 4th, 7- 9 pm at Take 5 Cafe’ and Gallery

Thursday, December, 18th, 7 -9 pm, at the Orange Castle in South Berkeley (address provided to those who enroll)

Cost: $20, No one turned away!

Enroll: at Village Craft

Questions: Contact me at: mordecai@bodyeclectic.net

What’s Somatics

Grounded in the belief that the body in its wholeness is the foundation for healing, somatic practices combine body awareness techniques with cutting-edge findings in neurobiology and neurophysiology. These practices work to support and enhance the body’s innate self-regulatory and resilience-building capacities. Used with focused intention, these practices can also lead to deeper insight about who we are, the world as a whole, and how we wish to inhabit it.