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Community Classes: Everyone Welcome


Understanding Humans: I hope to be one someday...

The title is in reference to a quote from Chogyam Trungpa, the Buddhist monk & the founder of Naropa University: 


The basic task of helping professionals in general, and psychotherapists in particular, is to become full human beings, and to inspire full humanbeingness in others who feel starved about their lives.

I’m still working on it…  

I also think that this is the basic task for anyone who wants to make a difference in the world.

The following briefly explains why someone might want to take this class and gives a brief overview of its content. Note that the last time I taught this material, the in-person class was interrupted by Covid-19 and had to be completed via Zoom. It has not been rescheduled at this time.


Empowered by Love, We Transform Ourselves and Serve Our World


If this sounds like a possible Mission Statement for you, then I want to invite you to join me on a fascinating expedition into the wonders and complexities of Human Behavior.


Since the human brain is said to be the most complex system in the known universe, we'll have to journey into some little-known territories and also learn from some of the best explorers who have gone before us.


So, what might it mean to be "Empowered by Love?" And how can we actually go about the process of "Transforming Ourselves," let alone "Serving Our World?" Certainly, these tasks are not trivial. 


The things that make life difficult usually have to do with people.  Most of us can deal pretty well with the other stuff; bad weather, being broke, even earthquakes and tornados.  The things that really get us down are mostly about other people and even ourselves.  


Why is it sometimes so hard to consistently act in harmony with our values? And why are so many people running around fighting with each other, engaging in self-destructive behavior, and destroying the planet?  And what can we do about it?


We find ourselves doing things that cause us problems at home or work. We do things that we know we shouldn’t but can’t figure out how to stop or do it differently.  Sometimes it seems like we’re our own worst enemy.  Even the Apostle Paul, rigid Pharisee that he was, complained, “I don't understand what I'm doing. For I don't practice what I want to do, but instead do what I hate.”  How different life would be if we understood others and ourselves in a way that gave us the ability to move more easily through our lives and relationships. 


While other explorers have made some powerful and useful discoveries, we're also fortunate to be living at a time when neurobiologists have developed methods for observing the brain as it goes about its business of keeping us alive, making choices, and directing our moment-to-moment behavior.


Brief Overview of the Class


Topic 1:  Introductions & Overview:  Empowered by Love…

 After brief introductions and a snapshot of the overall training, we’ll explore a radical concept that is the result of my lifetime of exploring why people hurt each other and various paths to healing ourselves, others, and the world in which we live. We’ll also ask “what is love?”


Topic 2:  Neurobiology for the Rest of Us

 We are fortunate to be living at a time when modern science has the ability to actually watch the human brain as it creates our experience of the world in which we all live. By having a better understanding of how we and others create and react to our daily experiences, we can become more able to move from our negative judgements toward ourselves and others an become an agent of change in our own lives and the lives of those around us.


Topic 3:  Our Many “Selves”

Our brain is the most complex system in the known universe.  Our experiences and motivations are made up of many parallel processes (“selves”), sometimes leading to the familiar experience of behaving in ways that are not in alignment with our best intentions. 


Topic 4:  Growing Up – Childhood

Part 1:  Growing up in indigenous cultures:  The Continuum Concept

Part 2:  Effect of Family Dynamics on developmental outcomes

Part 3:  Developmental tasks, missing experiences, & Survival Strategies


Topic 5:  Child Abuse, ACEs, Resilience, & Finding Balance as Adults

The process of Passing the Pain down through the generations

The path toward wellness: The 7-point action plan


Topic 6:  Family Systems

The family and their ways of dealing with each other and us have much more impact on our behavior and health than is commonly known.


Topic 7:  Couple’s Systems

Who is the invisible third-party creating problems in our relationship?


Topic 8:  Becoming an Agent of Change

What can we actually do to make a difference, anyway?


Topic 9:  Improving our Quality of Life

More potentially life-changing information from neurobiology.

Finishing up and saying “goodbye.”

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