Day one of the course has gone really well… Typical attrition numbers…i.e. twenty signed up and twelve showed up but by now we’re used ot that… Interesting spectrum of students, from recently returned Afghan Vets with high levels of trauma to grandad viet nam vets still struggling with their nightmares and addictions…One guy still has nightmares every night of the face of the twelve year old Vietnamese girl he killed forty years ago…. Some on as many as 10-20 different medications… most having serious problems with anger, anxiety and emotional numbness… some still having regular flashbacks…all of them committed to being here for the whole course… all of them committed to supporting eachother in the process… Such a bond between these soldiers, even among those who are meeting eachother for the first time…
Teaching in an ideal venue, a big Catholic church hall away from the noise and commotion of the VA… the priest stopped by today and is thrilled to have his facilities used for this purpose…today we learned extended alternate nostril breathing and ujayi and ended up with a guided meditation… Lots of anxiety beginning to be released, and also a lot of fatigue… it takes a lot of energy to hold those emotions inside…
We explained the rules of the course clearly and wrote them down so they could all read and commit to them… Also wrote down tomorrow’s homework. Most will stick it out for the whole course even when the going begins to get rougher… they have formed a unit, are on a mission and are determined to get to the other side without losing anyone…
Denise is teaching with me and is doing really well… catching on right away… I continue to find that a team with a man and a woman is the best way to teach these courses… We’re getting great support from the volunteer base here… with transport, food facilities and supplies… we have a team of about ten supporting the course…
We start teaching the V.A. staff (24 signed up…who knows how many will show up) in 30 minutes… I am so grateful to be here… more later as time allows
Love
J