Loving Your ‘Lurps’: New Book Offers Breakthrough
Radhule Weininger’s new book, Heart Medicine: How to Stop Painful Patterns and Find Peace and Freedom — at Last, features a brief forward by the Dalai Lama and another longer, more personal one from colleague Joanna Macy, the prolific author, environmental activist, and half-century-plus scholar of Buddhism. Additional pre-publication praise has come from locally beloved psychotherapist, workshop leader, and writer David Richo and Radical Compassion author/self-help guru Tara Brach, meditation master Jack Kornfield, and Real Change author Sharon Salzberg.
The positive notices for Weininger’s second book cover such ground because the Santa Barbara-based therapist and popular meditation teacher is looking to move the needle forward in the crowded field of finding freedom from our trauma-based patterns of reacting to triggers in self-defeating ways. She calls such reactions long-standing, recurrent, painful patterns — or LRPPs, which rhymes with burps and might just be an opportune onomatopoeic shorthand for those seemingly insurmountable situations.
Weininger has drawn on her own work with clients and meditation students as well as her never-ending scholarly endeavors and journeys that most recently included a meditative several-week pilgrimage on the famed El Camino de Santiago. Rather than upending traditional Western psychology and spirituality, she’s synthesizing the schools.
“I like to think that what I’m doing is making the bridge between different approaches,” Weininger told me last weekend. “I don’t have a vastly new thing. But I’m a psychodynamically trained therapist. I know about cognitive behavioral approaches and mindfulness approaches. Right now, we need all hands on board, both mindful and spiritual, awareness and compassion. We need to pause when we become reactive, but also learn to be somatically in our pain, to be mindful while we feel deeply. It’s important to stay with the process, but in a kind and loving way.”
As a long-standing meditation teacher whose Mindful Heart programs have expanded during the pandemic to encompass more than a dozen free online community sessions per week from a variety of teachers and perspectives, Weininger has also expanded her own perspective.
“What I also think I bring in is the mystery, and allowing for the sacred that is beyond our understanding but that we can experience, which has traditionally not been a part of psychology. In the last few years, meditation has been going beyond the self perspective to the awareness perspective, which is such a miraculous addition, to go beyond the small ego self not as an abstraction but as an experience in a non-religious way.”
Weininger talks about the foundation of LRRPs in the first 60 of the book’s 240 pages, with the rest devoted toward a 12-step program to find freedom, with each chapter chock full of detailed meditations that can also be accessed online, all of which have been honed over the years with her meditation students.
“I get a chance to see what works in the moment,” she explained. “We are all learning together.”
Heart Medicine will be published on December 7, and is available at all the usual outlets. Weininger will also talk about the book in several upcoming appearances at Chaucer’s, Yoga Soup, and the Sacred Space. Visit www.ra dhuleweiningerphd.com or www.mindfulheartprograms.org.
Consciousness Network Convenes to Reconnect
It’s been more than two years since the Santa Barbara Consciousness Network last met, a presentation from Dr. Dan Siegel on “The Science & Practice of Presence” that represented its largest gathering in its then four-year history. The Network’s upcoming gathering is more on the mix and mingle side of things compared to mind-opening talk from the founding co-director of UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center and Director of the Mindsight Institute. But that represents a return to TCN’s roots where founder Forrest Leichtberg hosted monthly get-togethers to build the community and foster interactions.
TCN’s Holiday Community Mixer will take place from 2-5 pm on Sunday, December 5, outdoors at Juice N Things (4991 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria), a new-ish health food spot on the Santa Barbara scene, which will also be providing free samples of its healthy offerings. The event will also feature a brief talk from Dr. J. Leichtberg, MD, Forrest’s father, on the importance of good nutrition, how to achieve it, and how dining at specific eateries can help the process while others do the opposite. Free admission and guests are welcome. RSVP requested. Visit consciousnessnetwork.org.
Conscious Relationship: Heal & Harmonize
Ragan Thomson, Montecito’s maven of inner transformation who recently returned to hosting live events at her family’s Montecito mountaintop La Ladera Sanctuary, next leads a mini retreat to explore what it is to be in a relationship where you can fully inhabit your authentic self. Participants will be guided through a process of letting go of old stories and connecting with one’s inner essence to explore experiencing union where both parties practice radical self-accountability, compassion, and vulnerability, thereby eschewing blaming, shaming, and judgment. The goal is to experience profound love that is unconditional for another and oneself simultaneously with continued inner growth and evolution of the soul flowing as a result.
The 5:30-8 pm workshop on Wednesday, December 8, which costs $44, is also accessible via Zoom. Call (805) 453-7281, visit https://raganthomson.com or email email@example.com.
Goodbye to Bly
It’s been more than a dozen years since Minnesota-based poet and “Father of the Men’s Movement” Robert Bly last came to town for a sold-out stirring poetry reading with music at the Granada Theatre that still resonates upon recall. Bly’s passing at age 94 last month gave pause to revisit both his poetry and Bly’s 1990 work Iron John: A Book About Men, which spent more than a year on The New York Times bestseller list and still serves as a motivating mythic manifesto for the ManKind Project. I can still hear the warm chuckle in his voice as he repeated specific lines from his poems and works by Hafez and others accompanied by sitarist David Whetstone and table player Marcus Wise, both close friends, at the Granada.
“Each of us is a latecomer to the earth picking up wood for the fire,” Bly reminded us near the end of the evening. “We are perishable, friends. We are salty, impermanent kingdoms.” Rest in peace, Robert.