Three things I am super excited about. (SoCal VegFest Oct 29 & 30 | An Evening of Compassion and Being Together Nov 20)

Hi everyone,

There are at least three things I am super excited about right now, if not more.

First, next weekend is the October 29 & 30 SoCal VegFest. Last year was absolutely amazing, especially given that it was the first time ever in Orange County. 10,000 people attended the all day vegan festival! This year it has been expanded into a two day event.

“The purpose of SoCal VegFest is to introduce Southern Californians and others to the benefits of healthy conscious living. Our goal is to inspire and support anyone who wants to learn more about living a more healthy, environmentally friendly, and compassionate life.”
Second, Living Ubuntu will have a booth at the SoCal VegFest and we will be screening for the first time ever in public the trailer for our upcoming feature length documentary! Come to our booth to watch it. Plus, permaculturist extraordinaire, Lucian Toma, has graciously agreed to demonstrate worm bin composting at our booth (Saturday morning only).  And much more!

Third, we have confirmed that Andy Shrader will be our special guest speaker on November 20 for Living Ubuntu’s An Evening of Compassion and Being Together. The title of his talk is,  “Radically Alive Planet,” and I can’t wait to hear it! Vegan environmentalists that practice living an embodied life while being highly effective in getting things done are truly hard to come by. A few of Andy’s many impressive accomplishments can be found on the event site where you can also buy your tickets to attend and / or donate.

In the spirit of Ubuntu,

Barbara English, LMFT, CBT, TRE® Certification Trainer
Co-founder and Executive Director, Living Ubuntu

(949) 891-2005

[Ubuntu] n. What dehumanizes you inexorably dehumanizes me.


What does this say about our society?

Hi everyone,

I recently had a conversation about the Presidential election. In response to hearing puzzlement over how well Donald Trump has done in the campaign, I made an off-hand remark about our society’s collective trauma becoming more obvious. Yet, my comment was greeted with additional puzzlement: what trauma? We still have a very long way to go toward developing a trauma-informed society.

Dr. Gabor Maté asks us one of the most obvious questions that somehow doesn’t seem to be getting talked about enough:

What does it say about our society that such deeply troubled individuals frequently rise to the top ruling circles, attaining wealth and power and even the admiration of millions?
Read more here:
Donald Trump, narcissism and diagnosis as political sport

On Sunday, November 20, we are hosting, An Evening of Compassion and Being Together. We have chosen to schedule it for a short time after the Presidential election precisely because we want to encourage people to come together, be together, remember a sense of healthy humanity and that we are all interconnected (despite race, ethnicity, gender, religion, class, or species). The pursuit of the compassionate path is essential. The event is a fundraiser for Living Ubuntu, intended to reaffirm “Ubuntu”.

You can support our efforts by buying a ticket to attend on November 20, helping us get the word out to others about the event, donating if you can’t attend, or / and by contributing an item for the vegan, eco-friendly, socially conscious silent auction.
Buy Nov 20 tickets or donate here.

Tomorrow, October 16: come join us in Irvine for A Screening of Time to Choose (RSVP). Continue reading

Sunday, October 16, Time to Choose

Hi everyone,

We have no shortage of serious issues in need of more attention and fast, effective action both locally and globally. It is an extremely long list, with myriad emergencies largely ignored by the Presidential election, and harder to bring attention to while a tabloid tone dominates the news. One of the many disturbing omissions is climate change.

That means that those of us who are aware, able and deeply concerned about the state of climate catastrophe we find ourselves in, who have noticed how slowly and inadequately effective changes are being made, must carry the responsibility for keeping climate disruption issues in the spotlight as much as we can.

Please join us in Irvine this coming Sunday for A Screening of Time to Choose (RSVP). This recently released climate-change-themed film provides a comprehensive perspective and a seriously necessary and urgent call to action. It is a film well worth watching, plus an opportunity to discuss best support of ongoing local efforts.

And, just a friendly reminder about the super-helpful opportunity tomorrow evening: Thriving on a Plant Based Diet – Part II. Continue reading

We got extremely good results!

Hi everyone,

Many emphasize educational campaigns for social change without analyzing what might be missing to make them more effective. We are much more than our cognition, yet, we seldom consider the influences of the ongoing back and forth communication of our mind and body. Being in a state of optimal receptivity to learn new things includes feeling safe, well-rested and adequately fed, and that is just for starters. Life experiences including chronic and traumatic stress not only influence the structure and function of our brain and nervous system, they also create deeply embedded tension patterns in the body. This can limit our subjective sense of safety, and inhibit learning new information (or from past experiences), instead becoming stuck in repetitive patterns. Under stress, we can lose access to many abilities including self-reflection, deeper insight, emotional presence, caring, and creativity. Instead we “cope” and “survive” – but we don’t fully “live”, “love” or “learn”. 

I am excited to say that we have recently completed a study of Dr. David Berceli’s Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises – (TRE®) in San Diego working with the East African refugee community. Beyond the many years of positive stories and anecdotal evidence, we now have data and an article about the research which will soon be submitted for publishing. We got extremely good results! In fact, 39 out of 40 symptoms of stress and trauma were statistically significant in the amount they decreased after only eight weeks’ time practicing the exercises. This is a method that can be effectively used with large numbers of highly traumatized people. 

In viewing stress on a continuum from mild chronic daily stress to severe Post Traumatic Stress it is easy to see that the vast majority of our entire society falls somewhere on this continuum. We must consider how much this contributes to a lack of progressive, compassionate vision –  instead keeping us stuck. 

Look around at what is going on in this world and what the existing and potential leadership looks like. With so much at stake, we have no time to waste by repeating patterns that were misguided in the first place, or worse, regressing, as if sinking ever deeper into a putrid, swamp of quicksand we cannot get out of. We need the collective to be at their best. We need trauma-informed advocacy and activists. We need to re-examine our worldview and Belief Systems to see what is holding us back and how to bring change. We need our species to evolve. 

In 2017 we will be launching a new workshop series and this time TRE® will be taught in a different context. We will be focused on Belief Systems and the re-examination of our worldviews. This series of four one-day, once a month workshops will make use of TRE® in order to release deeply held tension patterns that often contribute to us not feeling at our best, additionally limiting our personal growth and global vision. If you are interested, more info will be available soon. The dates are below in the Upcoming Events so you can save them early on. 

Much gratitude to all who helped make the San Diego project possible and successful. Your efforts and contributions matter. Thank you. 

Also – a friendly reminder about tomorrow, October 8, A Screening of Ghosts in our Machine (RSVP). Come at 6p if you want to join the vegan potluck. We will start the film at 7p. 

For more upcoming events, scroll to the bottom of this email. 

Thank you for staying engaged,

Barbara English, LMFT, CBT, TRE® Certification Trainer
Co-founder and Executive Director, Living Ubuntu
(949) 891-2005

[Ubuntu] n. What dehumanizes you inexorably dehumanizes me.


A Screening of The Ghosts in our Machine
Saturday, October 8, 6:00pm – 7:00pm vegan potluck, 7:00pm – 9:00pm film & discussion

Thriving on a Plant Based Diet – Part II
Wednesday, October 12, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Fountain Valley

Living Vegan Meeting
Thursday, October 13, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
1151 Dove St #210, Newport Beach

A Screening of Time to Choose
Sunday, October 16, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Orange County For Climate Action Meeting
Wednesday, October 19, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
1151 Dove St #210, Newport Beach

Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises – Group Shake
Thursday, October 20, 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Newport Beach

UN Day Celebration Banquet (UNA-OC event)
Monday, October 24, 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Santa Ana

SoCal VegFestvisit the Living Ubuntu booth!
Saturday October 29 & Sunday October 30, 10:00am – 6:00pm each day
Costa Mesa

An Evening of Compassion and Being Together (an event to benefit Living Ubuntu)
Sunday, November 20, 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Newport Beach

Re-Examining Belief Systems – a 4-part TRE® workshop series – more info soon
Saturdays: January 21, February 25, March 18, April 15
Orange County

Ghosts in our Machine, October 8, 2016 – Irvine

And do not worry that your life is turning upside down.
How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?
~ Rumi

Hi everyone,

Currently it is easy to find evidence that our culture’s compassion has great limits and wisdom is hard to come by. We seem destined to repeat many of history’s misguided decisions.

What if in order to evolve as a species we must go beyond examining human to human issues only? What if we must also shed light on less discussed issues such as the exploitation of nature and non-human animals including the commonplace treatment of them as commodities? What if our avoidance of these issues strengthens the hierarchal paradigm that keeps oppression operative?

Next Saturday, October 8, we will screen THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE. This exquisitely filmed documentary challenges us with a topic and question most try to avoid: Are non-human animals property to be owned and used, or are they sentient beings deserving of rights?

Please join us.

For more upcoming events, scroll to the bottom of this email. Continue reading

Intl Day of Peace events on Sep 21 | OCCA meeting Sep 20

“We are in the midst of a global crisis of perspective. We have forgotten the undeniable truth that every living thing is connected. PLANETARY is a provocative and breathtaking wakeup call – a cross continental, cinematic journey, that explores our cosmic origins and our future as a species. It is a poetic and humbling reminder that now is the time to shift our perspective. PLANETARY asks us to rethink who we really are, to reconsider our relationship with ourselves, each other and the world around us – to remember that we are PLANETARY.”

Hi everyone,

I am pleased to tell you about an opportunity to come together this week. Wednesday, September 21 is the International Day of Peace. At Golden West College, please join us for a vegan, zero waste, bring-your-own PICNIC FOR PEACE: An Evening Screening of Planetary (RSVP & trailer).

GWC is also hosting day time events and we will be tabling there from 11:00am to 1:00pm on Wednesday. For more details, see Upcoming Events at the bottom of this email.

For those of you who came to Bringing Clean Energy to Orange County, a conversation with Nicole Capretz, you know how great her talks were. Here is the follow up. Come join us in discussing next steps at the Orange County for Climate Action meeting tomorrow night, Tuesday, September 20. We are meeting one night sooner than typical in order to participate in GWC Intl Day of Peace on Wednesday. Details are below. Continue reading

A Screening of The Ghosts in our Machine – Saturday, October 8, 2016, Irvine (Living Vegan)


A Screening of

The Ghosts in our Machine

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Vegan Potluck: 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Film & Discussion: 7:00pm – 9:00pm


Irvine Ranch Water District – Community Room*
15500 Sand Canyon Ave, Irvine, CA 92618




POWERFUL – Lucy Siegle, The Guardian | The Observer
FINELY WROUGHT  – Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times
A REFRESHING DEPARTURE – Ezra Winton, Art Threat
UTTERLY ENGROSSING  – Earnest Hardy, Village Voice


Are non-human animals property to be owned and used, or are they sentient beings deserving of rights?

With the exception of our companion animals and the wild and stray species within our urban environments, we experience animals daily only as the food, clothing, animal tested goods and entertainment we make of them. This moral dilemma is largely hidden from our view.

THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE illuminates the lives of individual animals living within and rescued from the machine of our modern world. Through the heart and photographic lens of animal rights photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur, audiences become intimately familiar with a cast of non-human animals. From undercover investigations to joyful rescue missions, in North America and in Europe, each photograph and story is a window into global animal industries: Food, Fashion, Entertainment and Research. THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE charts McArthur’s efforts to bring wider attention to a topic that most of humankind strives hard to avoid.

Click here to watch the trailer.


Living Vegan is a project of Living Ubuntu supporting, educating and advocating compassion and health for people, animals and the planet.


*”The Irvine Ranch Water District neither supports nor endorses the cause or activities of organizations which use the District’s facilities. The facilities are made available as a public service.”