Intro to TRE: Connection, Compassion & Community (December 6, 2017, Irvine, CA)

You share what you have. It is to say, ‘My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours.’… We say, ‘A person is a person through other persons.’
– Desmond Tutu (on what Ubuntu is)

Hi everyone,

2017 has been a very challenging year for many people – how has it been for you?

Recently, I had the great pleasure of listening to Dr. Gabor Mate in person for the first time. This morning on Facebook, I was delighted to see, “This Surprising Factor Can Make People 4600 Percent More Prone To Addiction: We know the major reason why addiction is transmitted through families – and it is not what most of us think.” (Read it here.)

An ultra-quick oversimplification of what Gabor Mate talks about is that we are all addicts; some use drugs. Instead of asking, ‘why the addiction?‘ ask, ‘why the pain? At the root, historical and childhood trauma lurk as culprits, often unacknowledged. Present day life situations contribute additional suffering. Addiction to work, activism, chronic busyness, alcohol, other drugs, food, sex, shopping, exercise, social media and more are at epidemic proportions and reflect a desperate collective attempt to escape the pain. Healing addiction requires connection… healthy, enjoyable, loving connection. A host of societal ills could be remedied by adopting and addressing this reality.

As much as we long for a good night’s sleep, and the pleasure and benefit of genuine connection, both are dependent upon feeling a subjective sense of safety. When life has been full of stressful challenges, early on or recent, we might not be able to be as emotionally present with one another as we would like to be. We might not be able to fully let down even at day’s end to rest and recover. One of the most effective ways to calm an over-stimulated nervous system is to make use of the body’s own natural recovery system.

Living Ubuntu wants to ‘share what we have‘ and invite you to join us for one last event in 2017, an Introduction to Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE®). In addition to learning this method that helps relax the muscles and calm the nervous system after stress or trauma, we want you to join us for a time to connect, re-connect and re-affirm living life compassionately.

Intro to TRE®: Connection, Compassion & Community, Wednesday, December 6, 6:30pm – 9pm — FREE ADMISSION | VEGAN REFRESHMENTS | DETAILS & REGISTRATION.

In the spirit of Ubuntu,
Barbara English, LMFT, CBT, TRE® Certification Trainer
Co-founder and Executive Director, Living Ubuntu
| facebook | donate »
living vegan (facebook)

(949) 891-2005

[Ubuntu] n. We belong to the greater whole.

Intro to TRE: Connection, Compassion & Community


This year has been extremely challenging for many. What is challenging for one affects the whole.
In the spirit of Ubuntu we ‘share what we have’.
Join us for an Intro to Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) plus a time to connect, re-connect and re-affirm living life compassionately.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Irvine Ranch Water District Community Room, 15500 Sand Canyon Avenue, Irvine, CA 92618



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.




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

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.”

The greatest obstacle… | Peaceable Kingdom Aug 21

The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance –
it is the illusion of knowledge.
– Daniel J. Boorstin

Hi everyone,

How often do we see the world based on how we have been conditioned to see it, yet, when something unexpected happens, or we encounter new information, suddenly we see it differently? Sometimes we think we know enough about a topic, resisting opportunities to learn more as if irrelevant or a waste of time. Yet, how often is this the very thing that keeps us stuck in the status quo that many of us complain about?

There are countless aspects of how we see animals, raise food, and decide what to eat, that have deeply entrenched belief systems in need of a significant amount of re-examination and change.

Please join us for a film about awakening and transformation. Sunday, August 21, 7:00pm, A Screening of Peaceable Kingdom (RSVP & trailer) will take place in Irvine.

Let’s change the status quo – toward increased consciousness, compassion, sustainability and health.

Watch for the next email on another exciting opportunity: Bringing Clean Energy to Orange County! Continue reading