The benefits of attending Toward a More Peaceful World | Register by Fri Dec 19 to get the early discount.

Dr. David Berceli teaching TRE in China.

Dr. David Berceli teaching TRE in China.

This era of human history is witnessing tremendous trauma on a global scale. It seems impossible to try and stop such tragedy despite our greatest desires to do so. In light of this unstoppable, irreversible and seemingly self-destructive era of our humanity, we need to ask: What possible good can come of all this violence? Once again, if we view trauma as a part of life, we must consider the possibility that the large scale trauma that we are experiencing has the potential of helping us evolve into a more ethical, moral and caring species. This global trauma can be viewed as the pain of the human species going through the birthing canal to be born into a new era of human consciousness.
 – David Berceli

Hi everyone,

I know asking you to think about January right now might be a bit much – yet – the early registration deadline for Toward a More Peaceful World is this coming Friday, December 19 and I don’t want you to miss out on it.

If you are on the fence about attending, here are some really good benefits to consider:

•    Participating in Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) has really good odds of making you feel better – e.g. better sleep, more relaxed muscles, calm-alert mind, etc. You get to learn it from the one who created it — a rare opportunity in and of itself — and then, after the two-day workshop, you get to go home and continue its benefits by practicing at home on your own because it really is that easy to learn.

•    Learning more about stress, trauma and the obstacles to conflict resolution from Dr. David Berceli is apt to change the way you see the world (personal, local and global) – cycles we seem stuck in will make more sense — and recognizing what needs to change is likely to make you feel more optimistic.

•    Celebrating Living Ubuntu’s 10th Birthday in the evening will include lots of fun!

•    The whole weekend benefits Living Ubuntu’s project, Trauma Recovery for East African Refugees in San Diego. Continue reading

Toward a More Peaceful World – early registration ends this Friday December 19

Hi everyone,

It’s mid-December – holiday season. This time of year brings such a mixture of experiences. While some find it a favorite time – relishing in get-togethers and cherished traditions – others feel weighed down by less than ideal relational dynamics and the added stress of holiday frenzy. Many experience not one or the other – but all of the above.

On a good day we can find our natural rhythm that takes us back and forth through the mixed experiences, noting the difficulties, yet, remembering what’s enjoyable, aware of what is less than ideal, yet deeply grateful for what we have. And we have a sense that somehow everything is going to be just fine. Continue reading

What is Bioenergetics?

Integrating Mind, Body and Emotions.

“It integrates a work with the body, with the patient’s interpersonal relationships, and with his mental processes; each of which is correlated and interpreted in terms of the others…. Bioenergetic Analysis starts with the reality of the body and its basic functions of motility and expression.”
– Alexander Lowen, Founder of Bioenergetics

Bioenergetics is a form of psychotherapy practiced by licensed psychotherapists with specialized training.  It blends traditional therapeutic methods with body-centered techniques to help people resolve their emotional problems and enhance their well-being.  Symptoms of unhappiness and stress, such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and decreased sexuality, often are the result of unmet developmental needs, blocked emotional expression and chronic muscular tension.

Bioenergetic therapy offers an integrated, effective, relational approach to address these common manifestations of early wounding, distress, and dysfunction.  At the heart of Bioenergetics is a deep conviction that there is a mind-body correlation for many psychological problems.  It makes use of the connection created in the therapeutic relationship to be the foundation that supports the process of healing.  It often includes work with body contact, boundaries, grounding, and the understanding of muscular tensions as indications of somatic and psychological defenses against past trauma.  The goal is more than the absence of symptoms – it is having aliveness, getting a taste of pleasure, joy, love – vibrant health.

Continue reading

Early registration for Tarra Stariell’s workshop ends this Saturday, Feb 19th

Hi everyone,

If we are going to offer a workshop that seeks to address the way we often lose ourselves in the midst of all the long lists of tasks and obligations (No time to think, No time to breathe… Is this me?), we thought the least we could do was send you a friendly reminder that the early discounted registration for Tarra’s workshop on busyness and overwhelm will end this coming Saturday, February 19.

For those of you prone to procrastinating, it ends tomorrow – Friday, February 18.  If we say “Friday”, that will give you one additional day to be late and still make it in before the Saturday deadline.  Just trying to be helpful :)

No time to think, No time to breathe... Is this me (Saturday, Feb 22 2011)

Workshop by Tarra Stariell on busyness and overwhelm is next Saturday, Feb 12th in Costa Mesa, CA.

All kidding aside, we hope you will take advantage of the early registration discount.  If there are any financial concerns, please do get in touch with us. This workshop series is a service to the community and no one will be turned away for lack of funds. All details are on the website.

In solidarity,

:) Barbara & Anshul
Living Ubuntu

PS:  It took us a while, but we finally have a location for the workshop.  It is going to be held at the National University Campus in Costa Mesa.  The address is on the website.


Sunday February 20,  Living Ubuntu Winter Body Group: Relating to Global Issues
2:30-5:00p.  Newport Beach, CA
Meeting every other Sunday afternoon to ground, stretch, breathe and learn how to maintain our own wellbeing in the face of global issues that upset us.  For more information, visit

Tuesday February 22,  An Evening with Myra Dahgaypaw about Burma
6:30p.  Irvine, CA
Myra Dahgaypaw currently is a Campaign Coordination for US Campaign for Burma and a 2010 Genocide Intervention Network Carl Wilkens Fellow.  This is a casual dinner get-together in Irvine.  If you’d like to attend, please contact Barbara English at or (949) 891-2005.

Saturday February 26,  No time to think, No time to breathe… Is this me?
9:30a-1:00p.  Costa Mesa, CA.
Why is it so hard to keep up?  Where is the time for me? Why do I feel so lost in my own life?  Join us for a workshop about our overwhelmed lives and how to find our way back to a healthy balance.  Presented by Tarra Stariell.  Visit for more information or call (949) 891-2005.

Tuesday March 1,  Orange County for Darfur Planning Meeting
6:30p-8:00p.  Newport Beach, CA.
Darfur, a region in Sudan has been embroiled in a deadly conflict for over seven years now.  At least 400,000 people have been killed; more than 2.5 million innocent civilians have been displaced.  This is our campaign to raise awareness and help end the genocide in Darfur.  For more information, visit or call (949) 891-2005.

* * *


Are we too busy to be compassionate?

Hi everyone,

I recall a study on altruism that I read awhile ago.  It involved a bunch of seminary students.  They were divided into two groups and both were given instructions to go to another location.  One group was told they were late and needed to rush, the other group was not told that.  A person in distress was planted in their path as part of the experiment.  Can you guess which group was more apt to help the person in need? It wasn’t those who thought they were running late… (see “The Good Samaritan Study”).

I am concerned about many of the recent trends in our society, especially, the short and long term consequences of the gadget-ridden, multi-tasking, over-scheduled pace that has become the new norm.  We are all in a hurry, all of the time, and it is accepted like that is just the way it is.

What price do we pay in lost ability to respond compassionately when someone is genuinely in need of help? And what are we losing in self-awareness, close relationships, and the ability to think novel, creative thoughts?

The psychotherapist in me suspects there are deeper issues going on.  In our quest to evade the distress within, we stay distracted.  Yet the cumulative stress of chronic busy-ness in and of itself can create the same states in our bodies as actual traumatic experiences, thereby increasing distress.  It is a no-win cycle.

Our good friend Tarra Stariell will be in Orange County on Saturday, February 26 to present No time to think, No time to breathe… Is this me? Tarra is a psychotherapist in private practise with over 16 years of experience.  She specializes in working with trauma, auto-immune and dissociative disorders and we are delighted to have her present on this timely topic.  This workshop is a service to the community and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.  Please see our website for all details.


Barbara English
Living Ubuntu | blog | facebook

PS:  I hope to see you tomorrow (Saturday, Feb 12th) evening at the screening of On Our Watch, a powerful documentary about the ongoing genocide in Darfur.

PPS:  The irony of marketing two events in one post is not lost on me. :)

No time to think, No time to breathe…
Is this me?
Tarra Stariell

 No time to think, No time to breathe... Is this me?

presented by

Living Ubuntu
Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis

Saturday, February 26 2011
9:30a – 1:00p

Orange County, CA

Why is it so hard to keep up?  Where is the time for me?  Why do I feel so lost in my own life?

Join us for a workshop about our overwhelmed lives and how to find our way back to a healthy balance.
This is a not-for-profit event.  No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Advance registration is required. Please visit for more information.

* * *

No time to think, No time to breathe… Is this me?

“There is more to life than simply increasing it’s speed.”
– Gandhi

Hi everyone,

Let’s try something…  Take a deep breath.  How does it feel?  Do you feel your belly move?  Or was the movement higher, up in your chest and shoulders? Does it feel tight, effort-ful and constricted?  Or open, easy and rhythmic?

Most of us in our society tend to have pretty shallow breathing.  Unlike the free, open breath of a newborn baby, most people do the bare-minimum breathing.  Yes, it’s enough to keep us going, but how many of us can say that we feel “full of life”?  Shallow breathing blocks access to deep feelings.  We spend our days just trying to keep up with the million things-to-do, there is little time left to slow down, breathe and reflect.  And for many of us, after so much time spent “on the go”, when we do stop and try to take a deep, calming breath, we can’t even do it. Is it any wonder that sometimes life feel like a blur?

We’ve been noticing this hectic pace in our own lives as well.  Simply arranging a dinner or trying to have a phone call requires so much back-and-forth effort.  Why is everyone so busy?  What is underneath all this frenzied-ness?  At a pure body level, this is what chronic stress looks like. No wonder there are so many blank eyes, tight shoulders, and painful lower backs.  All this focus on “doing”, keeps us out of our feelings and our bodies pay the price. We have forgotten how to let down, even when we want to.

We wanted to tackle this issue of chronic busyness and overwhelm head on.  On Saturday, February 26th, our good friend Tarra Stariell will present No time to think, No time to breathe… Is this me? Tarra is a therapist in private practice with over 16 years of experience and specializes in working with trauma and dissociative disorders.  We are really glad she is willing to offer her help with this ultra-common struggle here in Orange County.  All details are on the website.

We hope you will join us.

Barbara & Anshul
Living Ubuntu
| blog | facebook

No time to think, No time to breathe… Is this me?
Tarra Stariell

 No time to think, No time to breathe... Is this me?

presented by

Living Ubuntu
Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis

Saturday, February 26 2011
9:30a – 1:00p

Orange County, CA

Why is it so hard to keep up?  Where is the time for me?  Why do I feel so lost in my own life?

Join us for a workshop about our overwhelmed lives and how to find our way back to a healthy balance.
This is a not-for-profit event.  No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Advance registration is required. Please visit for more information.

* * *

Finding Peace: When Security Comes At Too High a Price

Hi everyone,

Every time I read the writings of Alexander Lowen, I come away feeling a little sad.  I’ve read very few authors who truly get to the heart of an issue and talk about the root causes of the numerous problems we face in the world.  So rarely do we discuss what it means to really “live” one’s life.  Most of the people around me seem stuck in the struggle to merely survive.  Hardly anyone I know is “vibrantly alive”.

Why do so many of us feel trapped in life? Whether it’s fear, pessimism, or past wounds, it’s hard to shake this deep, buried feeling that something is wrong.  We stay stuck in meaningless jobs, settle for unfulfilling relationships, hide behind image, money, status… and in such ways pay a huge price simply to feel safe and secure.  Yet, peace and fulfillment seem elusive.  Is there a way to get beyond the familiar status quo in order to genuinely find peace?  How does one know whether a change is truly worth the risk?

I hope you will join us on Saturday, October 30th as we present, Finding Peace: When security comes at too high a price. Our very own Barbara English will be presenting this next workshop in our collaborative series with The Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis (SCIBA).  All details are below and on the website.

Wishing you peace and “aliveness”,

Anshul Mittal
Living Ubuntu | blog

Finding Peace
When security comes at too high a price
Barbara English

Finding Peace.  Workshop by Barbara English

presented by

Living Ubuntu
Southern California Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis

Saturday, October 30 2010
9:30a – 1:00p

University of San Diego
Manchester Conference Center
5998 Alcala Park I
San Diego, CA 92110

Why is “insecurity” so common in our culture?  Why do we stay in meaningless jobs and settle for unfulfilling relationships?  Does the familiar really provide safety?  How does this play out at the societal level?  Why does “national security” trump everything else?

Join us for this presentation where we tackle the deep-seated reasons behind our quest for “security” that is so pervasive in our society.
This is a not-for-profit event.  No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Advance registration is required.  Please visit for more information.

* * *

“The defenses we erect to protect us create the very condition we are trying to avoid. Thus, when someone builds a castle to protect his liberty, he ends up as a prisoner in his own castle because he dares not leave it.”

– Alexander Lowen

Feedback from Tarra’s workshop and event about Burma in July

Hi everyone,

Workshop by Tarra Stariell (Saturday, June 5th)

Workshop by Tarra Stariell (Saturday, June 5th). Click to read feedback from participants.

I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks since, No Time to Think, No Time to Breathe… Is This Me?. Tarra gave a great presentation, and thinking, breathing and being restored into one’s own sense of self were not in short supply that day :) Click here to read some of the feedback from participants.

Our Orange County for Darfur campaign has recently expanded its focus to include additional regions where mass atrocities are occurring, including Congo and Burma. It can be challenging to understand the complexities of ethnically based violence in any country. In Burma, a country that does not allow journalists on the ground, information often gets out only through the underground courage of those who put their lives at risk to tell the story.

We are very excited and grateful to have partnered with University Synagogue (and others) to present Understanding Burma: An Evening with Tim Aye Hardy on Thursday, July 1st.

Tim was born and raised in Burma, and was a student organizer of the protests in 1988. His participation in this left him needing to flee the country because his life was endangered. I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Tim through the Genocide Intervention Network Carl Wilkens Fellowship.

We will be screening the Academy Award nominated documentary Burma VJ, and having a conversation with Tim after the film. It is a rare opportunity to get him out here to Orange County from his current home in New York. We look forward to hearing his firsthand account of life in Burma and really hope you will join us for this event.


Barbara Engilsh
Living Ubuntu | blog | facebook

Understanding Burma:
An Evening with Tim Aye Hardy

Understanding Burma: An Evening With Tim Aye Hardy

“In June 1988, six military intelligence agents knocked on my door in Rangoon in the middle of the night. They had come to arrest me for speaking out against the regime during the student uprising that came to be known as the ‘8888 Uprising’ . . . I was one of the lucky few. Up to 6,000 innocent protesters were gunned down, and many more were imprisoned or mysteriously disappeared in the night. I lost many colleagues and close friends.”
– Tim Aye Hardy

Thursday, July 1st 2010

University Synagogue
3400 Michelson Dr.
Irvine, CA 92612


What is going on in Burma? How is a military machine of 500,000 soldiers able to deny a country of 50 million it’s most basic rights? Why has Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Price Laureate been under house arrest for over 14 years?

Join us for a screening of Burma VJ and a conversation with Tim Aye Hardy.

Visit for more information. Please RSVP on the website.

* * *

Feedback from Tarra Stariell’s workshop on stress, overwhelm and dissociation

No time to think, No time to breathe... Is this Me?

Workshop by Tarra Stariell (Saturday, June 5th). Click to see pictures from the event.

Last month, Tarra Stariell presented — No time to think, No time to breathe… Is this Me?,  a workshop on the chronic stress and overwhelm so many of us face in the world today.

Below is some of the feedback from participants.

I am so appreciative to have received the information and experience that was offered today.  I understand more, look forward to reviewing what I received at home and with my therapist.  Thanks for this piece of my healing journey.
–  Megan

Interesting + informative.  I can use these exercises to relieve stress – actually take them and use them.  Tarra, great presentation!
–  Chrys

Very well done.  Great pace!
–  Diana

I appreciated the spontaneity and teaching off of the list.  The info was great, but reading directly from the ppt instead of a lecture was a bit boring.
–  Anonymous

Loved it!!!  Was thankful for the ending exercises and getting grounded.

Great job!  I loved this seminar! I am very thankful we didn’t spend 20 minutes a person doing the dyad. Whew! For a three hour seminar that would have been way too long. Thank you for standing up and reminding Tarra of the time. I loved the venue, the room was comfortable and all inclusive. The staff from Living Ubuntu and SCIBA were very open and approachable. Very thankful for the granola bars at break. Overall this was a great experience. I can’t wait for the next seminar!! Bummed I missed the first two in the series. And … everything happens for a reason. See you in October.
–  Karen

Well prepared, succinct and to the point of managing healthfully life’s stressful events, joyful ones too.  Really enjoyed the experiential exercises.
–  Dorothy

Great service to the community; liked learning about Ubuntu & SCIBA.  Great experiential exercises and good group of participants.  Could have been longer & parking was a problem.
–  Anonymous

Great event.  It seemed different that what was advertised (theme)… Nonetheless, great!
–  Anonymous

Really a great little seminar!  I look forward to attending more like it.  Thank you Tarra, the summary of theoretical background coupled with very applicable techniques = GREAT.
A small binder clip on packet would be helpful as packet was a pinch thick… :)  Oh yes, and box of tissues to use as needed.  Some emotions bust loose during dyad experience.
–  Sara

Continue reading

Living skills for a less stressed and more fulfilled life

Last month Tarra Stariell, presented No time to think, No time to breathe… Is this me? Here are some reminders that she shared with attendees after the workshop.


:) Anshul

Living skills for a less stressed and more fulfilled life

by Tarra Stariell


Breathe deeply in and out, when you recognize that you are stressing. Breathe in as many counts as breathe out.

Take a moment to take in your surroundings—do the orienting exercise; find your feet, do your toe/finger curlings, get back in touch with your body and the present moment.

Instead of pushing your body to accomplish your goals, become aware of its subtle messages, and then follow them.  Use your attention to “Mind the Body.”

Stretch or engage in some form of physical activity; movement is organizing

When you wake up in the morning, don’t get out of bed immediately.  Take time for contemplation, remembering your dreams, prayer, setting your intention for the day.

Find a way to feel fulfilled in your work, free time and in your relationships.  Judging less and loving/accepting more is a way to increase joy and happiness.  Attitude of gratitude.

Heal your wounded relationships whenever possible, let go of toxic people and bless them on their journey.  Spend time with those you love and learn to accept your differences.  Friends/family can mitigate the effects of stress and increase our resiliency.

We are multi-dimensional beings, needing physical, mental, social, sexual and spiritual contact and expression.  We also have purpose and a need to earn money, seek to have your “vocation your avocation.” (David Whyte)

Play *  Laugh *  Move *  Dance *  Recreate *  Connect *  Be Intimate *  Cry when You Need to *  Risk Feeling *   Live Comfortably in Your Skin *  Sing *  Allow Your Feelings  *  Get Support when You Need It  *  Stay Connected in Your Body *  Life is a Gift when You’re Present to Enjoy It

* * *

Tarra Judson Stariell, MFT, CBT · Mfc 37920 · 760-294-2150
327 South Ivy Street, Escondido, 92025 · 333 Olive Street, San Diego, 92103