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Non-Dualistic Approach to Trauma

What is non-duality? According to Duquette (2014), non-dualism is the theory in which one looks inward to discover the true nature of oneself (p. 78). In this approach, people are thought to have the ability to self-realize their experience, thus becoming one with truth. This theory can be associated with traumatic events such as discussed in a recent study by Bannerman and Tzu (2017). In this account, the authors looked at the healing journey of a gentleman who realized that “full healing only happened when he was willing to dive into the fire of trauma and get an insider’s perspective. From the inside, he could see that it was his stance against the experience that made it so painful. It was not the actual feelings that froze him in time, but his judgments” (Bannerman & Tzu, 2017).

How can one dive into their experiences.  

  1. Identify the thought or reaction that is occurring in this moment. 
  2. Accept the current feeling or belief that is manifesting in you as a part of you.  
  3. Breath and allow yourself to flow as a result of the circumstances.
  4. Try not to judge your experience as good or bad.  
  5. Be kind to yourself and others and gently move in the direction of your desires.  

Many people have experienced trauma in their lives. We may think that it has not affected us if we are productive and successful. Or we may believe we have risen above it. As stated by Bannerman and Tzu (2017), one’s mind can interfere with current and future events subconsciously as a result of one’s beliefs about their experiences. This is not saying that one person alone can completely control the cycle of ebb and flow in life, but the realization that the symphony of all the variables combined is what tilts the balance in one direction or the other. It is the attachment to the appearance of ones role that causes strife, not the feeling, Ayurveda links trauma to a force that can cause imbalances leading to health issues. If the trauma, or the emotions and beliefs behind it are not processed and released, disease can ensue. Vata (or the theory of movement) is responsible for the transportation and elimination of emotions throughout the body. When you feel you have been affected by some belief cycles currently or in your past, there are some basic practices that Ayurveda recommends for cultivating digestion and calming the vata dosha

Tips to help calm Vata:

  1. Create routines that you can follow everyday
  2. Add self-care/love rituals to your daily routine
  3. Add oil to your day through self-massage 
  4. Eat warm, cooked, fresh, easily digestible foods
  5. Be gentle to yourself
  6. Simplify your life

If you do struggle with cycles of thought that do not serve you, please reach out to those professionals that are qualified to assist you on your journey to balance. Seeking help is an act of self-love and is the first step toward self-realization. After all, we are meant to be happy and healthy, not stressed and diseased.


Duquette, J. (2014). Reading Non-Dualism in Śivādvaita Vedānta: An Argument from the Śivādvaitanirṇaya in Light of the Śivārkamaṇidīpikā. Journal of Indian Philosophy,44(1), 67-79. doi:10.1007/s10781-014-9231-x

Tzu, G., & Bannerman, B. (2016). Transforming Trauma into Healing and Being: A Non-Dual Therapy Approach. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction,15(1), 63-79. doi:10.1007/s11469-016-9659-1


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