Vivation Blog

Healing Trauma Forever with Vivation

The tragedy that has befallen Japan has captured the world’s attention, and I am again reminded of the long-term fallout that occurs in the wake of such tragedies; namely, an epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is still a common belief that trauma cannot be healed–only managed. However, I would like to assert that not only can trauma be healed, in many cases it can be healed without long hours of therapy, painful reliving of memories, or a continued reliance on medication. Until recently, unresolved trauma (often referred to as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD), was thought to be a mental disease. Symptoms include depression, anxiety, panic attacks, flashbacks, insomnia, psychosomatic complaints, lack of openness, violent unprovoked rage, and repetitive destructive behaviors. However, researchers are beginning to understand what Vivation Professionals have known for a long time, that post-traumatic stress is caused by blocked physical and emotional energies in the body.

Peter Levine, author of Waking the Tiger, has done an outstanding job in explaining in simple terms both the cause of traumatic disorders and their sources of healing.  According to Levine, the process starts when extremely intense survival energy, mobilized during a dramatic event, gets trapped in the body. When sufficient fear overwhelms the nervous systems flight or fight response, the result is the physical “survival” energy getting trapped or “frozen” in the body. This freezing is actually a natural and common response in the animal kingdom, and has certain advantages when an animal faces imminent death. This “freezing” response is what prey often do in the wild when captured by a predator. When an animal freezes in terror, they either do not feel the pain of being eaten, or the predator thinks they are dead and will possibly leave them alone for later consumption. As can sometimes happen, the animal will see an opening, get up, shake off the frozen energy and make a run for it.

PTSD happens in humans when we don’t mobilize this frozen energy back to life as soon as we are safe; the trauma energy is now frozen in the body. The cure then is not reliving the traumatic memories, but simply learning how to feel the feelings and sensations in the body, in a neutral, safe environment. By allowing the feelings to simply be felt as intense energy, without the emotional charge of fear, Vivation heals trauma. Although Vivation is used for healing all kinds of negative emotions, Vivation is uniquely suited to healing trauma in all its forms, because Vivation works directly at the same feeling level where the emotional and survival energies are stored. One important contribution to Vivation was a breathwork process called Rebirthing, created by Leonard Orr, which was so powerful that even the most fundamental trauma – birth trauma – could be cured. However, Rebirthing was often intense, painful and scary for people because there was little training in modulating the experience or focusing on the feelings themselves. Participants might spend 20 or 30 minutes in discomfort before “integrating” or resolving a negative feeling. With Vivation, the intensity is easily controlled, resulting in a far more gentle and efficient process. Many integrations typically occur in every Vivation session. Vivation is efficient because we recognize that it is not the intensity of the feeling that matters, but more importantly, the subtle details or fidelity of the feeling. Any suppressed feeling, no matter how intense originally, can be integrated while still subtle. Peter Levine too understands the importance of subtlety in his work.

I commend Peter Levine for articulating the process of trauma in scientific terms. As a result, we now recognize the central role of the body in trauma, as well as the psychological aspect, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the root causes of PTSD. However, to my knowledge Levine has not yet heard of Vivation. Working independently, Levine developed his own process called Somatic Experiencing. So far they have discovered the importance of feeling the sensations in the body, but the other very useful elements we use in Vivation are still missing. In Levine’s work there is little or no mention yet of the momentous role of breath (1st Element), the all-important relaxation response (2nd Element), and the profound healing power of integration (4th element) that we teach in Vivation. The good news is that more people with PTSD are learning Vivation and reaping the benefits of a new life free of all PTSD symptoms. I have no doubt that as more trauma survivors experience the benefits of Vivation, it will become the modality of choice for people suffering form PTSD.

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VIGA: Vivation & Hatha Yoga

Definition: VIGA combines the transformational process of Vivation, which is a feelings-level meditation-in-action for harmonizing emotions, with body movements based on Hatha Yoga.

We’ve all heard wise-sounding sayings like “Be here now,” or “Just love yourself more”, but we’re never told exactly how to do these things. That’s where Vivationcomes in. Vivation teaches the specific skill of loving yourself exactly as you are in the present moment. Nothing facilitates change so well as fully embracing the present. A key to achieving any goal more easily is to focus on its relative nearness rather than on its difficulty. Vivation makes this shift to enthusiasm and power not just at the level of the mind – it puts this power right into the cells of your body and goes to the very depth of your being.

Practicing VIGA, you can create this spiritually purifying effect very quickly, and in each session, you will experience a healing adventure within yourself. By developing these skills, you can create the same results yourself, anytime, anywhere.

Vivation teaches the skills of contacting suppressed feelings and embracing them with the unconditional love they need in order to be healed forever. When you feel the feeling in detail and give love and attention to the area affected by it, there is a healing result which we call “integration”. Each integration is a quantum leap in receptivity to the benefits, pleasures and learning available from everything in your life.

Because VIGA works so deeply, it provides many benefits, including:

  • Combining the satisfaction of emotional integration with the physical effects of Yoga.
  • Increases happiness, effectiveness and creativity, by healing deeply held and suppressed emotions in the body.
  • Deepens and enhances self-healing, improves your relationship to your body, through understanding, acceptance and reduction of fear.
  • Allows you to resolve negativity in any area of your life faster, with less struggle.
  • Frees you from old thoughts and ideas that may be keeping you stuck.
  • Increases courage and confidence.
  • Makes your mind and body less rigid and more resilient.
  • Makes any change in your life easier by facilitating internal harmony.


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Vivation & The Mastery of Fire and Air

I love Vivation. It expands the heart, the mind and the self, and opens up possibilities we once thought impossible. This summer I used Vivation to become a fire performing rock star.  Vivation helped me overcome any fears I had around this challenging element. As the fictional character Paul Maud’dib says in the book Dune, “Fear is the mind killer”.  Fear keeps us in bondage, in ignorance of our true selves, and what we are here to do. When we overcome our fears, there is no limit to what we can do.  We can do things we once thought impossible, and become the person we always dreamed of being. You can do this right now.  Nothing is stopping you other than your own fear and self-doubt.

At the beginning of this summer I decided I wanted to spin fire and rock the Casbah for a large audience. I practiced “poi” each day, and used Vivation to help hone my flow, grow my courage, and become super-confident in my abilities. There is nothing like fire to awaken your sleeping self, and awaken your deepest and truest hearts desire. If even for a moment you slip out of that present moment while spinning fire, it can burn you. Fire is a powerful teacher and burns away that which is not your true self. It can show you the way to power. Combine this with your skill of Vivation and you can quickly resolves any fears, anxieties and emotional crud keeping you from expanding into your truest and most powerful self.  To spin fire is to become your very own Superhero.

So in the middle of the Black Rock Desert, at the biggest art festival in the world, I spun fire for the first time in front of other people.  Shortly after I started dancing with the fire, I was surrounded by dozens, then hundreds of people. Fire is an amazing teacher. Should you think fuller or lesser than yourself, the fire will get you. So I kept viving and became one with the fire, the flow, and with myself. So here I was becoming a master of fire, a rock star, a Super Hero, a wing of flames for the world to see. Nothing can describe the magnificence of such a thing. And its effects are lasting. I still fill overjoyed at the blessing I received from this experience.  So I thought, wouldn’t it be most awesome to help others have this experience too? Yes!

Coming this April, Vivation International and Flow Temple will be presenting the Vivation Superhero Workshop.  In this extraordinary 4-day event, you will learn the powerful skill of Vivation, how to master the elements and yourself, and to learn and spin fire. But in superhero fashion we are also going to all jump out of a plane too!   Such a thing might terrify you, but I promise that with Vivation at your side you will be able to face and resolve your biggest fears, and do extraordinary things.  You have the power within you.  Stop being who you are, and become the person you were born to be – a Superhero!

This could be you!

For those reading this we are offering the first 8 people to register $200 off the cost for the workshop ($995). This price includes all lessons, equipment, and skydiving costs. The date of this workshop is April 20-23, 2011 in Los Angeles, CA..  You can reserve your spot now by calling us at 1-800-514-8483.

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Looking for Happiness in All the Wrong Places

Looking at the world today we see many wrongs committed in the search of fame, fortune, power, security, health and happiness. Yet underneath this quest, everyone, even the most greedy and power-mad person in the world, is looking for the same thing: Happiness. The Dalai Lama put it beautifully when he said that, “in the final analysis, the hope of every person is simply peace of mind.”  We could use other words such as contentment, ease, power, satisfaction, or fulfillment. The point is that everything we do, we do because we believe in one way or another we will feel better for it. In other words, how we feel on the inside is the ultimate bottom line.

Whatever we are doing, playing a sport, going to work, visiting a doctor, we do because we believe we are going to feel better in the future, with less suffering and less pain.  When we go shopping, we continue to consume things, hoping that if we consume enough of the right things, we will have nirvana and finally be at peace.  We forget that is not money or the things that it can buy we are really after, but simply to feel better inside.  Yet, we forget the simple truth that the happiness we crave so desperately from things on the outside is inside ourselves, where it has been all along.

When we feel good inside we don’t crave anything or that we are missing anything. Life is an experience complete unto itself. The reason is simply that happiness, contentment, and peace of mind are the most natural states of all. They are the path of least resistance. When we relax our bodies and our minds, and just experience the present moment as it is, we realize that everything we have been searching for; the meaning of life, the fountain of youth, the holy grail, our truest purpose in this world, is inside us, just waiting to be felt. Feeling is key, and with Vivation you can transform any feeling into bliss. More accurately, the feeling is already blissful, it’s just a matter of experiencing that bliss directly, rather than experiencing all the false negativity that lies between you and the feeling. Vivation helps you make that direct energetic connection. When you do that, any negativity that was there just melts away.

Vivation is one very powerful way to feel our body’s feelings and experience this bliss directly. This bliss is not a fixed state, but an eternal burbling spring of simple pleasure that is ever-renewing and refreshing – filled with meaning and purpose that guides us to our highest good and truest happiness. The present moment is never the same from one moment to the next. When we bring ourselves fully into our body, as Vivation does, we can feel this ever-unfolding present moment in all it’s beauty and wonder. There is no need to seek it outside yourself-the happiness you seek has been right there inside you all along.

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How Jim Leonard Changed My Life

I would like to pay tribute to Jim Leonard’s particular genius in creating Vivation, the profound healing process that changed my life, and which I continue to use every day.

One of my highest values in life is SELF-RELIANCE; I love feeling independent and not contingent on anything outside myself for my feelings of well-being and happiness. I know that, although I do try to influence and control the people and situations in my life (for better or worse), ultimately I am the one who will make myself either happy or miserable, depending on how I relate to the present circumstances. If I’m relating in a way affected by past negativity, I know that it will severely limit my ability to enjoy the moment.

The genius of Vivation is its simplicity. As someone who has tried many different practices, what I love about this technique is that all I need to remember are a few simple steps, codified into the acronym BRAID, and I have a vest-pocket tool that can carry me over life’s roughest spots, heal underlying old trauma, freeing me from past karma, and helping me achieve my goals.

The components of Vivation are not new–derived from ancient techniques such as pranayama yoga and vipassana meditation, and combined with modern self-actualization and breathwork practices–but Jim put them together in an imminently PRACTICAL way that is easy, convenient, and ultimately usable in today’s world. 

So I want to simply say how deeply grateful I feel to have had Jim in my life as a teacher and colleague, to have been able to study with him, and experience his amazingly different paradigm of how to view the world– through the integrative lens of Vivation. 

Jim passed away last year but leaves behind the rich legacy of his work and many thousands of individuals around the world whose lives he enriched by teaching Vivation, with his own peculiar brand of goofy humor, and his “Never Give Up” attitude. He had a childlike fascination with life, and always brought a fresh perspective to everything he encountered. My life is so much richer for having known him, and I will always be grateful.

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Vivation and Skydiving

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Event Calendar

Summer & Fall, 2017 – United States Bali, Indonesia. appointment. 
Winter & Spring, 2018
 – Western U.SAll courses ongoing – Please contact us.

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Refresher Retreats

For experienced students wanting a refresher. Learn More.

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What is Vivation

Vivation® is a physically pleasurable meditation and breathwork process you can learn to quickly and permanently heal any kind of negative emotion, trauma, or experience. Learn More




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Course Offerings

We offer a variety of course formats for beginners to advanced practitioners. Come master the elements and yourself in a Vivation Basic or Mastery Retreat.  Learn More

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