In this culminating session of the “Addiction, Harmful Habits, and Healing” series, esteemed spiritual leaders Rabbi Tirzah Firestone and Vimalasara explore the role of ancestral trauma in our quest for holistic health and spiritual wellness. Bringing distinct cultural and religious perspectives, both speakers underscore the importance of mindfulness and meditation as vital tools to break free from destructive patterns. Expect inspiring stories, interactive dialogue, and actionable steps to enhance your wellbeing and interpersonal relationships.
Following their discussion, we will invite you to join small peer-led breakout room sessions guided by the following prompts:
- What insights have you gained about yourself through your struggles with harmful habits or addictions? Can you name at least one new opportunity or see one new pathway that has cleared?
- How do you manage difficult emotions? Are there specific mindfulness techniques that have been effective for you?
- What roles can service, advocacy, or activism play in your journey through ancestral trauma?
Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, PhD, is an author, Jungian psychotherapist, and spiritual leader in the international Jewish Renewal Movement, and a renowned Jewish scholar and teacher. She was ordained by Reb Zalman in 1992 and is widely known for her groundbreaking work on Kabbalah, depth psychology, intergenerational trauma healing, and the re-integration of the feminine wisdom tradition within Judaism. Rabbi Tirzah lectures and teaches nationally about spiritual and ancient wisdom practices that are honed to assist us at this critical time in world history. Her latest work, Wounds into Wisdom: Healing Intergenerational Jewish Trauma (Monkfish, 2019) is the recipient of the 2020 Nautilus Book Award Gold in Psychology and the Jewish Women's Caucus of the Association for Women in Psychology 2020 book award. www.tirzahfirestone.com | @tirzahfire
Poet, author, and public speaker Valerie (Vimalasara) Mason-John is the award-winning author/editor of ten books. Their debut novel, Borrowed Body, won the 2006 Mind Book of the Year Award. They co-authored the award-winning book Eight Step Recovery: Using the Buddha’s Teachings to Overcome Addiction. And authored Detox Your Heart Meditations for Emotional Trauma. They are one of the founding facilitators of Dr. Gabor's Mate's Compassionate Inquiry, and have curated ten conversations on the Psychedelics as a Path to Freedom: A New Frontier for Mental Health Treatment. Their most recent book I Am Still Your Negro: An Homage to James Baldwin has won critical acclaim. They began writing as an international correspondent covering Aboriginal deaths in custody and land rights in Australia. They are a senior teacher in the Triratna Buddhist Community and one of the leading African descent voices in the field of mindfulness for addiction. In 2024 A First Aid Kit for The Mind: Working with Habitual Behaviours will be published. They work as an international public speaker and professional trainer in the field of mindfulness approaches for addiction and trauma. They live on the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia. www.valeriemason-john.com @vmasonjohn
About Reimagine and the Series "Addiction, Harmful Habits, and Healing"
Reimagine is a nonprofit organization catalyzing a uniquely powerful community–people of different backgrounds, ages, races, and faiths (and no faith) coming together in the hopes of healing ourselves and the world. We specifically support each other in facing adversity, loss, and mortality and–at our own pace– actively channeling life's biggest challenges into meaningful action and growth. www.letsreimagine.org
Most of us have unhealthy habits – repetitive actions and practices that we know we should stop but are difficult to give up. Some bad habits are mild, and some are severe. Many of us must also deal with addiction. Unlike poor habits, addictions are complex diseases that can take control of our behavior, destroy interpersonal relationships, harm entire societies, and most often require treatment and lifestyle changes to manage.
What are the root causes of harmful habits, negative behavior patterns, and addictions? What kinds of losses do people with addictions and their caregivers experience? How can we support loved ones whose grief over addiction cannot be fully expressed due to stigma and shame? How can we create more space to process the collective grief of the opioid epidemic and other related public health crises? What tools and resources lead to transformation and lasting change?
In this three-part series, speakers from various fields – neuroscience, psychiatry, art, mindfulness, and spirituality – address the harmful effects of food, alcohol, drugs, and gambling and identify pathways toward love, health, and healing.