December 10, 2021
We introduce a special circle of support – the Friends of the Pocket Project!
This circle will accompany our work over a longer period of time through a monthly donation. The continuity of flow can grow into a river, uplifting our work on healing collective trauma to a next level of impact in the world.
We will cultivate communication with this circle, and will be offering privileged access to certain materials and meetings.
Make a monthly donation and join this circle.
October 31, 2021
Trauma-Informed Leadership & Climate Change
Our team will be present at 26th UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, bringing in the themes of:
Join us from 1-12 November for live conversations, interviews, witnessing and shared meditation, with Thomas Hübl and many others. Sign up now to receive free access.
October 20, 2021
The Pocket Project supports Spozhmay from Afghanistan to complete her PhD on healing collective trauma in Canada, raising 15.000€.
Spozhmay worked with the Pocket Project to bring knowledge about collective trauma to Afghanistan. She received scholarships through the Pocket Project and translated materials to her language, Dari, to share with her students. With the change of power in Kabul, she had to flee the country, for her own safety, but also, in order to continue to follow her dreams of healing for Afghanistan.
September 15, 2021
From September 19-28 the Pocket Project will be co-hosting the 3rd annual Collective Trauma Online Summit.
Thomas Hübl hosts 45+ experts on the topic of collective trauma including pioneering psychotherapists, neuroscientists, Indigenous elders and activists, acclaimed poets and authors, climate scientists. During this 10-day global event, we will create a powerful container and energy to bring awareness to this topic, while providing key action steps you can take to be part of the solution.
Explore the potential for healing with speaker talks, live online events, and poetry readings, as well as movement practices, integration sessions, guided contemplation, and panel discussions.
June 20, 2021
With 360 participants from 50+ countries the Pocket Project is launching its first Trauma-informed Leadership Summer Online Course. The 5 month course is led by Thomas Hübl, and supported by Jens Riese, Robin Alfred, Karen Simms and Kosha Joubert, CEO of the Pocket Project. All proceeds go to support the Pocket Project’s non-profit work on restoring the fragmentation in our world.
70 full scholarships and 31 partial scholarships were granted to People of Color from the ‘Global South’ and/ or people who may have experienced systemic exclusion in their country of residence and don’t currently have the resources to cover the costs to apply. The course is primarily addressed to leaders in NGOs, social enterprises and change movements, and is open also to interested people with other backgrounds.
As leaders, we are called to raise our awareness of the multifaceted nature of trauma and to understand the impacts that trauma has on us, our teams, and our work in the world. Awareness is the first step in a cultural shift from trauma-inducing, to trauma-informed and, finally, trauma-integrating organizations.
March 22, 2021
Be present – Feel what you see – Become a global witness
We are hosting the first Global Social Witnessing call – a free monthly offer to cultivate global social responsibility together.
Each of our Global Social Witnessing Calls will be dedicated to a particular topic, theme or event in the world. The calls will be led by senior Pocket Project Facilitators.
Global Social Witnessing is the human capacity to mindfully attend to global events with an embodied awareness, thereby creating an inner world space that mirrors and brings compassion to these events. We shift from being a mere bystander, mentally processing the latest news, to an active witness, responding from our bodies and hearts, as well as our minds. Together we learn to gently turn our attention towards rather than away from challenging events in the world.
March 8, 2021
Relatedness & Collective Learning
We are happy to invite you to our new project, our monthly Community Calls, open to the public, with free participation, starting this month. Facilitators will open a space to welcome you for an exploration of some of the most important aspects of our time, including:
Each of the Community Calls will be dedicated to a particular competency or to questions from the attendees.
January 25, 2021
We are delighted to share with you our Annual Report – the steps we have taken in 2020 to fulfil our mission contributing to the healing of collective trauma and reducing its disruptive effects on our global culture.
November 16, 2020
The first cycle of International Labs is launched. From November 2020 to June 2021, 23 online groups with 692 participants will meet with the support of trained Pocket Project facilitators to explore the historic layering, architecture and specific expression and possibilities for restoration of specific thematic or localized fields of collective trauma. They are accompanied by a framework of scientific research and will deepen the foundation for the work of the Pocket Project to deepen our understanding, build awareness of and integrate the collective trauma aftereffects of individuals and societies.
The following questions will be explored:
What constitutes the historical background of collective trauma and resilience in regards to this specific topic and geographical area?
How does this area of collective and intergenerational trauma influence the How does this area of collective and intergenerational trauma influence the development of cultural architecture?
How does our use of language reflect and reinforce the consequences of this trauma?
How does this area of collective and intergenerational trauma show itself in times of crisis (e.g. Covid-19, climate emergencies)?
Can coherent we-spaces and a process of witnessing collective and intergenerational trauma lead to an integration and eventual healing of this area of collective trauma?
After a pause and reflection period, during which we will tease out and publish our meta-learnings, a second cycle of the Labs will start by the end of October 2022, continuing and deepening the journey for those Labs already established and expanding to include more topics and countries.
August 26, 2020
Healing Collective Trauma – A Process for Integrating Our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds. A comprehensive guide to understanding and addressing collective trauma by Thomas Hübl
Co-Founder of the Pocket Project, Thomas Hübl shares the importance of understanding individual and collective, ancestral, and historical trauma, from both a scientific and a mystical approach.
In this important and timely book, Thomas explores the symptoms, habits, unconscious social agreements, and cultural shadows that lead to unhealed collective suffering, while offering new possibilities for how we can shed light in the darkness and come together in revolutionary ways to directly address our generational and cultural wounds.
As we grapple with the volatility and threats of current events – climate change, a global pandemic, institutional racism, political polarization – Healing Collective Trauma is intended to offer a roadmap for understanding the core antecedents of our times and to present inspiring remedies to help us heal and restore ourselves, our communities, and our world. Published in November 2020 by SoundsTrue
August 24, 2020
We are happy to announce that the second Collective Trauma Online Summit is coming soon! Last October in 2019, more than 53,000 people attended the first summit of this kind. In light of current events in the world, this topic has become even more urgent. From September 22 to October 1, over 40 international thought leaders will share vital perspectives about collective trauma and how it can be healed. This is a subject that concerns every individual, every community and the whole of humanity.
We are also pleased to announce that this year’s Summit will include live collective trauma healing events and panels, readings and conversations with acclaimed poets, as well as several live musical performances.
July 27, 2020
We are delighted to announce that Kosha Joubert will step into the role of CEO of the Pocket Project for Collective and Intergenerational Trauma Integration on September 1. Currently, she is transitioning from her role as CEO of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), which she will complete by the end of July.
Kosha grew up in South Africa under Apartheid and has been dedicated to the healing of divides and collective trauma ever since. She lives in Findhorn, Scotland, when she is not traveling. She is an international facilitator, speaker, trainer, and consultant and has worked extensively in the fields of organizational development, intercultural collaboration and the emergence of collective wisdom.
She has been studying with Thomas Hübl since 2005, co-hosted the “Power of Collective Wisdom Conference” with him in Berlin in 2008, and was one of the hosts of the Collective Trauma Online Summit in 2019. In 2016, Kosha received the Dadi Janki Award – 100 Women of Spirit – for engaging spirituality in life and work and for making a difference in the world.
We are very happy to have Kosha join our team and enrich the Pocket Project
July 27, 2020
In July and August 2020 Thomas offered on the occasion of the current pandemic crisis a series of free online events to explore how collective trauma surfaces in times of stress and how we can heal it:
Event 1: Collective Trauma in Our World Today
Event 2: Collective Witnessing for Deep Healing
Event 3: Building Community Coherence and Resilience
Thomas presents here his latest insights into the healing of collective trauma. The series was very well received – more than 20,000 people signed up for it.
May 27, 2020
Thomas Hübl was a guest at the Community Meeting of GAIA Journey, a project initiated by Otto Scharmer’s Presencing Institute. He shared his insights into collective trauma, and exchanged views with Otto. The article includes the video recording of the session.
April 24, 2020
Our new project has been in existence for two weeks. It has started well and is gratefully accepted. It is an offer of support for people who are burdened by this pandemic crisis through stress, fear and strong inner processes. We offer moderated online groups via video conferencing (in English, German and Spanish). There is the possibility to share experiences in a safe space, to listen to each other in presence, to become part of a supporting group field, and to enter into a common integrating learning process.
There are separate groups for people in the nursing, healthcare and medical professions, who in many places are now particularly burdened and challenged.
The groups are led by people from all over the world who are all connected to the Pocket Project for Collective and Intergenerational Trauma Integration. The team has grown to 61 people. Each of the volunteers have graciously offered their expertise in supporting groups and individuals. Thomas is leading this team. There are open groups almost every day – registration is free of charge.
Global Collective Trauma Prevention – VISIT THE WEBSITE AND FIND OUT MORE >>
Thomas Hübl gave talks at Harvard Medical School and Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, in December 2019.
“One of the major elements of healing is relation. In healing relation, I create like a kind of relational warmth and generosity that allows people to really drop in and be partners in the conversation about their health. I think it’s a prerequisite if I work in a healthcare profession to have a certain level of ‘response-ability’ because when I’m reactive I’m not responding, I’m reacting.”
Discussing the importance of a support system for healthcare providers, Thomas shared his insights on how to bring the fragmented parts of ourselves and our systems into deeper integration. On this rainy day in early December, approximately 80 students, staff, and faculty came out to attend a talk at Harvard Medical School with Thomas and Dr. Bala Subramaniam, an associate professor of medicine and director of the Center for Anesthesia Research Excellence at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
For the past three years, Dr. Subramaniam has been studying the neuro-physiological effects of meditation when practiced by pre-op and post-op patients. He conducts social behavioral research on the role of meditation in supporting surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses, and has been offering meditation workshops to healthcare providers across the US and India. As Thomas and Dr. Subramaniam engaged together in dialogue, Dr. Subramaniam said, “I am impressed by your level of looking at collective trauma and (how you go into) organized societies and take care of their biggest problems, the big elephant that no one wants to touch like the German Jewish problem or another collective trauma. For example, the occupation in India – now people are just coming out of that occupation and slavery and trying to have a different mindset.”
More than 5,000 people joined the talk from across the world via livestream, as comments and questions poured in from India, Germany, Mexico, and Hong Kong, among other countries. At the end of the first week, more than 20,000 people had viewed that talk. In responding to a question about his work with collective social bodies, Thomas said, “Individual (trauma) work is very important, and that needs to continue, but I think we need larger containers because we have so many collective scars around the world.” After the talk concluded, several people waited to speak with Thomas to discuss practices that promote healing of collective trauma.
Later in the day, Thomas spoke at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, a Harvard-affiliated imaging institute at Massachusetts General Hospital. Approximately 100 scientists and post docs filled the room to hear his talk “Understanding & Healing Trauma: Moving from Individual to Collective.” During this event, Thomas opened up a dialogue around the future of brain imaging. Will it be possible one day to map the experience of collective trauma in our brains? How can we utilize scanning technologies to elucidate relational capacities as they manifest in our neurobiology?
These talks, normally presented by Harvard faculty, opened up new possibilities for discussing the impact of collective trauma on our healthcare systems. They also provided a much needed opening to further the conversation around preventing burnout among physicians, improving our medical education systems to include awareness-based practices, and offering trauma-informed care to patients and communities.
Here is the recording of the talk:
The Pocket Project will host a 9-day online event October 12-20, 2019 with more than 25 leading visionaries, psychotherapists, mediators, researchers and peacemakers to explore the impact of personal, intergenerational and collective trauma.
The Collective Trauma Online Summit will initiate a global discussion on this vital topic. During the summit, Thomas Hübl and other facilitators will raise awareness not only of the social symptoms, but also the preparation we will need through global collaboration and creativity to face our challenges. The Summit will explore the following areas:
“When we address and heal collective trauma, we go to the root of problems and conflict that can divide people and nation-states, while preventing future generations from unnecessary anguish and residual problems that get passed through generations.” – Thomas Hübl
More than 25 leading trauma experts and researchers will be joining the Summit offering insight and information, including:
The intention of this Summit is to expand awareness of this issue and initiate the next level of restoration work.
“Uncovering and illuminating the interconnected web of our human “data network” brings a higher level of coherence and intelligence in the collective body, ” said Pocket Project co-founder Thomas Hübl. “This opens up the potential for healing the fragmentation in our world and liberates our capacity to respond creatively and whole-heartedly to the immense collective challenges we are facing.”
The Summit begins Oct. 12, 2019 and is FREE to join. Find out more at https://collectivetraumasummit.com
Dr. Christina Bethell, advisory committee member of the Pocket Project, provides testimony both as a survivor and expert on the science and use of evidence-based practices to address the “epidemic” of childhood trauma in the US.
On July 11, 2019 an emotionally charged hearing on childhood trauma brought together leading experts and survivors to present their findings to members of the House, including Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) who led seven hearings on trauma during her eight years serving on the Boston City Council. Pressley, along with other members of Congress and the expert witnesses, shared their personal experiences of trauma together with the survivors who attended, allowing for an unprecedented opportunity for authenticity and opening in the hearing room.
Dr. Christina Bethell, an advisory committee member of the Pocket Project and a leading expert on childhood trauma in the US testified in the nearly four-hour hearing on the science and policies she’s been researching and implementing as professor at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and director of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative.
“The science of ACEs and resilience shine a light on the importance of moment by moment lived experiences and relational health, and require a paradigm shift in how we think about child development, human health and disease and social dysfunction,” Bethell testified. “When enough people such as the two-thirds of adults and half of US children carry adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the trauma and toxic stress that can result we find ourselves in a syndemic, or synergistic epidemic, where what ails us cannot be addressed without addressing the long reach of childhood trauma and we adopt a salutogenic approach focused on factors that proactively promote human health and well-being.”
Drawing from twenty-three years of data-driven research and evidence-based policy design, Bethell stressed the importance of creating a social infrastructure in the US that will comprehensively address the urgency of this problem, much like the national highway system connects the country. In this way, she stressed, the evidence base of trauma combined with the knowledge of the impact of lived experiences would finally meet with policy, creating impactful programs and policies that will save money and increase well-being in the country.
Bethell also emphasized the importance of awareness and healing practices in integrating trauma. “Also critical to promoting the self-awareness and self-regulation key to healing and health are practices that involve sitting silently with intentional awareness on one’s breathing, body sensations and current thoughts and feelings. These mindfulness practices enjoy strong scientific evidence to assist in neuronal rewiring toward regulation and building capacity for other self-care practices, like exercise, healthy eating and engagement in learning. They may also contribute to reduction in body and brain inflammation and symptoms of autoimmune conditions and mental illnesses.”
Bethell speaks widely on childhood trauma and ACEs throughout the US, and will be speaking specifically on ways to promote healing and self-regulation in dialogue with Thomas Hübl, founder of the Pocket Project, at the Celebrate Life Festival that will be livestreamed from Germany later this month.
The Pocket Project is a non-profit organization based in Germany that trains facilitators and leads conferences and other international events around the topic of collective trauma. Their mission is to contribute to the healing of collective and intergenerational trauma, and to reduce its disruptive effects on our global culture. The Pocket Project is guided by spiritual teacher, author, and systems thinker Thomas Hübl who has led large-scale events with international groups, including with Israelis and Germans, to heal from the impacts of collective trauma. Active Pocket Project practice groups and competency centers currently work in the US, Israel, Germany, and Argentina.
Thomas Hübl spoke at the Wisdom 2.0 conference, on March 3, 2019 in San Francisco, CA. After a dialogue on the main stage with Soren Gordhamer, founder of Wisdom 2.0, on the healing of personal and collective trauma, Thomas led a meditation session in the Practice Lounge, weaving in the themes from his conversation with Soren. The meditation was attended by up to 200 people, many of whom stayed in conversation with Thomas afterwards in their desire to understand more about personal and collective trauma.
After the completion of the first one-year training the Pocket Project entered an incubation phase that was accompanied by various mentoring sessions. The training graduates were supported in developing their competencies through mentoring sessions, like “Mystical Principles and Collective Trauma”, “Cultural Architecture and Global Witnessing Practice” and “Subtle Competencies and Coherence”. The incubation period was scientifically framed by the two Pocket PhD students, who accompanied the training graduates with qualitative interviews as well as Social Presencing Theater.
A powerful and intense time is coming to an end and in addition to a lot of exploratory groups, the Pocket Project in now in the process of approving the official Pocket Groups and Competence Center.
Other groups continue to incubate and form their unique expression and the application process will continue.
The newly formed groups will be supported by supervision as well as annual colloquiums. We are delighted and look forward to collaboration.
On February 2nd and 3rd Nicholas Janni led a two-day Open Workshop attended by 24 people – US East Coast Pocket Group members, Pocket Project graduates and others with various depth of affiliations to the work and field, including quite a few participants completely new to the Pocket Project and Thomas’ teachings. The workshop was organized by Robert Buxbaum and Christine Gerike and we had the privilege to assist Nicholas in the process, which led us all into connection with ancestral and collective trauma energies. The title of the workshop “The Journey of Restoration” describes the intention to restore our oneness with life, to turn back toward the energies, now frozen, that we contracted from when they were too much for our nervous systems to handle.
One core practice of the workshop was precision in noticing and being with whatever is present each moment, especially in our bodies and emotions, in realigning the word and the energy. It was an awe-inspiring two days for all of us with the creation of a safe space, beautifully precise and deep individual processes and an amazingly open, dedicated group of participants. Emerging from participants’ lineages and life experiences we touched topics including colonialism, immigration, slavery, our relation to money, men and women, and powerful healing occurred as well as a deeper experience of how these issues live in each of us. As Nicholas said at the start of the work: “We are an energetic fabric, but often we don´t feel this. When deep work occurs with one person, it affects the entire fabric.”
We received deeply grateful responses for the depth and intensity of the work during these days together. We are all learning and growing as we take this remarkable journey together. With humility, love, joy, and deep sense of service we intend to organize another open workshop in the next several months and would love to be contacted by anyone interested in attending.
As the Pocket Project supports the growth of a sustainable community through its training formats (One-Year training and Trauma Transformation in Community training), we have a wish to further support our network in the global south by redistributing mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
In collaboration with the Global Ecovillage Network, we will redistribute electronic devices to places where there is difficult or no access to such goods.
With your donation, we can bring hope, inspiration and real survival tools to where they are most needed. You can bring the devices you wish to donate to the Celebrate Life Festival 2019, making sure they are in general good condition, clean and restored to factory settings, and any minor faults clearly reported.
We will then make sure they get to our network of outstanding leaders at the forefront of community-led strategies for sustainable change. These are key figures in rights and peace movements, poverty reduction, climate change and social justice.
Let’s weave webs of kindness and trust together, bringing sweet hope to places of harshness.
Cleaning Your Device Before Passing It On: Before giving away your devices (smartphone, tablet or laptop), please restore them to default settings.
A national conversation around the healing of colonisation has begun in Aotearoa/New Zealand. An event held on February 21 bought many threads together, nationally and internationally to host an initial conversation around assessing the appetite for a process to heal the effects of colonisation and other collective traumas in this country.
The event was hosted by philanthropic organisations – Foundation North and the Centre for Social Impact. The Pocket Project and its mission to integrate transgenerational and collective trauma healing has been introduced.
The event was an exploration and included a panel of:
Also two young people played a large part in the day to demonstrate intercultural healing – one pakeha (white) whose ancestor translated the Treaty of Waitangi (the treaty New Zealand is settled on between the British and the Maori) and the other whose ancestor signed the treaty.
As the leader of the event I also spoke about the Pocket Project and the potential healing of intergenerational and collective trauma and the training. A circle of support from the collective field of the pocket project supported the event.
The event raised the bar on what might be possible in Aotearoa and canvassed ideas and ways forward to enter into a 20 year healing conversation . These included setting up a national restoration centre and process that brings national and international expertise together, and also setting up circles of support for those wanting to build competencies and support the young people who are wanting to take some lead in this area.
The tragic mass shooting this month has escalated that conversation and many are willing and ready to head towards a racially inclusive society under the Treaty of Waitangi. We now have groups exploring how this might be progressed with respect, care and depth.
We are also working through a process to see what work is already happening throughout the country and how we bring these people together to learn, share and support this mahi (sacred work).
By Louise Marra, member of the Pocket Project one year training.
Recently, Thomas and William co-led a groundbreaking 6-month program that blended the inner art of meditation with the outer art of mediation. They explored how we can link self-awareness with thoughtful action to reach new levels of effectiveness in resolving conflicts.
Now, Thomas and William are bringing their unique and much-needed perspective to a wider platform. They truly are experts in how to reframe conflict and transform it into peace, and I hope you will consider joining them for their free online event.
The Power of Collective Presencing
A LIVE Online Event with Thomas Hübl & William Ury
Sunday, January 27, 2019
11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET / 8:30pm CET
Attend, and learn how you can:
Thomas Hübl spoke on The Mystery of Being Human at the Science and Non-Duality conference in California in late October. He offered a key-note presentation followed by a breakout session. With a focus on collective trauma, he helped the audience to understand the impact of unprocessed trauma and the need to integrate and heal this, so we might all take responsibility for our lives and communities.
He showed how we are used to live in a fragmented world and how our unprocessed experience is like carry on luggage that we carry to the next moment. It is the conscious past that creates possibilities. Thomas presented the Pocket Project as a response with the mission to restore a fragmented world.
The final presentation of the day was a dialogue between Thomas and Peter Levine (founder of the Somatic Experiencing Method). We are happy that The Pocket Project was received with a lot of curiosity and interest amongst the other speakers as well as the audience.
In October, the Pocket Project collaborated with the Inner Arts Institute to design a very unique workshop – “Restoring the Global Immune System”. Thomas Hübl and the constellation team of the Pocket Project facilitated a weekend that introduced the core work of the Pocket Project and applied this understanding in collective constellation work. This new format will be developed for future offerings.
After working in our Constellation Competency Center for the Pocket Project for over a year, we decided to go for it and step out into the world and experiment with combining what we have learned from Thomas with the kinesthetic intelligence of the constellation approach.
We are a group of constellation facilitators who met in the Pocket Project and have exchanged ideas and practices, have learned from each other and enjoyed each other’s experience and presence.
This event was anchored by the Inner Arts Institute in the Boston area. Samvedam Randles is the director there and she and her staff pulled this event together. 12 people from the PP came to be part of this experiment and support its emergence. We enjoyed this little reunion around our day with Thomas as well as afterwards.
That Thomas was able to start off our week end with a day of teaching on collective trauma gave us a fabulous boost and also set the foundation knowledge about the role of collective trauma in our culture. In his presentation he gave a profound introduction into trauma and explained how trauma disturbs the healthy development of the individuation loop. From that understanding, Thomas introduced a new understanding of time and explained why he thinks the Pocket Project is a comprehensive response to the current challenges that we face in the world. A group of teachers from Harvard also attended, both the workshop and a lunch to discuss collective trauma work and open the conversation to people from various fields.
Paul Zonneveld, Juliana Barros and Samvedam Randles stepped out to facilitate the collective constellation day and held the field in a beautiful way!
We opened with an attunement and meditation that brought some cohesion into the field and allowed us to attune to one another. Paul offered a poem from New Zealand that also helped to open the space and was mirrored at the end of the day with its counter part, the poem that closes the field. Having worked with collective constellations before, we were quite aware that we needed to pay close attention to the collective field in order to not loose participants to disassociation or overwhelm.
So we began in the personal, wove out into the collective and re-grounded in the personal again.
The constellation served as a primer for each individual experience of our theme, which was immigration and migration, and it revealed …as constellations do…the deeper layers of the unspoken undercurrents of this theme. From the first nation to the colonizers, the homeland and those who were left behind, the children and those who see beyond the patterns, we learned about the dynamics that sit within our culture. Then we listened to each other and worked with our own share of these themes in our lives. A truly rich experience!
Thank you to all who came and explored with us!
Thomas was invited to speak at the TEDx Marin event on September 15, 2018. His talk focused on technology’s role in cultural trauma, and about what psychological and physiological price we pay for our tech addictions.
Samvedam Randles, Pocket Project one-year training alumni, offered a presentation on “Intergenerational and Collective trauma” at the Bermuda conference to raise awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences. She shares her experiences from the Pocket Project one-year training.
“Kinship, Conflict and Compassion” was the topic of a summer research institute (ESRI) hosted by the Mind and Life Institute Europe on 20 – 26 August 2018 in the beautiful mountain scenery at lake Chiemsee in Bavaria, Southern Germany. Scientists, peace builders, facilitators, and educators engaged in a cross-disciplinary dialogue which focused on the roots of human inter-group conflict, social connectivity and the ways that we can transcend conflict and enhance healthy connections through various approaches, including contemplative training.
The Mind and Life Institute was founded by the Dalai Lama and Chilean biologist Francisco Varela to foster the dialogue between science and contemplative tradition. Thus, Mind and Life has paved an evolutionary pathway on which today the Academy of Inner Science Graduate Program is also contributing to. In that respect, AIS Graduate student Lukas Herrmann presented the concept of Global Social Witnessing through a poster which was received with a lot of interest and appreciation from many sides. In a personal conversation with Lukas, the Dalai Lama’s former consultant on international law in the negotiations with China, highlighted the timely significance of fostering practices of Global Social Witnessing for leaders in our age. After the third day of the conference, which was dedicated to silent meditation practice, day 4 took off with powerful presentations on racism, conflict, and forgiveness.
The presentations were followed by a panel discussion between the presenters – Masi Noor, social psychologist at Keele University, UK, who came to Germany as a refugee from Afghanistan and focuses his research on forgiveness, with Sabina Čehajić‐Clancy, who is an Associate Professor and Dean of the Political Science and International Relations Department at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology, Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with Bryce Huebner, philosopher at Georgetown University who focuses his research on racism. They discussed questions of our current human experience, e.g. how to work with power asymmetries in one’s communities and pointed to the necessity of valuing our collective traumatic affects, feelings of injustice, as potential driving forces for conflict and its transcendence, and of contemplating not only our minds within a spiritual bubble, but also changing the deeper hidden structures that sustain current injustice, racism, and inequality. “I think we are in danger of psychologizing too much and thereby neglecting the material dimension. It’s all good to philosophize, psychologize, theologize …, but if it takes you hours to get your sick child seen, or if you are that statistic that makes you more likely to be shot dead as you go about your business in the US or elsewhere, than you really need to take those material dimensions seriously,” Noor put forward. He explicated his perspective further responding to a question asked by a German in the audience who honestly spoke his mind and expressed tiredness of being held responsible for the Holocaust having contributed nothing to it. Noor’s response embodied a gesture of global social witnessing. It began with his question “What we need to bear in mind: Are we still benefitting from that industry that was built on the Holocaust? Are there other privileges that we have access to as a result of our ancestors colonizing and oppressing other groups?” and was received with applause from the audience.
On the last day Heather Grabbe, who has worked on the Balkans and Turkey as political advisor to a European Commissioner and now is an advocate for democracy, justice, rights and the open society, spoke about current day threats to democracy in Europe, bringing back to our awareness the urgency of responsibly co-creating healthy societies.
This summer research institute proofed how the Pocket Project and it’s work on multiple levels is right at the heart of contributing to the world’s current situation and enable the changes that we wish to see and witness in ourselves, our communities and our cultures.
The Celebrate Life Festival was born in 2004 in Germany and became one of the most popular and dynamic consciousness events in Europe. This year the Festival opened for the first time in the United States and was deeply dedicated to explore and inquire into essential practices of healing and restoration in response to the intensity of the fragmentation we are facing in our world. Find more information and an introduction to the speakers here.
A main focus of this year’s Festival was on race. “The honored speakers, Konda Mason and angel Kyodo williams, graced the audience with their centered kindness and firm resolve to help us see how the healing will start with a recognition of the lies we have been fed and the responsibility we need take in understanding how we continue to perpetuate these lies. The doctrine of white supremacy and privilege was intentionally created as a cultural standard and was written into law as a means of gaining status and wealth. Once the painful reality that “I am a white supremacist” is grasped, the subconscious is freed and, though there is still much work to be done, it is a liberating and enlightening experience for which I am deeply grateful. The magnificently soulful and uplifting musical performances at the end of the day certainly helped ones body, heart and mind regulate the shifts in consciousness which facing these realities opened.” (Elissa, Pocket Project volunteer)
The proceeds from the Festival will go to support the Pocket Project. This was a beautiful beginning and we are looking forward to all the projects, ideas and impulses that will arise from the Festival and help spread the work of the Pocket Project.
With deep gratitude to everyone who was part of making this event possible!
The Pocket Project is a global initiative with the goal to contribute to the healing of collective and intergenerational trauma, and to reduce its disruptive effects on our global culture. As a global initiative, it needs an infrastructure to connect the members of the Pocket Groups and Competence Center, the public and researchers. The ‘Lab’ is also needed to share selected and approved research data, knowledge and experiences gained in the Pocket Groups and Competence Centers through the community and public Knowledge Gardens.
The Lab will bring together the communication tools commonly available in social media into one website and support the growth of a global collaborative learning environment. Our aim is to take the next step in community building and an invitation to an interactive creation of wisdom and knowledge. Visit pocketprojectlab.org
Do you feel drawn to this initiative? Do you wish to support the development of this innovative learning platform. Join us as a volunteer or support us with your donation. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pocket Project is growing into a global organization and this process needs sensitive and mindful guidance. Since the beginning of 2018, Diana Chambers supports the Pocket Project as an interim COO with her extensive knowledge and wealth of experience. We are full of gratitude for her support and working with her is a great pleasure!
Diana’s early career included almost a decade as a strategic planner for a global corporation before she moved from the UK to the USA and subsequently directed three different charitable organizations. She then launched her own successful practice as a philanthropic advisor and family wealth mentor, where she helps her clients to optimize the role of money in their lives and relationships. Diana has a deep commitment to spirituality and integrative health and is a student in Thomas Hübl’s Timeless Wisdom Training. She lives in Switzerland.
In June 2018 the Pocket Project, in association with the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), facilitated the first pilot training for “Trauma Transformation in Community” in Findhorn / Scottland. This training was born out of a deep calling to bring the vision and teachings of the Pocket Project together with trauma neuroscience and therapy skills (Giselle Charbonnier), and community building skills (Kosha Joubert), in order to have a faster, more effective, and sustainable reach into those places where therapeutic aid is scarce and trauma healing is most needed.
This first training was a deep and enriching journey into the understanding of collective trauma both for the facilitators and the 14 participants coming from various countries, such as: Colombia, Lithuania, South Africa, Mexico, Germany, Mianmar, Namibia, Norway, Spain, and UK. This was the starting point of a new training series that will take place in different regions around the world to support the growth of a community of skillfully trained people to enable sustainable change on the ground, in regions where it is most needed.
Here is a report by Gabriela, one of the training participants from Colombia, whose attendance was made possible through a scholarship. Some of the Pocket Project one year training participants and other donors through Betterplace and GoFundMe gifted generously. We wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the donors.
“The Trauma Transformation in Community training offered a beautiful integration of tools based on Thomas’s teachings on group coherence, transparent communication and intergenerational and collective trauma, within a sensitive setting. The training was supported by the somatic trauma theory approach, together with a broad experience of community dynamics and resources. The workshop presented a solid framework as well as careful attention to the group process and coherence, which brought my attention to the subtle natural unfolding of relational dynamics in which collective trauma gets expressed and the identification of opportunities to repair this memory through supporting connectedness and promoting the awareness of the energy movements in the relational field.
This experience was a clear starting point to work with essential and practical tools to bring light into the collective memories and their driving forces, within a community setting, so important for my homeland, Colombia, during these times and taking into account the challenges of the peace process. In a practical way, for me the integration of these teachings is taking place through the work developed by Corasoma, an NGO created to work with social transformation processes, using integral approaches to be able to heal the points of pain, conflict and trauma of individuals, communities and territories in Colombia.”
At the Heiligenfeld Congress 2018, “Kairos – Shaping Change“, in Bad Kissingen, Germany, Thomas Hübl gave a lecture and workshop about presence, collective traumatization and the possibilities of healing. In his talk “An essential moment” Thomas spoke to more than 1000 people about non-duality and how traumatization hinder us from being fully present in each moment. Drawing on mystic traditions, he outlined the complex nature of time and explained how trauma works as a frozen life force, keeping us in the “aftertime” of trauma, until healing may occur. Thomas emphasized the collective nature of traumatization like the Second World War as something we are born into and which we are often unconscious of. He stressed the importance of addressing these traumatic events collectively and pointed out the possibilities of an enhanced group consciousness in order to heal and integrate the past.
In the following two-hour-workshop, Thomas elaborated these thoughts further, depicting how trauma happens now, in every moment, even if the actual traumatic event happened decades ago. He acknowledged the response to traumatic events as an intelligent resource by the nervous system of each individual and pointed out, how trauma can be healed by offering “precise relationships” which effectively deal with traumatic events. Due to the omnipresent nature of traumatization, Thomas spoke about the importance of addressing trauma collectively and spiritually rather than individually and made it possible for the participants to experience group consciousness and response directly.
In his warm and insightful talk, he introduced many new and pioneering ideas in this important field and presented the Pocket Project as an international initiative to further address and explore collective traumatization and integration. The workshop closed with an extensive Q & A. I personally found the notion that we are not alone in whatever our experiences might have been very helpful and am looking forward to further exploring and sharing the methods, tools and knowledge facilitated by the Pocket Project.
Inga (Germany / Pocket Project volunteer)
In May 2018 we completed the Pocket Project’s first one-year training in working with collective and intergenerational trauma. The program began and ended with a five-day seminar in Israel with Thomas Hübl and his assistant team. In between seminars there were online classes, as well as mentoring and supervision groups to support and shape the mutual work. A group of 152 participants from 39 countries formed to explore collective and intergenerational trauma and the different dynamics related to this topic.
Thomas is deeply inspired and touched by the Pocket work:
“We have finished a very powerful time in Neve llan with our group from 39 countries. It is clear that we are all very passionate about the importance and the enormity of the collective trauma issue in the world. We had two direct experiences with Colonialism and the Holocaust where we felt the power of the collective unconscious and how it affects every one of us. Only when we have a direct experience of a collective trauma process, can we really get a glimpse of the effects that such a denied field of experience has on us – even if created many generations ago – as individuals and culture. Before that I believe we have a mental, rational understanding – but we can’t refer it back to a felt experience. That’s why I see this as a pioneering field of exploration.” (Thomas Hübl)
One year of intense exploration and involvement is coming to an end, and for most of the training participants it is already clear that this is just the beginning of a new movement. This movement has a clear focus on contributing to the healing of collective and intergenerational trauma, and to reduce its disruptive effects on our global culture.
Along with the involvement and the dedicated study of the teaching materials that were provided by Thomas Hübl and the mentors, many of the training participants were included in the ongoing effort of building and establishing the Pocket Project Organization.
Different streams of activities and groups are forming to continue the work and deepen the teachings around newly forming Pocket Groups, Competence Centers, the online platform and the overall structure for the Pocket Project global organization.
Nicholas Janni, one of the assistants and mentors of the training as well as a member of the Core Team of the Pocket Project, describes his experience during the training and it’s after effects:
“As Thomas said during the training, our nervous systems literally went through an expansion, because of the ‘size’of what we chose to open ourselves to. That is no small thing! And while I was personally at first a little disoriented and depleted after we finished, I experience more and more how I am now clearly living in a different and ever changing reality to the one I was in, on April 28th.”
Marlene, one of the training participants, relates her experience during the training:
“The Pocket Training revealed to me the essence of our connection with Earth in a new depth. I am deeply touched by the truth of this connection, and by the truth of the pocket work.”
There will be a continuation of this powerful work, the details are still being worked on. It is certain that a second training will follow. As soon as the details and dates are clarified we will share this information with you.
Do you want to become part of the Pocket Project? Join us as a volunteer
International Training with Kosha Joubert and Giselle Charbonnier, June 23 – 27 2018 in Findhorn, Scottland. This training is organized by GEN – Global Ecovillage Network.
Our lives and relationships are often unconsciously shaped by trauma – lingering remnants of deeply distressing experiences in our personal and collective histories. In this training, we take a step towards the freedom of awareness and choice, learning skills for recognition, prevention, co-regulation and integration of trauma within our communities.
Trauma is frozen life force – in order to melt back into the river of life it needs the compassionate witnessing presence of the other.
Thomas Hübl visited the 4th annual NEXUS USA Summit 2018 in February in Washington D.C. Nexus connects the financial, intellectual, creative and social capital of the young generation in an action-oriented, solutions-focused and safe space. It aims to inspire learning and collaboration between a uniquely powerful network of peers.
Thomas was one of the keynote speaker at the conference and offered a workshop and a meditation where he deepened his approach to the art of impact in a fragmented world. In his workshop, Thomas shared mystical principles that deepened participant understanding of their own impulse to create authentic impact in the world and how best to relate to the most challenging situations at one’s growing edge. He shared awareness tools and practices to build competencies as we explored cultural change and the connection to innovation and leadership which impact social structure.
The Pocket Groups are at the heart of the Pocket Project and are supervisioned and guided by senior students of Thomas, Nicholas Janni and Hilorie Baer. To give you an impression into the nature of the Pocket Groups and their ongoing development and a deeper insight in the work, here is what Nicholas Janni wants to share with you.
We have said from the beginning that there are two types of Pocket group:
The two of course sometimes overlap, and the forming of Pocket groups in different parts of the world is naturally a slow and emergent process.
This is in no small part due to the fact that, while many people have a natural desire to work with collective trauma, and indeed may already have significant facilitation experience, we are discovering through the Teaching that Thomas brings, with its unique marriage of timeless mystical wisdom and cutting-edge psychology, that in many respects a whole new paradigm and a whole new set of competencies are unfolding. And that these are exactly what give the Pocket Project its very particular depth and potential.
To date groups have been established and/or are forming in Argentina, Israel, USA, Germany and the UK.
I myself facilitate the Israel and UK groups, as well as a group in a country that at present cannot be named for security reasons. One of the most significant things I can report is that, even in the Israel group which has been meeting for well over a year now, we are edging our way gradually and carefully towards collective trauma work. We have begun, also in the UK group, to engage some intergenerational work, but the key focus is on building the Presencing capacity and coherence of the group. What this means essentially is building the individual and group capacity to feel ourselves, each other, our lineages and more directly through our nervous systems, as opposed to our cognitive or imagination functions.
And here we must have the patience and tenacity go step by step by step, so that as we begin to turn towards the intensity of bigger collective trauma fields we are ready to face and host them in our individual and group ‘body’ as precisely and spaciously as possible. In fact, we discover along the way that all desire to be somewhere else or ‘further ahead’ in the process is itself exactly one of the symptoms of the underlying trauma fields on which our cultures sit.
We are preparing now for the final in person part of our one-year training – six days with Thomas in Israel at the end of April. We are confident that after this meeting the way forward for many of the global Pocket groups will also become clearer.
We all engage this work with great commitment, joy and humility, taking our part in this magnificent healing project, which is in itself a part of the bigger project and challenge that humanity finds itself in at this epochal time in our evolution.
Pocket Project core team member
Resonance, Institutional pathologies and collective Trauma
Impressions form the 4th Witten Conference on Institutional Change
As part of the Pocket Project volunteer group and PhD. students, Lukas Herrmann and Adrian Wagner presented their recent research in the context of collective trauma integration at the fourth Witten Conference on Institutional Change. Can institutions become pathological? What are pathologies in institutions and how do they relate to collective trauma?
At the fourth Witten Institutional Change conference on Institutional Pathologies from 1st to 2nd February 2018 a heterogeneous group of scholars, researchers and practitioners came together to find answers to such questions. Prof. Matthias Kettner and Dr. Kerrin Jacobs began with an introduction of the medical model of pathology in medicine and how such a model could be translated and slightly modified for institutions. A lively debate erupted due to the high diversity of disciplines such as medicine, psychology, political science, organizational studies, management, philosophy and sociology. The difficulty to choose amongst the different topics in the parallel sessions was a proof of the quality of the multi-layered content.
Particularly relevant for the work of the pocket project is the new theory of resonance by sociologist Hartmut Rosa. In the tradition of the critical theory he explained in his lecture the underlying acceleration mechanisms of our late modern capitalist systems. In his opinion the underlying forces are understood through a “triple A engine”: Acceleration, appropriation and activation. Acceleration is triggered through innovation and technology because of the inherent need of capitalism to grow. Similar to a bicycle that is stabilized through movement, capitalism needs to move faster to not slow down and collapse.
The ideology of neoliberalism and market mechanism in addition are more and more embedded in our society leading towards the appropriation of the cultural and other sector of society. In addition, human and environmental resources are activated, resulting in burnout and ecological destruction. Rosa, one of the most important contemporary sociologists in Germany, pointed out that talking about climate change, or the idea of slowing down seems insufficient. “We have been talking about climate change for 40 years, and we are still flying more every year” he said. His conclusion is to look at deeper societal dynamics, shifting away from the classical critical theory, and including a phenomenological perspective.
One possible path to new solution is his recent work about a sociology of resonance. While slowing down will be almost impossible in our complex societies the question is more how to tune in and come into resonance. Resonance, for Rosa is a practice beyond rational, economic ideology and therefore needed in a fragmented world. Where resonance is lost, alienation takes over, a common feeling in our modernized and technologically governed worlds. Interestingly, Rosa also named trauma as one of the barriers to the experience of resonance. In a parallel session particularly focusing on collective trauma, Kerrin Jacobs gave a phenomenological overview on loneliness and the social roots of the phenomena. Subsequently, Lukas Herrmann (who is currently working on his PhD with Prof. Kazuma Matoba related to the pocket project) shifted the perspective to an organizational level looking athow generative fields and the hidden potential of collective traumata can be accessed.
In addition, Adrian Wagner, also PhD student of Prof. Matoba, showed how from a societal perspective how collective trauma can be perceived as the underlying cause for pathological institutions and how the integration through practices such as conscious social witnessing are fundamental in relation to the global transformation towards sustainability. In a dialogue with the participants, such as Jacob Dahl Rendtorff from Copenhagen Business School, the topic of collective trauma was not only discussed intellectually but also a resonance field emerged showing the need and possibility of transdisciplinary research in the future.
Photos with kind permission from Heikki J. Koskinen, Docent of Theoretical Philosophy, Ph.D., University Researcher, Member of the Centre of Excellence, Reason and Religious Recognition (Academy of Finland)
The partnership agreement between the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) and the Pocket Project was officially signed in November 2017. The cooperation has been successfully under way since the beginning of 2017, as GEN and the Pocket Projected joined efforts in a crowd-funding campaign which raised a total of 19.979€ and enabled seven candidates to join the Pocket Training, who otherwise could not have participated for financial reasons. The candidates have leadership roles in their homeland communities in the DR Congo, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Colombia and Palestine.
Visolela Namises (Women’s Solidarity Namibia), Kosha Joubert (Executive Director of Global Ecovillage Network), Gabriela Martinez (Founder of Corasoma, Colombia), Neema Namadamu (Founder of Maman Shujaa Movement, DR Congo) . during Pocket Project Training in Israel in June 2017
Further endeavors of the cooperation are:
My name is Neema. I was born in a remote mountainous region of Eastern DRC. I contracted polio at the age of two, but with my Mom’s support, I became the first handicapped woman from my tribe to graduate from university. Later, I worked as chief advisor to the Minister of Gender and Family.
It is my passion to work alongside my Congolese sisters at the grassroots level, to lift them into a different future. I founded the Maman Shujaa (Hero Women) movement, which has spawned a number of transformative programs for women, girls, and their communities. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to take part in the Pocket Project training through a scholarship where many people interested in the Pocket Project donated for me. If you want to know more about our work in Congo, you can visit our website at www.HeroWomenRising.org.
How was the first part of the training for you?
In the beginning I really didn’t understand that we were talking about spiritual things. The discussion was about the impact of such things as the holocaust in Germany, their work with Israel and Palestine. I was able to relate to the type of suffering and trauma being discussed, because we are still living these things today. Our country was colonized in such a way that by using Christianity, women were and still are considered weak, obliged to serve men. We are wives and mothers ending up as servants to the young sons in our own homes.
The real impact of my work through the years has been to use our various programs as vehicles to bring women from all tribes and backgrounds together in an effort to reshape the current and future realities for women and our communities. Thomas was great to always answer my questions, to help me get on track with the historic trauma that has been suffered, and which contributes to our present reality. I began to consider and actually felt myself being equipped to introduce the topic of spiritual and psychological healing into the discussion of our gatherings in order to change the cultural paradigm in our communities.
What has changed for you since that time? What is the deepest impact that you notice in your life through the training?
I have learned that a lot of what has shaped who I am has developed through the various traumatic situations I have experienced in my life. Now, I understand myself clearer: for instance my unquenchable passion, energy, and desire to change the realities for other women in Congo. On the negative side, I am sometimes too forceful. I sometimes forget that others don’t perceive things how I do.
So what has changed is that now I understand why I am different and how I am different. This understanding allows me now to go into a situation considering whether or not I can have some positive impact. If I think I do not, I just become quiet for the time.
Are there any concrete projects or attempts that you are involved in?
I haven’t created “projects” in this regard; it is just the nature of my work: 24/7 with my Congolese community. All are traumatized. It is our day to day intention to lift ourselves out of the mire of wrong thinking and into the light of who we really are in essence.
Is there a message that you have for our Pocket Project Community?
First of all, I want to thank all of you who gave a donation that enabled me to participate in this powerful training. It has been so insightful and illuminating for me, supporting me as well as my community on its way to healing.
I invite those who are interested to come to Congo to work with us and to experience my work with my Congolese community. If you like, please contact me at Neema@HeroWomenRising.org.
6TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON TRANSGENERATIONAL TRAUMA HOSTED BY COMMON BOND INSTITUTE (CBI) – HTTP://CBIWORLD.ORG/CONFERENCES/TT/PROGRAM/
The 75-minute presentation that Nicholas gave on The Pocket Project, attended by about 40 people, was well received. The Pocket Project brings a special depth in perspective and practice to the table, and the conference was an opportunity for people to get a taste of this. Nicholas was also able to make some strong contributions from a mystical perspective to group circle and discussion sessions.
Many engaging and engaged conversations were had with the other participants, including inspiring accounts of really excellent, often courageous work being done ‘on the ground’ in challenging circumstances. Nicholas was particularly touched by the eagerness for new perspectives from the young Muslim women in attendance. There is a good possibility that Nicholas will assist with, if not lead, a local Pocket Training group with some of the young Muslim social workers and medical students.
Do you have an old cellphone which no longer serves you? In collaboration with the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), we are collecting no longer in use electronic devices (cell phones, Ipads, Notebooks) during the Celebrate Life Festival 2017. They will be re-distributed to GEN’s community leaders for sustainable change in the Global South. These are key figures in rights and peace movements, poverty reduction, climate change and social justice.
BEFORE GIVING AWAY YOUR DEVICES (SMARTPHONE, TABLET OR LAPTOP), IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO RESTORE THEM TO DEFAULT SETTINGS.
It is advisable to wipe any and all sensitive information from your smartphone before passing it on, not just to ensure that your personal data remains private, but to also make sure your device runs like new for its next owner.
How to restore your Android to factory settings:
How to factory reset a Windows PC, laptop or tablet:
What to do before you give away your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: