David Treleaven presents his dissertation defense "Meditation and Trauma: A Hermeneutic Study of Somatic Experiencing and the Western Vipassana Movement."
What if, in following basic mediation instructions one was causing more harm than good? This question arises from the dialog between Buddhism and contemporary trauma theory. In a deceptive twist of evolutionary fate, sustained attention on the body can lead to a dissociative, or freeze response. To explore the impact of this dynamic on contemplative practice, this theoretical dissertation uses Somatic Experiencing (SE), a psychotherapeutic approach to healing trauma, as a hermeneutic lens to explore the merits and the shortcomings of meditation practice for individuals with a history of trauma.