Coming home to one’s own heart and body is a profound and terrifying journey. There are many directives, often unconscious ones, against it—from childhood, from family and society, from beliefs acquired over a lifetime. It takes loss, heartbreak, or some other devastation to comprehend and accept that the old ways of doing and being in the world do not work anymore. Sometimes it takes a physical journey as well, into the world of plant medicine, like Ayahuasca, and shamanism. This talk is the story of such a journey, of leaving and returning to the heart of Love, that each one of us, in our own unique way, takes or refuses, on their lifepath.
In the words of e.e.cummings:
“Whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.”
Dr. Raïna Manuel-Paris holds a Ph.D. in Mythological Studies with emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, and a master’s degree in Film from Columbia University. She has taught classes for the University of Philosophical Research, Pacifica, Studio School, and the Art Institute of Santa Monica. She is a published author of nonfiction (The Mother-to-Be’s Dream Book: Understanding the Dreams of Pregnancy), poetry, and co-writer of the play Seeking Sophia, and her documentary The Bridges of My Father was selected for the short film corner at the Cannes Film Festival. Her essays have been featured in Psychological Perspectives: A Quarterly Journal of Jungian Thought, and the Joseph Campbell Foundation’s MythBlast series.
Her work with students includes guided meditations, somatic energy work, and workshops such as The Cradle and The Crown, aligning the body and mind with the soul for a deep aliveness and acute connection with the soul’s desires. This work was birthed as a result of her own explorations with the unconscious, plant medicine, and natural horsemanship. Her expertise also emphasizes the ways in which one reconnects with Soul and the Soul of the World, Anima Mundi, and how to hold the tension between the inner world and the outer world in a way that engages curiosity and compassion.