Foundational Work

Energy management: Getting in touch with your body as you prepare for social interactions and difficult conversations

Pre-Course Work:

Before you begin the TOC Foundational concepts course, it may be helpful for you to familiarize yourself with the concepts in these Hidden Brain podcasts. These links will open a new tab to another website, where you can listen and read more. 

US 2.0: Win Hearts, Then Minds: There’s a saying that’s attributed to the Dalai Lama: in the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher. It’s a nice idea, but in reality, when people don’t share our values, it’s hard for us to tolerate theirs. This week, we talk with sociologist Robb Willer about the common mistakes we make in trying to persuade others of our point of view — and how we can break out of our echo chambers.

US 2.0 What We Have in Common: The United States, we’re told, is increasingly a house divided. Conservatives and progressives are so alienated from each other that conversation is virtually impossible. But are we really as divided as we’re led to believe? As we begin what promises to be a pivotal election season, we’re kicking off a new series about how we form our political beliefs. We’re calling it “US 2.0.” We begin with psychologist Kurt Gray, who studies how we think about our political allies and opponents — and how these insights can help us to chart a new path forward.

Centering Meditation

Image that contains meditation text (also in text of website)

Begin by rooting down into the earth like a plant. Honor the land and the peoples who make up the terrain beneath you, acknowledging the waters, resources, and gems beneath you.

Connect deep into the heart of the Earth with gratitude for the water, food, shelter, and love that the Earth provides us, all of which literally make up our being. 

  • I am connected to everything that exists
  • I perceive love all around me
  • I speak my truth
  • I am open and connected
  • I am confident
  • I am creative
  • I am rooted and safe

Length: This is my dignity. I am rooted to and belong on the earth. 

Draw the shoulders down and back. Lengthen along your spine from your roots, all the way to the crown of your head. Scan and notice how rising in your dignity feels. 


Width: I feel my width. I feel the boundaries of my container and can extend myself to others.

Notice the sensation of the edges of your body, like the sensation of your arm rubbing against your torso or the edges of your fingers touching one another. Everything in the container of your body is held together by your skin. Notice the sensation on your skin along your edges. Notice the ways you radiate out from your torso. Expand yourself, maybe by extending your arms or your legs. Notice how you can radiate and expand to reach beyond yourself and connect with others.

Back: I feel my ancestors and my loved ones are behind me.

Imagine your ancestors behind you, reaching to hold your back up as if you were the tip of an arrow. Imagine your chosen family and loved ones who have your back, and even the iterations of yourself and everything you have evolved from. Notice the sensation of having all of this support behind you.

Front: I release the past and the future. I am here now.

Expand your collar bones and draw your shoulders down and back. Your heart is open and vulnerable. Massage your face, particularly around your jaw, allowing it to unlock as you speak the truth from your heart. Massage the temples and the center of your forehead, affirming that you are seeing and perceiving in real time.

You are present, as a centered being of love.

More content is coming soon! Please make sure you join our mailing list and follow us on social media @ladefensx on all platforms, to find out when we’re releasing new material! Tune in  March 2024 for our first series, TOC Foundations.