By Trish O’Sullivan
For most of human history, people practiced the religion they were born into. Today we have an abundance of choice in both the material and spiritual marketplaces, and many pick and choose practices from different spiritual paths. Meditation and yoga, once considered esoteric practices in the West, have seeped into the mainstream. Once a regular practice is established, the benefits are so evident that it is hard to imagine life without either of these. It is my great fortune to be able to offer a third practice that both supports and is supported by meditation and yoga.
Traya means “three” in Sanskrit and the practice I have developed is so named because it is a mind, body, and spirit practice that provides a new way of engaging with and healing the chakras. The development of Traya is the result of a long journey involving good fortune, dedication, growth, and transformation.
How the Traya Process Came About
In spite of all of this involvement with Eastern spirituality, I hadn’t had any exposure to the chakras beyond reading about them in tantric and new age books. Then by serendipity I met Nancy Rosanoff, who taught intuitive development, and I took some of her classes. I learned several techniques for engaging with the chakras and accessing information, most notably a unique technique (somewhat like a shamanic journey) for cleansing them of toxic psychic energy. I continued to use these techniques on myself and I noticed that my thinking began to change and I became more positive. I modified the techniques I learned from Nancy and established a daily practice. I discovered that my significant fears decreased if I focused on a particular
chakra in a mindful way and continued to clear it. My thoughts became more positive, my confidence and self-esteem increased, and many more benefits appeared and stayed. My mind was changing!
I continued to search through both Western and Eastern books, looking for information on or similar to this process, but was never able to find anything akin to what I was finding on my own. Although I was frustrated at the time, now I see that this lack of outside information turned out to be a great boon. It forced me to do the work myself and, in the process, I learned that the capacity for self-healing is innate within each of us. The chakras become accessible and understandable.
They teach us. We can even put aside whatever information about the chakras we have been exposed to, as we don’t need to know anything about a chakra in order to work with it. In fact, we may get in our own way if we have too many preconceived ideas.
Why Practice Traya?
[The Traya Practice] can help you to develop a working relationship with the subtle body and your Inner Teacher. Many who experience the insights and benefits of Traya express the same regret: “I wish that I had known about these techniques earlier in my life.” My answer to them has been, “Most people never have this opportunity.” I am astonished by my good fortune in being led to develop Traya and am both humbled and honored to be able to offer it to you.
There is a growing phenomenon in which Eastern spiritual practices spill over into the Western psychotherapy field. One need only google the term “mindfulness” to find several Western therapies that use the Buddhist mindfulness practice to cope with afflictive thoughts and emotions. On the other hand, there is also the “spiritual bypass,” a termed coined by John Welwood that refers to the use of spirituality to avoid unpleasant emotions and unresolved psychological issues. People are seeking relief from negative thoughts and feelings in spirituality, and meditation are borrowed by the field of psychotherapy. Traya has elements of Buddhist and yoga psychology and like those practices can be approached from a secular perspective, but is essentially a spiritual practice. Since Traya is grounded in both Eastern and Western worlds, this is a perfect time for the practice to be introduced to a wider audience.
Modern psychology teaches that the evolutionary process has left us with a mind in conflict with itself. It teaches that the mind speaks through its symptoms and neuroses and can be managed but not fully healed. Traya expands both the quality and quantity of interaction with the mind by allowing for a direct connection to the deep mind by becoming mindful of the subtle body. We find that what is going on there is not what we thought. Thus, it establishes a completely new
The mind is energy, and until we meet it on an energetic level, we cannot really change it. The most wondrous thing we find is that the mind wants to be detoxified and assists us in the process. The mind is not our enemy after all. Traya is an organic process available to all of us that cleanses the mind of negativity. When I first encountered these techniques, I used them as an adjunct to the therapy I was already in. That worked well until my intense dedication to this practice and the support from my Inner Teacher that I had come to trust over time gave me the sense that I was standing on the shoulders of the universe. I had outgrown my need to work with someone else.
Trish O’Sullivan is a licensed psychotherapist, a senior zen dharma teacher, and a certified yoga teacher. She has been working with the chakras for over 25 years and developed Traya through her work with both self and others. She is the author of Chakra Wisdom: Healing the Mind of Negative Thoughts, Feelings and Beliefs with Meditation, Yoga and the Traya Process.
Adapted from Chakra Wisdom: Healing Negative Thoughts, Feelings, and Beliefs with Meditation, Yoga, and the Traya Process by Trish O’Sullivan (Llewellyn Publications, 2018).