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The Progressive Mindfulness Protocol™ (PMP™) is one approach to help us learn how to change hatred and intolerance in our hearts, homes, schools, and communities, to compassion and acceptance. It is a systematic positive developmental model on how we mature from infancy to adulthood. It teaches us how to develop a healthier mind, healthier relationships, healthier communities and a healthier world.

The PMP™ provides us with the tools to successfully move through six developmental mindfulness gates. As we enter a new gate, we shed the old habits, become aware of our ancestral and parental stories, and reshape those stories and patterns with the developmental base of our cognitive, emotional and mindfulness of the Gate in which we stand. When the positive absorbs the negative energy within the chosen Gate, success is achieved and the new path is integrated with the old gates.

It is our choice of how we enter the gate, what we want to learn, and how we share our knowledge with others. We have two responsibilities within each gate. The first is to be open to receive new information, to grow and share with others in and outside our gate. Secondly, to be aware and open to the possibility that the person with whom we are speaking is at a higher or lower gate, and for us to stop and listen without our chattering mind. There are many twists and turns to each gate, but there is only one panoramic view at the top.

Gate One

faces in a tower

In Gate One, we are in a womb water world, bouncing around, kicking the walls, doing somersaults and sucking our hands and feet, preparing to interact with new experiences upon leaving the womb. We are creating our neuro rhythms to help us manage our external stresses in the earth/air world. Our senses of sound, taste, smell, sight, touch, temperature and movement are being developed during this critical time. These sensory modalities are referred to as Hidden Regulators (M. Hofer). They are the neurological footprints used to negotiate our complex world. As we develop in the womb, we hear our motherís lullabies. Our experience in the womb shapes our brain and lays the groundwork for our personality, perceptions, relatedness and mindfulness.

At the moment of birth, our first breath, we experience our first separation (from the water world to the air/earth world). Upon hearing our motherís voice, we turn our heads to reconnect. During our first year, we search for attunement with our motherís familiar hidden regulators Ė her voice, song, touch, heartbeat, smell, taste, and movements. We long to reattach to her for fear of being annihilated and/or abandoned. We experience an unconditional, absolute symbiosis with our mother. When we become anxious, fearful and overwhelmed, we climb back into our neuropsychological Bubble™ of safety and zip it up. The Bubble™ becomes the filter from which we view our world. We perceive that all of our interactions with our mother are powerful and imposed. Unlike the earlier water world, we now unzip our Bubble™ to satisfy our needs.

As Bubble Dwellers™, we become dissatisfied and want to explore, connect and grow. Our mother allows us to do so by gently encouraging us to expand our world. We spend many hours cuddled up on her lap and breasts, learning her songs and stories. Still functioning on a nonverbal level, we slowly slide off our motherís lap, crawling or walking onto the path of Gate Two.

Go to Gate Two