Maryland Teaching Artist Hosts Free Healing Classes for Veterans at Local Libraries

Veterans should have alternatives to treat stress and PTSD without additional cost or requiring medication. Peter Brooks leads groups in stress reduction techniques through 10 mindfulness classes to improve overall state of being.

BALTIMORE, MD – JULY 26, 2022 – Healing art classes for veterans are taking place this summer at Maryland libraries. Led by Peter Brooks, it carries on the legacy of his grandfather, Cab Calloway, by designing ten classes to help veterans battle PTSD by teaching art forms that induce a state of mindfulness. Despite its focus on veterans, its classes are open and free for everyone.

PTSD presents with symptoms similar to depression and anxiety and promotes nightmares or unwanted memories of the trauma. PTSD is often treated with prescription medications, therapy, and mindfulness meditation.

In a recent survey, 83% of all American veterans and active duty men and women have suffered from PTSD since serving in the military during the 9/11 attack.

About the courses

Classes will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at various libraries in Dorchester, Howard, Somerset, Baltimore and Washington counties.

Brooks uses “Secular Shamanism,” an art form he developed that combines performance art with ancient practices, to provide positive distraction and immediate relief. She is secular because she is non-religious and shamanic; it works by deliberately entering and exiting a trance state.

“It starts with the idea that meditation, prayer, chanting, intense concentration, and hypnosis are the same,” Brooks explains. “It’s when you’re pretty much asleep but not quite. Your state of mind is what they call semi-conscious,” he adds.

People around the world have used this soothing practice for millennia. As a result, Brooks teaches ancient techniques such as Tibetan Singing Bowls, Hindu Mantras, and Native American Songs combined with recitations to enable veterans to embrace and control the trance state.

Brooks teaches her students how to “hack the brain,” which combines focus with positive messages and visualizations to press the reset button on your emotions. Specific techniques and technologies affect an individual’s mental state, cognitive processes, or level of functioning.

I targeted my class towards veterans because of their honor, their connection to the land, and their history. Therefore, these practices are simple to understand and deploy.

About Peter Brooks

Brooks holds an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts and is executive director of the Hubert V. Simmons Museum of Negro Leagues Baseball. He also serves on the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs and is a consultant to the Native American House Alliance of Philadelphia.

Brooks is actively seeking partners to expand to new locations. Learn more about the course at https://stressreducer.carrd.co/ and find its class schedule here.

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