Sunday, Father’s Day, we meditated on the trauma created by toxic masculinity. 

Sun Salutation. Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

This weekend saw two other days of celebration as well—the Summer Solstice and Juneteenth.  We celebrated Solstice 2020 in a context of marching for a new commitment to Justice or the Common Good.  

When trauma happens the first step is telling the story so healing can happen.  

The Feast Day of Summer solstice reminds us of our place in the universe, for our North Pole has its maximum tilt toward the sun on this solstice.  We are invited at this season to reconnect psyche to cosmos.  The new creation story from science reminds us that we are born of 13.8 billion years of cosmic labor; we have been invited to a very special place of existence that we call Earth, our home. 

This awareness empowers us to face the second trauma we need to name which is how our culture, its religion and education, have separated our psyche from the cosmos; humans from Earth; spirit from matter; soul from body. 

Human beings packed like cargo on the lower deck of a Guinea-Man slave ship. From Africa and the American Flag by Andrew Hull Foote. Image uploaded to Flickr by British Library

Indeed, James Joyce described one of his characters as living “a short distance from his body.”  Trauma often separates people from their bodies. 

Climate change and climate destruction and even the coronavirus is a part of this same trauma, our forgetfulness of Mother Earth and preoccupation with our own human agenda. 

The Feast Day of Juneteenth honors resilience in the face of a third trauma: that of 400 years of enslavement and ongoing oppression of Black people. Slaves ripped from their land, culture and religion; the middle passage; hundreds of years of slavery; the Civil War; Jim Crow; no voting rights; segregation; ongoing racism.  

Trail of Tears by Max Standley, courtesy R. Michelson Galleries

And that brings us to the fourth trauma:  500 years of ethnic and cultural genocide toward Indigenous peoples. Indigenous populations in America dropped from c. 80 million to 10 million within 50 years of Columbus’ landing.  Today, only 1.6 million Native Americans live in the U.S. according to the 2010 census.

These traumas must be named for the healing to happen. 

A wise African American teacher, Broderick Rodell, said this weekend, that slavery traumatized ALL of us–Blacks and whites.  “Black Lives Matter” represents a new and healing story.  “Native Lives Matter” also.   

When people are in trauma, they don’t think real straight.  We do strange things. like make nuclear weapons to destroy the world and one another–and keep making them.  We pretend climate change is not happening; or coronavirus is over; or science does not matter. Or choose new idols, strange gods and addictions such as power, money, drugs, alcohol, work, sex, religion, capitalism, etc.

It is not enough just to name the trauma and its causes.  This is a first step.  The SECOND step is equally important for it offers deep medicine from trauma. 

Such healing medicine can be found in Genesis One:  It is about the goodness of existence; of life; of the world; of earth; of ourselves.  “Original Goodness” or original blessing.   The Earth, cosmos AND ourselves are “very good.” (Genesis)  A return to goodness inspires a world view worth marching for.

See Matthew Fox , Original Blessing.

Banner Image: Black Lives Matter Demonstration, Hamburg 2020-06-05. Photo by Rasande Tyskar on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

How does the Solstice awaken you to your place and our place in the universe?  Be with that connection, let it speak to you.

How do you recognize the trauma of slavery and of native genocide at work in our culture and our souls?

Recommended Reading

Join Matthew Fox for this exciting free online event, July 7-10, 2020
Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

4 thoughts on “The Story of Four Traumas”

  1. Avatar
    Jim Borgschatz

    The earth is closest to the sun on WINTER SOLSTICE… and farthest from the sun on summer solstice.

  2. Avatar

    Just a little correction. You said “…The Feast Day of Summer solstice reminds us of our place in the universe, for earth is closest to the sun.” That is what most people believe. It is actually the tilt of the earth that causes the seasons.
    The summer solstice when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere (Northern and Southern) (Wikipedia and elsewhere). It is that tilt which causes the reverse solstices above and below the equator.

  3. Matthew Fox

    Thank you to the readers who have corrected our astronomy! The correction has been entered into the blog post: Earth’s North pole is at maximum tilt toward the Sun at Summer Solstice. Our appreciation!

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: