Worthy Stokes is a HeartMind® Meditation teacher and author of two meditation books: The Daily Meditation Book of Healing (out now) and The Mindfulness Creativity Journal (Rockridge Press, Spring 2021).
She is a polytrauma NDE survivor of brain injury and multi-sensory loss with only one remaining sense fully intact: her sense of touch.
A renowned meditation and trauma expert who survived a lucid Near Death Experience at the age of 34, Worthy Stokes writes at the nexus of mindfulness, interpersonal neurobiology, post-traumatic growth, and spiritual resilience. She has over a decade of experience with advanced meditation practices, has attended meditation workshops with medical doctors and neuroscientists, and she coaches clients across the U.S. She is currently on sabbatical through March 2021 to complete her fourth book.
She is the founder of The HeartMind® Meditation Process, a trademarked mindfulness technique that integrates open awareness, emergent neuroscience and cutting edge research findings; her guided meditations have been free on Insight Timer, world's largest mindfulness app, since 2018.
Her first meditation book The Daily Meditation Book of Healing (Rockridge Press, 2020) is endorsed by leading mental health experts such as Author and Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Richard P. Brown, MD and Dr. Marti Glenn, PhD, Clinical Director of the Ryzio Institute, as well as by Author Seth P. Gillihan, PhD, a practicing psychologist and clinical Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Thought leaders such as Author Ruby Warrington have called Worthy Stokes, "the real deal."
Hit by a 15 passenger van in South Korea at the age of 34 while out for a morning run, Worthy lost smell, taste, partial hearing, and the upper half of her vision field. The traumatic brain injury rendered her motion blind and devastated her with grief.
In spite of the odds stacked against her and with limited financial means, Worthy successfully applied her understanding of consciousness and emergent neuroscience to the transformation of her life. With the steadfast love and emotional support of her partner, Leo, she harnessed the power of post-traumatic growth and, much to the surprise of countless medical experts, launched a mindfulness company, trademarked a trauma competent meditation protocol, started coaching others, and began to thrive.
Her deeply integrated perspective of interpersonal neurobiology, healing, and spirituality is shaped by both her Near Death Experience and her personal journey through life-altering trauma; Worthy is first and foremost a survivor, which informs her teaching style in every way. When the massive, shocking sensory loss she lived through irreversibly changed her body and hijacked her brain, her inner world became her refuge, her sanctuary, and her primary space of retreat.
To make meaning of her experience with irreversible tragedy, she launched her meditation company and began to write while teaching and coaching others. In 2018 she released her HeartMind® Meditations; her open awareness meditation technique is trademarked.
Worthy's second meditation book, The Mindfulness Creativity Journal: Artistic Prompts to Relax, Release, and Explore the Wisdom of You, will be released in Spring 2021 and includes an adaptive guide for individuals living with disability, chronic illness, or immobilizing challenges that are ignored by the multi-trillion dollar mindfulness industry.
Her skillful way of explaining consciousness has been referred to as "formidable" by her peers, and she has been repeatedly called "ahead of her time" by psychologists who recognize her sophisticated understanding of the liminal space where soma and soul connect.
A limited edition series of HeartMind® Meditations are free on Insight Timer and organized by topic: HeartMind® for Self-Healing, HeartMind® for Anxiety, HeartMind® Aligned for Life Purpose, HeartMind® for Manifestation, and an introduction to contemplative awareness, which presents life as an ongoing journey of remembrance.
In her personal life Worthy has healed with generous support and skillful guidance from neuroscientists, mindfulness experts, equine therapists, EMDR therapists, artists, shamans, sound healers, psychologists, somatic experts, and wayshowers who believe in the body's capacity to heal.
Worthy's 6 years of Dzogchen practice, study and retreat with Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche (prior to her accident) directly inspired her passion for emergent neuroscience and contemplative presence. Dzogchen, considered by many to be the most advanced meditation practice there is, points to the true nature of the consciousness of our minds. An accomplished scholar and author, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is the foremost Dzogchen teacher of the West.
Forever inspired by the pristine wilderness areas that surround her birthplace in northwestern Montana, she has spent hundreds of days in solitary retreat, and she considers her time in the wild, her meeting with Death, and her awakening to the sentient intelligence of the body as her most relevant teachers.
Worthy brings a groundbreaking, integrated perspective to her work with meditation; she views complicated attachment trauma, debilitating shame, developmental trauma, and CPTSD through a crystallized lens of natural systems and biomimicry, where interconnectedness is a foundational principle that fastens biology to spirit in ways that demonstrate detailed, intricate beauty and exquisite, sacred intimacy - for which there is no human translation.
Having closely followed research in the field of relational neuroscience since her fated meeting with the late Dr. Candace Pert in 2007, Worthy has attended workshops by and/or learned with leading medical doctors and neuroscientists such as Dr. Deborah Norris, Dr. Richard P. Brown, Dr. David Treleaven, and Dr. Willoughby Britton. As a result, her meditation programming is fully trauma competent, her spiritual lexicon is trauma competent, and her style of teaching is grounded in relational neuroscience; her work is meant to be spiritually evocative in a way that transcends religious dogma - and respects each person's individual beliefs.
She lives with her soulmate husband (an education and literacy expert) in New York City, where he grew up. Worthy is her given name; she was named for her grandfather, Dr. Worthy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from The University of Mary Washington. Interviews about her NDE are available online.