The Hidden Treasure

Where Ancient Wisdom Meets Contemporary Psychology

Sameness Loves Diversity

Written By: Vic Rebman Ph.D - Feb• 17•15
Contemplation #6

I am the thread that runs through the pearls, as in a necklace.”

The Bhagavad  Gita

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

(Mark 12:31)

It is a psychological fact that what we focus on, we amplify.  It is a law of perception amplified by the creative power of the mind. For example, we focus on what is frustrating us and our frustration intensifies. Likewise, we focus on something we love and our experience of love is intensified. It is unfortunate that in human relationships, we tend to focus far more attention on our differences than on our sameness. We read books about how men are from Mars, while women are from Venus.  All the while ignoring the fact that we are all in the same solar system!

It is a biological fact that what we perceive as different from ourselves, and do not understand, we will defend against. This is a biological reflex; a survival instinct. For this reason, we can never really love and embrace the uniqueness and diversity of one another until we first recognize our sameness. By recognizing our sameness, we biologically perceive no threat; now we are able to psychologically embrace our differences.

We are all familiar with Jesus’words to love thy neighbor as thyself. When we are willing to embrace the truth that we are all children born of Christ love, children of the Divine, only then can we celebrate diversity without being threatened by it. After all,”Perfect love casts out all fear.”

In the Gita, we are told that God’s love is like the thread that runs through the pearls of the necklace. Christ love (perfect love) is literally the flow of Divine love within and through each of us. This was the wisdom of Jesus’s words when he said,” The kingdom of heaven is within you.” (Luke 17:21)

Clearly these ancient wisdom’s are telling us that before we can embrace diversity and celebrate our differences, living together in peace and harmony, we must  discover and embrace our sameness. Furthermore we must first awaken to the Christ (perfect love) within ourselves before we can see the Christ in each other. Only then, will we be truly free to love one another on earth, as it is in heaven.”


multile hands

The Value of a Quiet Mind: Five Powerful Benefits

Written By: Vic Rebman Ph.D - Feb• 06•15

Contemplation #5

“All of man’s problem’s could be solved if he could just learn to sit alone in a room with himself for an hour.”  – Pascal (1623-1662)

Over three and a half centuries ago, Pascal, the famous French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher recognized and wrote about the importance, yet difficulty, of learning to quiet the mind.  Today, in our fast paced society, with the need for instant gratification and immediate reward, it is perhaps more necessary than ever to learn how to quiet the mind.  Here are five critical reasons why everyone should develop and practice this skill everyday.

1. Stress reduction.

Nothing reduces stress more than the quieting of the mind.  When the mind is quiet, the stress response is shut off in the body and calmness and relaxation are amplified.  If you want to lower your stress, strengthen your immune system, and build resistance to illness and stress related diseases, then practice the quieting of your mind for 5 minutes twice everyday.

2. Improve concentration and mental clarity.

Regular practice in slowing and quieting the thinking mind leads to enhanced concentration, improved critical thinking, and effective problem-solving.  This is why Lauren, in her skills-based counseling, teaches quieting of the mind strategies to all of her ADHD children and their parents.

3. Enhanced creativity.

Creativity flows from the heart to the mind.  Too much thinking stifles creativity.  The most creative individuals know how to shut off the thinking mind, so deeper creative energies are free to flow.

4. Freedom from unhealthy habits and self-destructive patterns.

Our thinking mind produces over 60,000 thoughts a day and 85% of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday! Feelings and behavior are driven off of thought.  This means well over 80% of what we feel and do everyday is preprogrammed by habitual ways of thinking.  Without the ability to quiet the mind and step outside the thinking mind, you are a prisoner to your habits and patterns.  By learning to quiet the mind, you place yourself back in control; your habits and patterns serve you, rather than you being a slave to them.  Your freedom of choice is restored.

5. More inner peace.

Inner peace is an attribute in you, but you cannot experience it while your thinking mind is engaged.  Learning to quiet the mind leads naturally to greater, more profound levels of inner peace.

So, if you’re convinced that learning to quiet the mind is worth the investment of 10 minutes per day, I invite you to download the 5 minute audio practice session offered here and practice quieting your mind.

Click on the Quieting the Mind tab below to download your practice session:

Quieting the Mind

bench and lake

“Man was meant to sit quietly and discover his truth within.” – Lao Tzu


But What Will Others Think?

Written By: Vic Rebman Ph.D - Jan• 26•15
Contemplation #4

“Why are favor and disgrace alarming?

Seeking favor is degrading: alarming when it is gotten, alarming when it is lost…

Man’s true self is eternal, yet he thinks, “I am this body and will soon die.”  

The Tao (verse 13)

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.

I do not give to you as the world gives.”

John 14:27

Caring too much about what others think is often one of the greatest obstacles derailing personal and spiritual growth. Placing too much importance on how others might evaluate or react to what we say or do, or to the decisions we make, can radically restrict our potential; placing artificial limits and boundaries around our creative power. After all, concern over what others may think is nothing more than imaginary fear, and nothing positive can be created from such a mindset.

Abraham Maslow, the great motivational psychologist, spent his professional life studying the habits and traits of highly successful, self- actualized individuals. One of the qualities he discovered common to all of them was they  lived  “free from the good opinions of others.”  These were all individuals who were more than just financially successful, they were”self- actualized.” This means they were deeply at peace with themselves, living  life with a passionate sense of purpose and meaning. In Dr. Maslow’s words:

All the evidence we have indicates that in every human being there is an active will toward health and growth. What a man or woman can be, they must be, if they are to be at peace. We call this self- actualization.”

Every one of us is born with a Divine purpose. We possess internally an innate drive to self- actualize; to grow and evolve toward full awareness of our spiritual perfection. To ignore this drive, or resist it, can lead to states of depression and anxiety. There is no deeper sense if inner peace and self-satisfaction than that which comes from living life “on purpose,” continually evolving and growing into the person we were created to be.  Furthermore, nothing restricts the evolution toward self- actualization more than a chronic worry or concern over what others might think.

Of course this does not mean that we remain oblivious to constructive criticism. The constructive feedback of others is one of our greatest assets for shaping and motivating personal and spiritual growth. It does mean we don’t give up our creative power and passion to worries and concerns over what others might think.

In the 13th verse of the Tao, we are encouraged to awaken to the awareness that we are spiritual beings having a brief physical experience. It is only by realizing that our perfection lies in the spiritual and not the physical realm that we are able to give up concern for what others may think; freeing us to pursue the actualization of our, “true self.”  This was also what Jesus meant when he told  his disciples that the peace he offered was, “not of this world.”  

To live a life of inner peace, purpose, and meaning requires we let go of our attachment to concerns over what others may think, or how they may react, and have the courage to follow our Divine inner calling:

“Man was meant to sit quietly and find his truth within.”

and then

“For the wise, all of life is a movement toward perfection.” 

The Tao

Loa quote3

Some Problems Can’t Be Solved

Written By: Vic Rebman Ph.D - Jan• 15•15
Contemplation #3

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,

who have been called according to his purpose.”

(Romans 8:28)

Everyone has at least one; a problem that just seems to defy resolution. It seems that no matter what you try, nothing works.  The problem remains and even grows worse over time. More often than not, these are problems of life which offer us great opportunity. They challenge us to meet them–not with intellectual solutions, but with an expansion of insight and wisdom.

 Unfortunately, such experiences are usually met with anger or anxiety and experienced as anything but “opportunity!”  Carl Jung, perhaps the greatest psychologist of the 20th century, once wrote,  “The greatest problems in life cannot be solved, they must be  outgrown.” He was addressing the fact that some issues in life can only be resolved by exercising forgiveness, and the expansion of one’s consciousness. This is the truth expressed in Romans 8:28, where it is written,” all things work together for good,” for those who believe in the power and wisdom of Divine love.

To open our minds and hearts to see a loving lesson in the midst of pain requires tremendous fortitude, courage, and faith. The willingness to seek and find a loving lesson in the midst of suffering is one of life’s greatest challenges, and always begins with acceptance. The prayer, if one has the courage to embrace it, becomes

“I accept this pain and these circumstances just as they are,

because without them I can not learn the loving lesson you would have me learn.

 Teach me, awakened me, reveal to me the loving lesson you would have me learn,

 that I may deepen my relationship with you, and my ability to love more fully.”

With the courage to pray these words, with faith and sincerity, the love lesson is guaranteed to come, healing our pain, expanding our consciousness and awakening us more fully as eternal spiritual beings. Could there be any greater example of this than Jesus’ acceptance of death by crucifixion. He had done nothing to warrant such punishment,  nonetheless, he accepted the circumstances thrust upon him as he prayed,”not my will but thy will be done.”

Jesus’ courage and faith allowed him to accept without resistance,  ridicule, pain, suffering, and death by crucifixion; thereby receiving the gift of eternal life through Resurrection.  By doing so, he gave the world the greatest love lesson of all:  life is eternal and death need not be feared. Jesus gave  us the perfect model for how to face and grow beyond the stress and traumas of life which confronts us with no earthly solution. The challenge is great, but when we have the courage to follow his lead, the  joy and peace which is our reward is indescribable and everlasting.

Great Leaders Have No Need To Lead!

Written By: Vic Rebman Ph.D - Jan• 08•15
Contemplation #2

“With  great leaders above them, people barely know one exists.”

The Tao

It is an unfortunate fact that narcissism is attracted to positions of leadership and authority as metal is to the magnet. Many would be leaders are drawn to pursue positions of leadership and authority by their need to inflate their sagging egos; without  recognition, status, and power, they feel lacking, inadequate, and even inferior. Leading from a place of lack is what drives authoritative, rigid, and controlling leadership styles. Effective leadership is never about feeding one’s ego needs; it’s  about awakening the potential in others.

Leadership guru Stephen Covey in his book, ” Principle Centered Leadership” (1996) writes:

Self centered people believe that the key lies in them, in their techniques, in doing “their thing” to others. 

This works only temporarily.  If you believe it’s ‘in’ them, not ‘in’ you, you relax, accept, affirm, and let it happen.

It is for this reason many of the greatest leaders in human history did not seek leadership, rather it was thrust upon them. George Washington, Gandhi, and Moses are several  that come immediately to mind.

Those driven to pursue positions of leadership should always step back and ask themselves why, “from what place in me does this passion to lead arise?”

If you are someone with a desire to lead, I encourage you to step back and take a long deep look at yourself. What areas of your character can be strengthened and enhanced? Effective leaders are always committed to personal growth and development, and their drive to lead is never about themselves.  As it is written in the Tao:

The great leaders speak little,

when all is finished the people say,

“we did it ourselves.”

no need

The Wisdom Within

Written By: Vic Rebman Ph.D - Jan• 06•15


Contemplation #1

“Seek and you will find;knock and the door will be opened to you.” 

(Matthew 7:7)

“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!”

(Proverbs 16:16)

In the 16th verse of the 16th chapter of Proverbs, we are encouraged to seek wisdom, for it is more precious than silver or gold! Unfortunately, many mistake knowledge for wisdom. Knowledge comes from without; it is information gleaned from external sources and experiences. While knowledge is valuable and vital for productive healthy living, its value is like the wave to the ocean when compared to wisdom.

 Wisdom is cultivated within; it is an awareness of truths which has been written eternally in every human heart:

I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.”

(Jeremiah 31:33)

In the words of Plato:

“Every person has full knowledge of the ultimate truths contained within…

The soul needs only to be spurred to conscious reflection in order to become aware of it.”

To discover the wisdom (truth) about ourselves, we must seek it from within. Jesus warned his disciples not to look for the Kingdom of Heaven (perfect peace & truth) outside themselves:

“The Kingdom of  Heaven does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say,’here it is,’ or’ there it is,’ because the Kingdom of  Heaven is within you.”

Truth, the Kingdom of Heaven, perfect peace, genuine love; these are all attributes of the wisdom that lives eternally within each of us. We have been promised that if we seek it, we will discover it. To seek the treasure of wisdom, however, requires a willingness to travel inward. You must learn to quiet your mind.

Research in contemporary psychology has scientifically documented the benefit of daily meditation for reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, alleviating anxieties and worry, and effectively treating depression. In fact, there have been documented cases where daily meditation has successfully treated panic disorder and post-traumatic stress.

 Learning to quiet one’s mind is not, however, an easy task. The commitment to learning to quiet one’s mind is certainly, however, worth the commitment and dedication it takes to master the skill . While learning to meditate and quiet the mind has a multitude of physical and emotional benefits, the greatest benefit is perhaps  the awakening of  wisdom within ourselves.

With regular practice in quieting the mind, we rediscover the quiet peace that is within us, we rediscover the truth about ourselves; we are children born of Christ love (perfect love) through which anything is possible, and we are eternal and forever free. This is the truth that God has written into the DNA of every human heart.

yellow light

To begin learning how to quiet your mind, I encourage you to check out Dr. Brown’s book, “The Healing Power of Breath“(2012). It even comes with a CD for daily practice. It’s a great way to begin cultivating a quiet mind and rediscovering  the truth that is within you, which is more precious than silver or gold!

Written By: Vic Rebman Ph.D - Jan• 01•15

Welcome to The Hidden Treasure!

“Contemplation is the highest form of activity.”

In Proverbs 16:16, we are encouraged to seek wisdom, for it is more precious than silver or gold.

The Hidden Treasure integrates ancient wisdom and contemporary psychology.

Enjoy exploring these jewels of contemplation, but be warned! Applying the wisdom found here may lead to positive change and an enhanced quality of life!

Emotional Expression through Play

Written By: Vic Rebman Ph.D - Aug• 27•13

By Lauren Rebman LMFTA

As I continue to grow professionally (and personally) in my private practice, I have come to realize that a vast majority of my younger clients are struggling with a lack of emotional management skills.  Their struggle to understand how to express their emotions and thoughts appropriately greatly effects their behaviors and relationships with their family and peers.  Their anxieties, frustrations, and discomforts manifest into temper tantrums, causing parents to focus on decreasing the maladaptive behavior while not knowing that they may be ignoring a significant underlying issue: a lack of emotional management skills.  So, in the last few months, I have been on a mission to find creative psycho-educational exercises to complete with children for the purpose of increasing their knowledge of how to express themselves effectively and appropriately.

Often, when young children throw a temper tantrum, they are attempting to express an uncomfortable emotion.  Since children are not developmentally able to express themselves verbally as efficiently and effectively as what may be necessary, often they cannot find the words to describe their feelings.  Of course, there are other aspects and dimensions that may contribute to a tantrum (hunger, lack of sleep, physical discomfort, environmental contributors, etc), but in my work I have found that the underlying issue to their maladaptive behavior usually lies with their lack of knowledge on how to express themselves!

Recently, I read a book by Susan P. Epstein, LCSW, entitled Over 60 Techniques, Activities, & Worksheets for Challenging Children and Adolescents.  I have really enjoyed this book.  It has allowed me to get my creative juices flowing and I have come up with a few new, exciting activities I’ve enjoyed implementing into my practice.

My favorite activity focuses on using colors to facilitate emotional expression.  Rather than using words to express themselves (which is often very difficult for young children to do), they can take a color that corresponds with an emotion and draw a picture to express themselves.  For example, the color blue symbolizes sadness, yellow symbolizes happiness, and red represents anger.  Recently, I purchased good ole’ Play-Doh and the kids love using a combination of sculpture and color to express their emotions!  They are even disappointed to leave when our session is over because they have enjoyed themselves so much!  Talk about taking an opportunity to turn what could have been a stressful discussion for a child into a fun, stress-relieving activity!

If you know of a child who may be lagging in their understanding of emotional expression, I encourage you to try this exercise with them.  It is very simple and the kids love it.  It may even be beneficial for you as well!  Note: Remind yourself to be “emotionally responsive” to their sculptures.  Encourage them.  Build them up.  If done correctly, your relationship with that child will surely grow!

Remember, we want our children to know that uncomfortable emotions are ok.  Even though negative emotions don’t feel good, they can’t be avoided in this world.  As we grow into teens and adults, we can find some pretty scary, dysfunctional ways to express ourselves.  Let’s teach our children at a young age how to do it in an appropriate, healthy way.

“Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” – Plato

“Any emotion, if it is sincere, is involuntary.” – Mark Twain

The Value of Being Emotionally Responsive

Written By: Vic Rebman Ph.D - Jul• 22•13

Lauren Rebman, LMFTA

In my work with children, one of the main requests of the parents in families I meet with is to help them decrease the frequency of their child’s outbursts.  Parents work tirelessly to discipline their children in the right way and follow all the rules, yet their child may continue to respond with an outburst.  Children who have outbursts may be lacking certain life-skills, be struggling with the frustrations of a learning disability, living in a challenging home/school/social environment, etc.  Thus, they may require further intervention.  However, all children can benefit from adults who communicate comfort and understanding, right?

So, I’d like to pose a question to my readers: What if instead of trying to immediately stop an outburst, we “lean” into it?  What if we were to welcome the child’s outburst with validation of their frustration and comfort them in the unpleasant moment?  What may happen?

Children have an innate desire to “be good.”  They want to make their parents happy!  Kids experience frustrations just as adults do and feel disappointed in themselves when they behave in an inappropriate way.  If we can teach our children to welcome uncomfortable emotions and then sit with them calmly while they work through that emotion, aren’t we teaching them something beautiful?  Expressing:

Dear Child, as a human being you will experience negative emotion.  Welcome it, lean into it, learn to calm down and self-soothe, then you can manage it appropriately.

On the flip side, if we immediately attempt to punish them for a bad behavior (experienced by the child  as reprimanding them for their negative emotion), what might we be unintentionally teaching them?  In this, the child may be hearing:

Dear Child, as a human being you will experience negative emotion.  You should immediately attempt to extinguish the feeling!  It is inappropriate to be angry, scared, or uncertain.  I am so disappointed in you.

Teaching the difference between right and wrong is important and appropriate consequences can be valuable, however, we need to wait for the “teachable moment” to dole out consequences and lessons.  If your child is in the moment, stay in that moment with them!  This will model healthy self-soothing and emotional management strategies, the power of being in a calm state, and build self-esteem, self-confidence, a secure parent-child relationship, and more!

Let’s teach our children, students, clients, friends, and family:

It’s ok to feel unpleasant emotions.  I want to understand what you’re feeling so I can help you manage the emotion appropriately.  I care for you, so let’s take the time to lean into the problem.  We can worry about problem-solving later.




Success With Balance: Webinar Quotes for Session 2

Written By: Vic Rebman Ph.D - Jul• 17•13

Vic Rebman, Ph.D.

For those of you who are following my webinar, here are the quotes from our 2nd session.  These are great quotes to review and contemplate!

Quotes on Self-Esteem:

  • “In essence, you are neither inferior nor superior to anyone.  True self-esteem arises out of that realization.” – Echart Tolle
  • “Productive achievement is a consequence of self-esteem, not its cause.” – Nathaniel Branden
  • “Peace and self-worth are attributes found within you.  You cannot find them outside yourself.” – ACIM
  • “Puff yourself with honor and pride and no one can save you from the fall.” Verse 9, Bhagavad Gita
  • “He who loves himself as everyone, is fit to be a teacher of the world.” – Verse 13, Tao
  • “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from the will of our Father and even the hairs on your head are numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” – Matthew 10:29
  • “Self-esteem is the greatest sickness known to man and woman when it is conditional.” – Albert Ellis

Quotes on VDP (Values Driven Purpose):

  • “We do not determine our purpose we detect it.” – Viktor Frankl
  • “What a man or woman can be, they must be, if they are to be at peace.  We call this self-actualization.” – Abraham Maslow
  • “Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and then give your whole heart and soul to it.  To find your purpose look within.” – Buddha
  • “Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to others.” – Buddha
  • “The wise observe the world, but trust their inner vision.  They allow things to come and go.  They prefer what is within to what is without.” – Verse 12, Tao
  • “Serve the needs of others, and all your needs will be fulfilled.” – Verse 7, Tao
  • “Man was meant to sit quietly and find his truth within.” Lao Tzu
  • “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34
  • “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your own heart.  Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakens.” – Carl Jung
  • “The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest things without it.” – Carl Jung
  • “Every desireless one sees the mystery; every desiring one sees only the manifestations.” Verse 1, Tao
  • “In order to lead a meaningful life you must cherish others and cultivate inner peace.” Dalai Lama
  • “There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem the more one treats others with respect, kindness, and generosity.” – Nathaniel Branden