Journey took her far away, but route taken was inward
Nona Trealoff-Bock is trained to help her clients probe their inner depths. She is certified to mentor as a spiritual director.
Even with her Christian background, Trealoff-Bock was always curious about other faiths. She draws wisdom and energy from various religions, whether it's the Kabbalah of Judaism or the Tibetan form of Buddhism.
Last month Trealoff-Bock took a three-week pilgrimage to southern India. She visited Hindu temples and spent two weeks at a silent meditation retreat.
"Many of my studies over the past years have drawn information from the Vedic tradition, and I have continued to be inspired, since my youth, by the 'spiritual science' of raising one's consciousness," she said. "One does not need to become a Hindu or change their religion to practice."
Back home now, Trealoff-Bock says her Indian experience, while not magical or flashy, has left her with an "expanded sense of self" and a "deepening into the relationship with the aspect of God that lives in me and around me."
She's still processing the changes and how it may shape her life and spiritual mentoring.
Trealoff-Bock grew up on a dairy farm west of Spring Valley. She's a 1976 graduate of Spring Valley High School.
At a young age she developed an interest in spirituality. As a small child she recalls the visit to her church by a missionary from China. In junior high she was impressed to learn about Indian yogic feats.
Later, a move to New York for a fashion career led to international travels and an interest in diverse cultures. The fashion shows she created reflected global touches in clothing, music, colors and art.
After 15 years Trealoff-Bock returned to Wisconsin and married her husband, Jeff Bock, who is from Elmwood.
The couple lives in the town of Troy. Jeff runs a landscape business called 3 Rivers and also has a farm in Spring Valley.
Trealoff-Bock has a bachelor's degree from Burlington College in Vermont in transpersonal psychology and a master's from UW-Stout in mental health counseling.
After leaving behind the New York fashion mecca, Trealoff-Bock said she redirected her energies inward to fill a spiritual need.
Today she sees clients at her home by appointment Monday through Friday. She also works at Riverwind Crisis Services in Anoka County, Minn., helping people with mental-health problems. At a Shakopee, Minn., women's prison she volunteers her spiritual mentoring.
Her one-on-one or group appointments are usually an hour. Sometimes they are done over the phone.
She also recently guided a workshop that offered meditation and prayer practices from six different faith traditions. Details on that workshop can be found at www.notOnenotTwo.org.
Trealoff-Bock depicts her home appointments as "providing a structure that supports and allows one to deepen (a client's) relationship with God/spirit, the divine, and helps to support the manifestation of spirit's fruit in their lives."
"I would also describe it as supporting a personal journey that allows someone to achieve a growing awareness of both their presence and their relationship with the divine."
Trealoff-Bock said her sessions can be a mix of supportive listening, massage, energetic healing and periods of silence.
"It's about raising consciousness, but I'm not a psychic, and what I'm doing isn't problem solving or therapy," she said.
Trealoff-Bock said the December Indian pilgrimage was a chance for her to explore the spiritual practices, meditation techniques and rituals of the Hindu Vedic faith.
She was also lured by the vibrational and healing qualities Hindu mystics use by chanting mantras in Sanskrit, one of the world's oldest languages. During her time in India she even picked up some basic Sanskrit and is eager to learn more.
Trealoff-Bock and a band of world travelers, mostly American but many of Indian descent, took the temple tour and silent meditation retreat under the tutelage of Amma Sri Karunamayi, a revered Indian spiritual leader and humanitarian activist.
Two years earlier Trealoff-Bock attended a meditation retreat in Fairfield, Iowa, put on by Karunamayi.
Days before leaving for India, shocking violence tore at that country, giving her second thoughts.
"If I would have solely listened to my rational self, I may have questioned going (because) of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai," she said, adding that she also began to question the cost of the trip.
But strangely, Trealoff-Bock soon realized her intentions were unwavering.
"I wondered why I did not have this fear, but I could not make it up. It was not there. Spending the money did cause me to pause and discern this choice. Yet through the process of discernment, the feeling of it being an investment kept surfacing."
The Indian trip started in Chennai, a sprawling seacoast city of 8 million.
It continued by bus on a journey with stops, discourses, blessings, pujas (prayer ceremonies) at a dozen Hindu temples, some in small villages; a visit to an ancient Buddhist ruins site; taking part at a peace conference in the Indian Ocean port city of Vizag; and ending with the silent meditation at the Karunamayi's retreat center (ashram).
While Trealoff-Bock is in the spiritual profession, she says others in her travel group represented all walks of life: An Arizona attorney who prosecutes major drug dealers, an Alaskan fisherman, a construction worker, artists, nurses, a retired engineer.
The ashram was large, rural and forested. Wild animals, including monkeys and dogs, roamed. For their own safety, the travelers were asked not to stray far from their dorms.
One spiritual practice that resonated with Trealoff-Bock was early morning meditation.
"Outside my rear room window I could hear and smell the cows that lived there ... My alarm went off at 3:15 a.m., (then) showering, often cold, and readying myself to being at meditation practice at 4 a.m. The group would actually begin meditation around 5 a.m., which would be followed by chanting."
Trealoff-Bock said energetic vibes during meditation were intensified by the rising sun filtering through the meditation hall.
"Getting up and starting so early at four heightened my discipline," Trealoff-Bock said. "It really got my schedule going to capture that energy and connection to God. It requires a commitment, and it's one I hope to continue doing."
While basking in the spiritual aura, Trealoff-Bock admitted it was hard to be gone from her husband and home for Christmas.
She also saw enough Third World squalor to renew her appreciation for the standard of living that Westerners take as a given.
Yet even in the midst of that poverty and squalor, she said most Indians she met exhibited a "natural, kind, helpful sweetness" that was endearing.
Those meetings and the spiritual journey have left Trealoff-Bock feeling "more present and accepting."
"I would say it's a subtle shift, but I'm more relaxed and expanded," she said. "There's even a sense of security that comes with that greater well being."
Finally, she hopes that her rejuvenated spiritual practice will "spill over naturally to others."
To reach Trealoff-Bock for more information about her trip to India or her spiritual services, call (715) 426-6191 (home), 715-760-0028 (cell) or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.