Mindfulness In Healing

Lying still
Breathing in, breathing out,
Healthy cells grow all by themselves.
I am free of cancer.

This verse came to me during a guided imagery session in 1997. It has inspired my healing process and led to Mindfulness in Healing.

Don't Ignoer Your Suffering But Don't Forget to Enjoy The Wonders of Life

Calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindfulness in Healing is the Path to Well-Being! Applying meditation practices and mindfulness brings a whole new perspective to dealing ill-being, including illness, disease, loss of a loved one, and emotional discomfort.

When you are facing a difficult situation such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, injury, stress, loneliness, or the loss of a loved one, you can improve your chances of healing and coming out whole if you adopt mindfulness as part of your recovery program.

Integrative Medical Practices

There is certainly a place for modern medical practices, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, medication and the like, but these practices must not be your only avenues to healing.

Almost all of the integrative practices engage other aspects of your body, feelings, emotions, and mental capacities to aid in your healing. For example, if you get a relaxing massage, your body, feelings, and emotions are involved and your mind becomes calm.

The Value of Support Groups

In my experience, one of the most beneficial mindfulness in healing practices is to participate in a support group. Generally speaking, support groups are plentiful in major urban areas and your medical practitioners may be able to connect you into one.

We offer a Mindfulness in Healing support group at the Pine Street Clinic in San Anselmo, California. This group was the result of my desire to give back to my community. In June, we will celebrate our fourth anniversary.

Mindfulness in Healing is co-facilitated by my good friend and colleague, Carolyn DeFay, an experienced psychotherapist and retired licensed clinical social worker. Her years of experience as a group leader and mindfulness practitioner make for a wonderful partnership.

Compassionate listening and loving speech are the foundations of our sharing practice. As mindfulness deepens awareness of our experience we find new ways to enhance our own well-being. We become able to transform our suffering and find freedom in the present moment.

We offer guided meditation and relaxation exercises  to help promote a calm, clear mind and a peaceful, loving heart. This energy supports us in accepting our challenges just as they are.

Over the past more than three years, one of us has been present at the Pine Street Clinic to facilitate Mindfulness in Healing. We feel totally rewarded by the experience of being there for people who need support.

We offer the sessions free of charge and we accept donations on behalf of the Pine Street Clinic.

Mindfulness in Healing Sessions

We begin each session by inviting the bell three times and reciting this invocation:

This life is the gift of the whole universe, the Earth, the sky and many generations.
May we learn to live in mindfulness in order to enjoy the wonders of life!

This little verse seems to set the stage for people to speak from their hearts and experience the loving support that we have to offer in the spirit of mindfulness.

After the invocation, we allocate a significant amount of time for people to share what they have come to share. We listen with compassion and without judgment.

At an appropriate time, the sharing ends and we begin our mindfulness practice of the evening. In many cases, this consists of inviting the bell three times followed by a guided meditation.

The guided meditations are of two different kinds. My favorite kind of guided meditation is the ones that come out of the felt sense of what the group participants need and want based on their sharing. We tune into their energy and provide a guided meditation that seems to fit well with that energy.

The second kind of guided meditation is based on a script that one of us has memorized or conducts from a cheat sheet. These guided meditations also work very well.

Under appropriate conditions, when there are only experienced meditation practitioners in the room, we will do silent sitting for any time between 10 to 30 or 40 minutes. The space provided by the Pine Street Clinic is totally supportive of this mode of practice.

The neighborhood surrounding the Pine Street Clinic is conducive to walking meditation and we do this outdoors sometimes when the weather permits. We have even been known to do walking meditation in the clinic, itself.

We end our sessions by inviting the bell, again three times and bowing to each other.

Mindfulness in Healing Participants

We have had many cancer patients come to our group and we have had caretakers of cancer patients get the support they need to help their loved ones through their healing process.

We have had people with other life-threatening illnesses show up and people who were undergoing emotional stress.

Fortunately, sometimes people just come to enjoy the meditation practices and we sit for longer periods of time.

Invitation

We welcome visitors on any Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 8:30 or 9:00 PM at the Pine Street Clinic, 124 Pine Street, San Anselmo, CA 94960. No formal meditation practice is required. Beginners as well as advanced meditators are welcome. We will teach you the basics of meditation practices.

If you find this information helpful, please share it with your friends and family. There may be someone you know who could be helped by our practice.

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