Now that you have completed reading Stop Cancer in its Tracks: How to Embrace Mindfulness in Healing, please consider doing what you can to help people who are suffering. Many people can be relieved of certain types of suffering by following a daily routing of mindfulness meditation, exercise, and self-compassion.
Almost immediately after my first glimpse of being cancer free (which was not true) I felt like I had something to give back to my community in some form other than my daily posts on my website. I played around with the name Mindfulness and ART in Healing for a while and even was invited to teach a sample class in late July of 1997. The class was a success and this was as far as it went at that time in my life.
Between 1998 and 2004, I bought my first house, lost my job, found another, cleaned up a significant mudslide at our house, lost my job again, started an internet business with a friend, and was hired by the Technical Committee (TC) of the Department of Justice (DoJ) to monitor MicrosoftÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s compliance with the settlement agreement. In the first two months of this assignment, I discovered documentation errors that triggered a massive effort by the TC and the DoJ to hire 50 more engineers to monitor Microsoft. I was able to get jobs for many of my friends and this brought me a lot of joy.
We would get together about once a week to discuss technical issues and I was extremely happy with the progress we made and the benefits of working on a team.
As we smoothly established our rhythm, I began to look for ways to give back to my community again. This led me to serve on the Board of Directors of the Marin AIDS Project and the Community Council of the Institute for Health and Healing concurrently between 2007 and 2010. These opportunities to participate in the greater good of my community inspired me to develop my own program.
Thus, on the Summer solstice of 2009, I held the first Mindfulness in Healing group at the Pine Street Clinic in San Anselmo, California on Wednesday nights. We had been gathering there to meditate on a regular basis for about a year as a sangha (spiritual community) for about a year. Our sangha was formed in 2001 and interest in it faded in early 2009, so I took the opportunity to start the group.
The principles of Mindfulness in Healing are derived from the teachings of mindfulness applied to health and healing. Together with my partner, Carolyn DeFay, L. C. S. W. we offer a safe space for people to come and share with us about what is going on in their lives.
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, embracing a feeling of wellness.
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 and leads to increased well-being and wellness.
I discovered that I have a knack for feeling what is going on in the group and spontaneously offer a valuable guided meditation that everyone enjoys. This has been the most wonderful take away from the almost four years (as I write this in May, 2013) of holding Mindfulness in Healing.
It is with great joy that either Carolyn or myself and most often, both of us open the doors of the Pine Street Clinic to all who want to come. Our drop-in format is flexible and works very well. You are welcome to join in whenever you are in the neighborhood.
Note: The 2013 Episode is password protected. To receive access, please order Stop Cancer in its Tracks: How to Embrace Mindfulness in Healing. Click on one of the buttons below.