"...Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

-Mary Oliver

Mindfulness

The underpinnings of my offering of Mindfulness are deeply rooted in the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn with whom I studied on several occasions. We first met in 1998 at a conference offered by Omega Institute called ”The Adventure of Being Alive” and I was certain then that I had found my trueglass jar path. It took a couple of years to materialize, but finally I took the 7 day Professional Training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Jon and colleagues at Omega Institute after leaving my surgical practice  in 2002, then did a 10 day Teacher Development Intensive with his group in 2003. I took over a year to create my own curriculum so that I could speak authentically from my own personal experience of the work and began teaching full time in 2004. For me this is the work of the heart, and it continues to evolve and unfold as my practice deepens and I am the grateful recipient of teaching from all the participants of my classes. Currently, my classes include elements of yoga, ayurveda, meditation, and even some traditional Chinese wisdom. Although the class is based on the ancient Buddhist practices and philosophy of mindfulness,  I aspire to present a class that is balanced and available to all people, regardless of spiritual or religious tradition. For me, Buddhism is a philosophy, a way of seeing and being in the world. I’ve always been drawn to these teachings because of the first noble truth-The Truth of Suffering. It is delightful to find a practice that embraces suffering as part of life, that helps us recognize the myriad ways we contribute to our own suffering, and then offers a path to alleviate unnecessary suffering. It seems that so much of the distress in the world is due to our thinking there should be no suffering, or that something else should be happening -or worse-that our suffering is an indication that we have done something wrong. The inner tension and distress that we individually experience contributes to the sense of universal distress in the world…learning to be with our own distress in a skillful way is actually a gift to the world.

So the work of mindfulness is about learning to pay attention moment to moment, without judgment…paying attention intentionally in each moment. And in each moment we always get to choose what gets our attention. The practices teach us how to change the mind to understand that things happen, many of which we can’t change; yet regardless of what occurs, we ALWAYS get to choose how to relate. So we don’t have to change what we’re thinking, but can always change our relationship to what is already so, or how we’re thinking about what is already happening.

This class trains us to do just that. Together we practice working with breath, re-inhabiting the body through the practices of yoga and yoga nidra, and learning to work with the mind by practicing formal sitting meditation. There are homework assignments weekly including 4 guided CDs for home practice-1 Body scan, 2 yoga and 1 sitting meditation. We practice together in class, but if you wish for your life to really change, you are invited to take this work seriously, do the homework as offered and really let it infiltrate all parts of  your life. I am pleased to be able to offer 15 CEUs for acupuncturists.

It is an honor to be able to offer this work so dear to my heart. My life, as well as the lives of many past class participants has been changed, even saved by these practices, and my intention is to provide sacred space for you to do this work for yourself, because it’s something only you can do! If any of this resonates with you, check out the current class schedule which includes upcoming classes and investment.

Changing our mind, collectively and individually, is ultimately for the benefit of all with whom we share life.

For more information on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s work visit www.umassmed.edu/cfm; for more information on Tai Sophia Institute visit www.tai.edu