Center faculty members Bob Buckley, Kathy Farah and Judith Pedersen-Benn , Certified practitioners Matt Erb and Julie Kilpatrick ,and Certification Candidate Noshene Ranjbar, worked with Lakota Indians on the Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern South Dakota during November 2011. Here are excerpts from their report.
Our week at Pine Ridge was an exercise in flexibility, organizing as we went, practicing and teaching mind-body skills wherever we could, and being persistent but patient in the process. As word of what we were doing spread, more calls came in to have us work with various groups including the staff of the tribal police department. We learned quickly that if 30 people were registered for a group, this meant to expect 10 or 15!
We split up in various configurations and did a combination of workshops, series of groups, and sometimes one-time groups. In the end, we served around 165 people. We worked with teachers, counselors and students in the schools; the staffs of the tribe’s health administration department and the Indian Health Service hospital including the CEO, nurses, doctors and support staff. We worked with a non-profit that provides social services and foster care placement, and staff and clientele of a local non-profit substance abuse clinic. Each night we held a public group at the Jesuit-run Red Cloud School, open to anyone with interest that drew an eclectic mix of participants.
This post originally appeared in the author’s blog Mindful Mothering on December 7, 2011.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I still have thoughts swimming from David Whyte‘s workshop and one was on this idea of lovingkindness. That is not how he described it but he speaks of the essence of how we nurture ourselves. He suggests that we are the only part of creation that is allowed to deny itself, ie a tree or flower do not get to deny their essence but we as humans, constantly deny or reject parts of ourselves that we are dissatisfied with. And so this idea of how to nurture ourselves is cast aside by our self-criticism. Continue reading →
Priscilla Warner’s Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life is an instant mind-body classic, tracing her journey from panic to peace in generous detail.
Though happily married, with two wonderful grown sons and a satisfying career as an art director turned author, Warner suffered from serious anxiety and panic attacks. She made a decision to spend a year seeing if meditation and other mind-body techniques could help her heal, and the results are riveting. She describes her explorations, from breathing and lovingkindness meditation to Trager work, Ayurveda and EMDR, with refreshing honesty, growing wisdom, and humor.
This may be a book you’ll enjoy for your own pleasure and edification, as well as to recommend to patients or clients and friends. A keeper.
Available in our new online bookstore
I never miss watching Jim Gordon, Center Founder & Director, lead the fishbowl exercise at our Advanced Mind-Body Medicine training program. In a fishbowl, for those of you who haven’t experienced it, chairs are arranged in concentric circles, with those seated in the large outer circles acting as witnesses to the activity in the smaller circle within.
In this case, Dr. Gordon invites trainees to volunteer to be part of a Mind-Body Skills Group– something that is usually quite private, among a group of 10 to 12 people including the facilitator– but in this instance is quite public. It takes a great deal of courage for volunteers to raise their hands. One physician said during the process last week when asked why she wanted to participate, “Well, 3 minutes ago I didn’t even know I did!” She felt moved, in the moment, to join in the experiment.
Center Staff member Timothy Eden, MSW shares a recent find.
I had a meeting with a woman a few days back who showed me a beautiful visual model that a Tibetan healer drew. I think it speaks for itself.