It was my privilege to spend this last Saturday evening here with over a dozen healthcare providers at the Mindfulness Evening for Physicians and Therapists. Medical doctors, psychologists, clinical social workers, family therapists and counselors all met in my classroom to share their experience of the value of mindfulness practice and mindful yoga for themselves as well as to acknowledge how well their patients have responded to participations in these programs. Beyond that, together we practiced some of the ways we do in an MBSR course; sitting practice, body scan meditation, mindful yoga.
It was poignant for me to support these healers in sharing time with one another and themselves this way. One of the doctors commented that after taking the MBSR course a few years ago she is now able to offer her patients more ‘presence’ and finds this to be so very helpful for them and for herself. She is not alone as many healthcare providers have echoed this in our conversations over many years. It seems that these practices help folks become more of a ‘healing presence’ for themselves and those they serve. They end up less distracted, less stressed and able to serve with more vitality in such challenging careers. And their patients are better served.
It struck me that at the heart of this ‘healing presence’ is that they let their patients and clients (and themselves) be ‘seen,’ to be ‘known.’ My experience over the years in classes and various trainings is that we, all of us, hunger to be ‘seen’ in all our frailty, strength, vitality, and difficulty. This may come in the form of a conversation or a treatment and what was acknowledged on Saturday by these wise and skillful folks is that this quality of attentive presence is somewhere near the heart of healing.
Perhaps beyond all the brilliant training programs, miraculous medications, rich psychotherapeutic methods, incredible imaging machines, surgeries, diagnostic codes and insurance payments that are the framework for our healthcare system there is the healing presence offered and received person to person that may be one of the most powerful healing forces in nature. Less overlooked in recent years with good research, resources, and commentary now showing this to be the case in many ways: Mindfulness Evening Resource List. I am so very thankful and honored that these physicians and doctors showed up and shared this last Saturday evening. Kind Regards — Brant