I learned about the importance of meditation 13 years ago. I was experiencing severe allergic reactions to unknown allergens and my unsympathetic, allopathic internist was not at all helpful. So I began to search for answers elsewhere.

I began by taking a course in Mindfullness-Based Stress Reduction through the Compassionate Ocean Dharma Center under the gentle instruction of Joen Snyder O’Neal. Total Dynamic Living, as the course is called, is a thorough, well-structured introduction to mindfulness practice in everyday life. It follows the nationally acclaimed MBSR model developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, presenting mindfulness as a universal practice for people of any religious background. The program includes instruction and practice in sitting meditation, gentle yoga, body awareness meditation, and daily-life applications of mindfulness. It also includes information about stress and relaxation. The program enables participants to develop their own base in mindfulness practice integrated into everyday life. This same course is offered through the Center for Spirituality and Healing at.

I have, since that time, had the privilege of meeting Jon Kabat-Zinn, read several of his books as well as those by others and found them powerful, helpful reminders of the importance of maintaining a practice of mindfulness. I am currently reading The Seeker’s Guide (previously published as The New American Spirituality) by Elizabeth Lesser.

The practice of being present, sitting down, breathing deeply, and paying attention can make all the difference in how I face each day. Once you develop muscle memory, it only takes a minute – but 20 are much better.

Leave a Comment