This seems an appropriate, and perhaps even auspicious moment for beginning this new Stillpoint blog, after a week full of “firsts” that has included Stillpoint’s sponsoring last Saturday of the first retreat here in Durango to be “streamed online” from the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts led by Jon Kabat-Zinn; the first community screening in Durango of the new documentary film, “The Connection: Mind Your Body” at the Durango Public Library, and the first presentation on “The Connection” at Mercy Regional Medical Center sponsored by the Compassionate Culture Initiatives Practice Group.
There were nearly 30 of us practicing together for 10 hours last Saturday here in Durango, fully participating in the virtual “room” with the group of 200 or so who were physically in the room with Jon at the CFM in Shrewsbury, MA. The majority of those who participated here on Saturday are graduates of Stillpoint’s MBSR program; it was a special joy for me to introduce them to MBSR’s founder, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and hear how much they, too, benefitted from his rare combination of poetry, science, humor and fierce compassion.
Tuesday night’s screening of “The Connection” at the Library was supported by a group of us in Durango who are passionate about mindfulness practice both personally and professionally. We call ourselves “CALM: Children and Adults Learning Mindfulness,” and worked to spread the word about this powerful and inspiring film produced and directed by Shannon Harvey (www.theconnection.tv). In the film, medical experts from around the world share insights from recent scientific research on just how contemplative practices foster and catalyze health and well-being. Several individuals with remarkable stories of healing are also featured. Hoping we’d have 20-30 people attend, we were astounded to have over 160 folks come to the screening. The feedback about the experience was overwhelmingly positive.
Tomorrow I will speak at Mercy RMC about the film and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as one means of cultivating balance and catalyzing the body’s own healing response.
I stand back in this moment with gratitude and no small amount of wonder as interest in and openness to practices that cultivate internal resources for growing, learning and healing appears to be reaching a tipping point, and as the practices themselves are becoming more scientifically validated and available.