For some, mindfulness is primarily a way to enhance health or performance. For others, a tool for self-exploration or part of a spiritual path—a way to develop insight into the human condition and freedom from suffering.
Regardless of the motivation, research has found that practicing mindfulness is associated with changes in the structure and function of the brain as well as changes in our physiological responses to stress, suggesting that this practice has important impacts on our physical and emotional health that are worth exploring.
The inordinate responsibilities of family caregivers are well-documented, and I myself have experienced the hardship of what it means to be a working family caregiver when in my mid-20s as I was navigating my career and adulthood, my father had a near fatal right brain stroke and he was never the same. I moonlit as a medical translator, advocate, and care integrator as I witnessed silent atrocities in skilled nursing, hospital, and hospice facilities over the 10.5 years that I supported him through traumatic brain injury.
I believe deeply in the power of, and peace found in family caregivers coming together in community to reflect on their own capacity for wellness, support each other, and nourish themselves as they diligently tend to their aging and terminal loved ones. This 12-week program is inspired by the New York Zen Center’s Foundations in Contemplative Care course, and designed to support you in:
- developing a sense of presence;
- enhancing your emotional regulation and ability to stay open and see new options in the navigation of difficult situations;
- practicing receptivity through caregiving challenge-tuning and group troubleshooting;
- strengthening your capacity to cope with stress; and
- helping you feel more connected in day to day life, to the world around you.
Each week includes a live 30-minute session with a key reflection question and 2 cycles of 5-minute quiet sitting practice, paired with a stretch activity for participants to go deeper on their own throughout the week as an assist toward bringing mindfulness into every aspect of day to day life.