Mindfulness Meditation with VIN

My worlds are colliding.

Family.  Friends.  Work.  Yoga.   I have a tendency to keep these parts of my life separate, in that they don’t seem to mingle much.  For some reason, I don’t tend to mix them all together into one big jumble.  I’m not opposed to it.  Maybe it’s happened because I’m a little introverted and prefer to keep certain things to myself.

As regular readers know, yoga has been creeping into all my worlds.  And even more so now that one of my favourite on-line resources, the Veterinary Information Network or VIN, is offering a free 8 week program on Mindfulness Meditation.  The course is being taught by Dr. Michele Gaspar, a specialist in feline medicine, who is also taking a graduate program in pastoral counselling.  She’ll be leading group sessions in cyberspace where people can come together for virtual meditation practice over the next few months.

The sessions are based on a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) practice, started for patients and physicians, by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn.  Dr. Gaspar indicated that something like this has not been done for the  veterinarinary community, so the 100 or so DVMs and veterinary support staff (like veterinary technicians & assistants) will be “pioneers on this journey” into mindfulness.  There are people that will be logging on from around the globe!

Many of the participants that have signed up are curious.  They want to explore this tool and use it in their work and home lives.  We’ve chosen a rewarding but sometimes stressful career where we’ve all learned how to take care of our patients and their owners.  However, we often neglect to do the same for ourselves.

I’m so excited to know that my profession is heading in this direction.  I know how much my yoga practice (meditation, asanas, teaching) have helped me develop skills and balance in my work/home life.  It just emphasizes that the path I’ve been taking over the last few years has been the right one, not only for me, but for my colleagues too.