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Meditation and Mindfulness at the Zakim Center

  • mindfulness class at the Zakim Center

  • Meditation is a mind body practice that has long been used to help produce a sense of calm and relaxation. Meditation may help patients cope with illness and enhance overall health and well-being.

    The practice of meditation involves finding quiet time and place free from distraction. You will need to sit comfortably. In the beginning of your practice, you learn to relax your body, concentrate on your breath and quiet your mind. Quieting your mind is the challenge. The challenge during meditation is not to be caught in the mind's wandering, and not to judge your thoughts.

    Mindfulness is the ability to bring present moment awareness into all the activities of daily living, while experiencing these same benefits. Cultivating a regular practice of meditation may bring you to a new level of mindfulness in everyday life. Mindful awareness helps us to understand the mind and its relationship to the body and spirit. Paying attention to everyday experiences like eating, or walking, or being in nature can provide us with great joy and satisfaction, if we can learn to practice this skill in a moment-to-moment way.

    Mindfulness Meditation

    Mindfulness meditation sessions are held three times a week in the Zakim Center. Participants will be guided through a mindfulness meditation designed to help decrease negative or fearful thoughts and help lead to a more peaceful state of mind. These workshops are open to adult and pediatric patients and their caregivers in a group setting.
    Register for Mindfulness Meditation sessions

    Mind/Body Resilience

    Mind/Body Resilience is an in-person, eight-week program designed to teach patients coping skills to manage stress and nurture resilience. Topics that are covered in the program include:

    • The science of stress physiology
    • Creating a regular meditation practice
    • Developing awareness with mindfulness
    • Cognitive strategies to build positive emotions

    Mind/Body Resilience Online

    Mind/Body Resilience Online is a virtual, eight-week program designed to teach patients and families tools to manage the stress of the cancer experience and develop skills to enhance resilience. This program is delivered live through video conference.

    Mind/Body Book Club

    Open to Dana-Farber patients, this group reads books that discuss concepts related to well-being of mind, body, and spirit from popular culture, as well as a few classics. Like a traditional book club, we meet regularly to discuss each book as a group. For those patients who have participated in our eight-week Mind/Body Resilience program, these readings will help reinforce many of the tools and strategies learned in the group.

    Reiki During Infusion

    A Reiki session in infusion lasts approximately 20 minutes. The patient is fully clothed as the Reiki practitioner lightly places their hands on the body in a set of sequenced hand positions. Treatments are done in the infusion chair, or bed, accompanied by soft, relaxation music, with minimal disruption to the surrounding area.

    Meditation Resources

    Listen to three meditation sessions recorded by Patty Arcari, PhD, RN, program manager of meditation and mindfulness at the Zakim Center.

    Learn more about meditation as complementary therapy from the National Institutes of Health.

    View a video about the benefits of mindfulness and meditation from ABC correspondent and co-anchor Dan Harris, keynote speaker at the 13th annual Lenny Lecture.