Those of us who have faced chronic illness or pain know that it affects so many aspects of our being: our roles and responsibilities, our relationships, our sense of self-worth, and even our vision for how our life will look in the future. The physical trials of being sick can cause us to become impatient and deflated. Living in a culture of individualism, we may feel shame or guilt when we need to rely on others for care. We may even blame ourselves for our illness as we desperately search for ways to feel better.
In this online course, Peter Fernando, a former monastic and longtime student of his own chronic pain and illness, offers us the tools we need to discover deep well-being in the midst of difficulty and dis-ease. He shows us how to use mindful awareness as the foundation for understanding our experience, so that we can compassionately face the turmoil brought about by illness without becoming overwhelmed by it. He teaches us how to expand the qualities of the heart that reduce our own and others’ suffering—such as equanimity, curiosity, self-kindness, and healthy boundaries. Where we may have thought that our illness was an obstacle to our growth, these teachings show us that we can deepen in our ability to be profoundly present, brave, open, and kind—regardless of our physical state.
This course also includes a module for caregivers on how to make space for your own experience in the midst of caring for another, so that you can approach the practice of caregiving from a place of compassion and wholeness rather than burn-out.