“I had not routinely recommended meditation to the cancer patients I care for, mainly out of my own ignorance,” says Dr. Richard C. Frank. He came to Omega to try out meditation for himself, attending Mindfulness Tools for Living the Full Catastrophe with Florence Meleo-Meyer and Robert Smith.
“I must admit, though, that after the first two days I remained skeptical. I was not really getting the breathing that was supposed to calm my racing thoughts; I was not able to ‘feel’ from my foot up to my ankle or other nonmoving body parts…. Then the third day came—a day of total silence…. By breakfast, my thoughts become clear and I had several new insights about my work. After lunch, I walked around Omega and actually looked closely at the flowers, counted their petals or leaves, watched a dragonfly suspend itself in place for an extended period of time, and observed bumble bees cross-pollinating flowers. I was opening up to things I walked right by for 50 years.”
Frank left inspired to both meditate on a regular basis and recommend meditation to his patients, especially those dealing with the emotional ups and downs that accompany a cancer diagnosis. “Mindfulness meditation,” he says, “is great medicine.”