Healing through loving kindness: The effective use of meditation in personal and professional practice
Loving-kindness is a mediation practice intended to develop the mental habits of friendliness, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity, and change habituated negative patterns of mind. Studies show its positive effects on health and wellbeing, including increased positive emotions and connectedness, decreased pain and anger, and with regular practice, physiological changes in one’s response to inflammation and distress. Cultivating feelings of compassion can be particularly fruitful and challenging when individuals are suffering from painful emotions and judgments. Through experiential exercises, Mary Brantley will help participants develop and deepen their experience with this meditation practice. She will also discuss its effect on therapeutic work, strategies to address factors that can get in the way, and tips to help incorporate this practice into healing work.
Bio: Mary Brantley, MA, LMFT, teaches loving kindness meditation in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at Duke Integrative Medicine, in Duke’s Distance Learning phone Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction classes, and in various projects at UNC-Chapel Hill. She has been practicing meditation for thirty years and attends yearly intensive retreats, many at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. She has practiced with luminaries, including Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, Joan Halifax, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rodney Smith and Leigh Brasington, and completed the professional training for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction by Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. She is co-author of The Gift of Loving–Kindness: 100 Meditations on Compassion, Forgiveness and Generosity, and until recently, worked as a psychotherapist in private practice (25 years).