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Healing a Soldier’s Heart: A short documentary of a pilot program using mindfulness and loving kindness meditations.

This week, I would like to share a video I came across in the spring that I found interesting and inspiring. It’s a documentary of a pilot program that was run through Veterans Affairs in Seattle teaching to veterans mindfulness meditation, loving kindness meditation, and concepts related to compassion for oneself and for others.

The veterans in the group were all suffering in various ways, which you learn snippets of over the course of the video. The group members also experience positive changes over the program, a testament in part to their hard work, dedication, and courageous willingness to participate (not that it’s ever quite that simple). Click here for the video.

Never one to want to peg the “one size fits all” approach to human experience, I respect and appreciate that there are diverse approaches and things people find beneficial on their journeys of wholeness, healing, growth, meaning, or finding a greater sense of satisfaction, engagement, rest, or peace. I am deeply touched by the courage people show in “showing up” to whatever is happening and seeking helpful ways to be in that, and I am deeply touched witnessing people feeling positively changed or transformed in some way. I felt respect toward the participants in this video and touched by their courage and the renewal many of them described experiencing.

Thinking of the courage required both to be with suffering and to try to find and be also with hope, I am reminded of a quote I read this week (in a book about self-injury):

What makes us heroic?—Confronting simultaneously our supreme suffering and our supreme hope.  –Friedrich Nietzsche, 1974

Until next time: put your feet up, enjoy the video, and the gorgeous summer weather. If you are suffering, I send you warmth.