Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pain Retreat for Grown Ups!

A while back, I expressed frustration at having difficulty finding any pain retreats for adults.  Well, today I found a center that offers them.  Apparently the San Francisco Zen Center offers a series of classes for folks with chronic pain, chronic health issues, depression, anxiety, and other conditions.  The retreat I've mostly been looking at are "A Day of Practice for People Who Think They Can't Sit Because of Pain and Chronic Illness" and "Helping Women Live with Pain and Despair."  As far as I can tell, these particular retreats are not being offered this summer, but it looks like some similar themes are being addressed, such as "Transforming Depression and Anxiety: A Path of Skillful Compassion at GGF" and "Meeting Trauma and Finding Balance: A Somatic Approach to Zen Practice."

In any case, I will be trying to attend one of these retreats some time next year, as I'll be moving to the area (it looks like the retreats are not all based in San Francisco but in other parts of California as well).  I'll let you know how they work out, if at all.

Here is the info for the pain retreat, which appears to have been last held in 2007. I hope they have another for me to try!:

Tassajara Retreat with Darlene Cohen
Written by City Center Staff   

with Darlen Cohen
May 14-16 at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center

Grief, anxiety, depression, physical pain, or chronic illness: How do we and our health practitioners deal with such difficult states of mind and body? During this conference we will:

1. Provide specific information regarding the most common pain syndromes in women over the life cycle;
2. Discuss approaches to patient education that target women’s unique needs;
3. Review treatment options for women, including pharmacologic approaches, behavioral interventions and complementary medicine;
4. Explore meditation practice as a palliative to pain.

Meditation practice encourages us to live rich and satisfying lives right in the middle of pain.

Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Tassajara mountain valley retreat, we will use commonplace activities like eating, walking, talking to develop meditative consciousness and discuss the importance of specific types of pleasure and comfort in lives made difficult with recurring pain and stress.

This retreat is for:

Women dealing with chronic pain; Health care providers helping women in chronic pain; Non-physicians interested in developing their own resources to help others; Friends or family members who are called upon to offer and sustain a seemingly endless supply of compassion. 6 Behavioral Science CEUs are available for this retreat.

Retreat tuition fee $120, Room and Board starts at $185 for the weekend.

Darlene Cohen, M.A., is a Zen priest trained at the San Francisco Zen Center. Currently she gives dharma talks and seminars emphasizing mindfulness at healthcare facilities and meditation centers throughout the continental U.S,  She also leads 6 regular meditation groups, 2 for people in chronic pain.  She has written 3 books on the relevance of meditation practice to dealing with physical pain and mental anguish.  See for audio dharma talks, published articles, and schedule of events
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 February 2007 )