Registration is now open for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at The Prancing Peacock yoga studio in Yardley.
For Brandon Lewin, who runs Morrisville’s Ease and Lightness Mindfulness, and will be teaching the course, it’s been a long and winding road.
When Brandon began meditating it wasn’t because he thought it might be a healthy lifestyle change. It was because he was desperate.
Dealing with the effects of chemotherapy as well as an addictive history, Brandon was feeling hopeless and depressed. “It’s not that sitting on a cushion made everything okay,” Brandon explained. “It showed me how to come to terms with life.” He found that practicing meditation gave him the capacity to choose how to respond to life’s ups and downs.
Once he was in remission and sober, he began to teach mindfulness. After receiving encouraging feedback from his early students, Brandon embarked on the MBSR teaching program – first at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and then at Brown University. With rigorous training and many silent retreats, he became a Qualified MBSR Teacher.
After 13 years of being cancer free, in September 2020, he was diagnosed with a recurrence of lymphoma.
Brandon absorbed this news through a mindful lens – a perspective that he credits with aiding him through the treatment process.
“When we practice mindfulness, the invitation is to figuratively put out the welcome mat with heartfulness for what we find in the present moment,” he says. “That doesn’t mean we condone it; instead, we can take wise action. It’s easy to dwell in the world of ‘cancer is bad’ or ‘I shouldn’t have cancer.’ Holding that experience with great kindness and gentleness is more challenging. And more fruitful.”
Brandon continues to receive treatment but feels – in his words – ‘super- healthy’. He has been practicing yoga regularly, and of course, meditating for an hour to 90 minutes daily.
Two free MBSR Orientation sessions are scheduled for late March and the weekly course begins in April.
PHOTO CAP: Brandon Lewin of Morrisville’s Ease and Lightness Mindfulness.