ASK THE EXPERT – Ziona Friedlander
“Having cancer was one of the greatest gifts I was given, after marrying my husband and having our children.”
People who haven’t been touched by cancer think I’m nuts when I say that. And while I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone, I’m grateful to the diseasethat prompted me to take a long, hard look at what I was doing in my life, how I was conducting myself and what I was bringing to all my relationships.
This introspection brought me to energy healing, specifically Reiki, and to working with dreams as a healing modality, and to mindful meditation. All these practices are contemplative, but meditation is always available to me whether I’m making time to sit in meditation or finding myself becoming tense or triggered during the course of my life and can focus on my breathing to calm my mind and my body.
Now at 10 years of cancer “thriver-ship” I am now teaching meditation. I’m grateful to the Cancer Support Community for allowing me this opportunity to bring these techniques and my insights to others confronting this disease or caring for or loving someone who is.
Perhaps Pema Chödrön says it better:
“Why Meditate? Meditation is about seeing clearly the body that we have, the mind that we have, the domestic situation that we have, the job that we have, and the people who are in our lives. It’s about seeing how we react to all these things. It’s seeing our emotions and thoughts just as they are right now, in this very moment, in this very room, on this very seat. It’s about not trying to make them go away, not trying to become better than we are, but just seeing clearly with precision and gentleness…[We] work with cultivating gentleness, innate precision, and the ability to let go of small-mindedness, learning how to open to our thoughts and emotions, to all the people we meet in our world, how to open our minds and hearts.” – Pema Chödrön
Ziona Friedlander, a member of the CSC and a cancer thriver herself, is an experienced meditator as well as a certified Reiki Practitioner and Dream Tending® coach. She facilitates meditation classes for groups and individuals on a regular basis and upon request.