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Point of Life Foundation - Creating Hope in Healthcare

Current Reports



October 31 - November 2, 2008



Rediscovering the Joy of Practice

October 30 - November 2, 2008

A Retreat for Healthcare Professionals


In this retreat, a program of the Point of Life Foundation, 50 allied health professionals engaged in a weekend of reflection and meditation devoted to Rediscovering the Joy of Practice. The program was cosponsored by the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization, George Washington Institute of Spirituality and Health, Global Organization of Healthcare Professionals of Indian Origin, and the Integrative Medicine Alliance .

Participants exchanged stories of the experiences that sustain them in their precious work of relieving the suffering of others. Included in the retreat was time spent learning or relearning the use of meditation to gain access to each individual's "Point of Light," that inner place of goodness, kindness, compassion, and gentleness that we all possess. An opportunity was included to spend part of a day in silence, an interlude in our chaotic, busy world, a pause in which to rediscover the joys of self, nature, introspection, rest, and calmness. The retreat was an occasion for hope, rekindling passion for the work of healthcare and deepening the practice of connection with self, others and the Divine. The simple, delicious Indian vegetarian nutrition and the peaceful lovingness of the Peace Village staff added immeasurably to the value of the experience. New connections were created and old connections were re-established.


Participants explored the questions: What is joy? How can delight and wonder be cultivated on a daily basis in the service of healing? What do we know about love, altruism, kindness, and generosity? What role do meditation and spirituality play in bringing forth a healing energy capable of producing tangible benefits for self, family, colleagues, and patients? Participants told stories of their lived experience weaving service, medicine, love, and healing.

This framework allowed participants the opportunity to:


  • Explore the offerings from neuroscience to discover applications that support positive clinical outcomes
  • Consider the true "cardiology" of the heart-engaging in genuineness, wellbeing, delight, wonder, and awe
  • Experience genuine connection with self and others
  • Examine the values of mission and joy on health and healing
  • Learn from other healthcare professionals about ways of being that lead to therapeutic presence and positive healthcare environments
  • Share personal stories on the impact of joy and creativity in life, love, and  work
  • Experience practices that can transform negative situations and attitudes into those of optimism and hope
  • Participate in workshop exercises uniquely designed to promote values-based practice

The retreat closed with the first annual awards and recognition program, honoring many outstanding practitioners recognized and nominated by their colleagues or patients for their "greatness" in valuing the human spirit in their practice.


Select participants' responses:

"Now we have irrefutable proof that spirituality is actually healthy...
both on the part of the healer and the healed."
"Science, neuro anatomy, neuro physiology and neuro immunology 
tell us that we really do have... control over ourselves, our responses and our lives."

"We were reminded of the importance of silence."


Key Presenters included:


Harvey Zarren, M.D., Cardiologist in practice; Fellow of the American College of Cardiology; Founder and Physician Director of The Healing Connection, and Founder and Medical Director of the Healing Your Heart Program, NSMC/Union Hospital, Lynn, Massachusetts; Assistant Clinical Professor in Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine; President of the Board of the Integrative Medicine Alliance.


Kala Iyengar, M.D., Board Certified Pediatrician by training and Spiritual Teacher by passion; Director, Peace Village Learning and Retreat Center, Haines Falls, New York; Founding Director of the Point of Life Foundation, working to bring increased awareness of the influence of spirituality on physical health and well-being through various programs.


Patricia C. Calhoun, RN, ARNP, MSN, senior member of the nursing staff at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami Florida; Advanced Practice Nurse in the Taylor Breast Health Center.


Rita Ajmera, SW, Social Worker (retired) after 41 years of practice in geriatric mental health; mediator and facilitator for the VA Hospital, Saratoga County Family Court, and the Tri City India Association Support Group; certified Yoga teacher.


Stephen G. Post, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics in the School of Medicine, Stony Brook University (SUNY); former Professor of Bioethics, Philosophy and Religion in the School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University; recognized internationally for his work on the unselfish compassionate love at the interface of science, ethics, religious thought, and behavioral medicine; recognized expert on the spiritual and ethical aspects of caring for persons with dementia.


Carol M. Davis, EdD, PT, FAPTA, Professor and Assistant Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy in the School of Medicine at the University of Miami; faculty member of the Miami Area Geriatric Education Center (MAGEC); internationally known speaker and consultant in teaching and developing curriculum in attitudes and values, geriatrics, and complementary therapies in rehabilitation. 


Nitin Ron, MD, Neonatologist and Assistant Director, New York Methodist Hospital, Park Slope, Brooklyn; Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Cornell Medical School.


Prem Massand, MD, consultant radiation oncologist of 26 years; honorary consultant in Global Hospital and Research Center, Brahma Kumaris International Headquarters at Mount Abu, Rajasthan.






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Thought for Today
Experience Raj Yoga Meditation
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Take just a minute to relax and to enjoy silence and peace