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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Mindfulness Course with Julie Chippendale Begins October 26: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Julie Chippendale

As a nurse in critical settings, it was clear to Julie Chippendale that there was much more involved in healing than medicine and procedures. “Patients seemed to improve more readily and experience less suffering if they felt involved in their care and connected to others,” says Chippendale. With her continued interest in helping to provide conditions for individuals to experience wellness, Chippendale became a yoga instructor.  “I have assisted people in remembering their wholeness and connection to themselves and all life for 22 years,” she says. “I especially love to teach people that anyone can practice yoga if they start where they are.”

In 1994, Chippendale met Jon Kabat-Zinn and completed his professional Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction instructor training. “His renowned course has been taught for 30 years all over the world,” she says. Chippendale has taught the course for 18 years in Encinitas. “It is clear that there is something about the cultivation of mindfulness that is healing, that is transformative, and that can serve to give our lives back to us, not in some romantic pie-in-the-sky way, but simply by the virtue of being human,” says Chippendale. “To quote William James, the father of American psychology: ‘…we all have reservoirs of life to draw upon of which we do not dream.’”

In the November 12, 2010, issue of Science Magazine, an article titled A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy Mind by Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert states, “Unlike other animals, human beings spend a lot of time thinking about what is not going on around them, and contemplating events that happened in the past, might happen in the future, or will never happen at all. Many philosophical and religious traditions teach that happiness is to be found by living in the moment. These traditions teach that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.”

According to Chippendale, these reservoirs are “interior resources deep within ourselves innate to us as human beings such as our lifelong capacities for growing, for healing and for transforming ourselves.”

It turns out, says Chippendale, that these innate internal resources all rest on our capacity for embodied awareness. “We go about this discovery and cultivation through paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally,” she says.

Chippendale is excited about her upcoming Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course being held at Scripps Encinitas Hospital starting September 8. The program offers a framework for navigating unfamiliar and sometimes difficult life territory with a degree of clarity and equanimity.

“Mindfulness is a skill that can be developed through practice, just like any other skill. You could think of it as a muscle,” explains Chippendale. “The muscle of mindfulness grows both stronger and suppler as you use it. And like a muscle, it grows best when working with a certain amount of resistance.“

“Our daily lives certainly provide us with plenty of resistance to work with. Life provides us with just the right conditions for developing our innate capacities for knowing our own minds and shaping its ability to stay present,” adds Chippendale.  “In doing so, we can discover new dimensions of well-being and happiness.”

The course fee is $495 or $800 for a couple. The 8-week course will be held on Monday evenings from 6 to 8:30 p.m. with a Day of Mindfulness from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 18. To register or for more information, call 760-944-7735.