Lecture 10, Solitude–An Antidote to Loneliness

By Frank Simons

The Meditation Center presents the video lecture series The Science of Mindfulness: A Research-Based Path to Well-Being from Great Courses, Lecture 10, Solitude–An Antidote to Loneliness, Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 5:30pm at the center, Callejón Blanco 4.

The Science of Mindfulness
Thu, Apr 23, 5:30pm
Meditation Center
Callejón Blanco 4
415 111-0644

Much of our psychological distress—and, in fact, many clinical disorders—is either caused or exacerbated by our sense that we are alone with it or that the problem itself marks us as defective, perhaps even unfit to participate in the human family. This distress can arise from many factors, from being the victim of sexual or physical abuse to struggling with anxiety or depression. One reason that therapy groups can be so effective in helping people deal with their difficulties is that it helps to not feel so alone. Luckily, mindfulness practices can also help alleviate our sense of isolation. Topics this week are “Suffering in Isolation,” “Suffering Together,” and “Solitude.”

Questions to consider:

1. When in your life have you felt most lonely or alienated from others? What were the personal or cultural beliefs that contributed to your sense of isolation?

2. Try the breathing-together exercise, either with another person physically present or with another person held as an image in the mind. Reflect on what happens. Did you feel more connected to the other person? What might keep you from feeling this connection at other times?

Dr. Ronald D. Siegel is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance, where he has taught for more than 30 years, and an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Siegel is a longtime student of mindfulness practices and serves on the board of directors and faculty of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy.

There will be a discussion period after the video.

Presentations of the Meditation Center are offered without charge. Donations are gratefully accepted.


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