Here, Anne Biging, cofounder the Healing Summit (March 6th & 7th, 2017), chats with her friend and respected colleague, Dr. Marjorie Woollacott about meditation, science and healing the world:
Anne Biging: For the people who don’t know, can you describe the work you do and how it relates to wellness? What inspired you to get involved in this?
Dr. Marjorie Woollacott: I actually have two areas of research and teaching that I am involved in: I was trained as a neuroscientist in rehabilitation medicine and began my career training physiotherapists to explore new and more effective rehabilitation tools for patients with stroke, Parkinson’s disease etc. I have a textbook that is in its fifth edition, used in medical schools around the world, for training physiotherapists. And then I also do research and teach in the area of complementary medicine. This grew out of my training in meditation and my discovering its incredible power to improve our health and well-being. I explore the power of meditation to improve our attentional focus and our subtle awareness and have written a book, Infinite Awareness: The Awakening of a Scientific Mind, that shares my journey of learning to combine the scientific and meditative worlds.
AB: For you, what is most invaluable about participating in the Healing Summit?
DMW: I am participating in the Healing Summit because it has a purpose that I feel is very important to the entire world today: healing both ourselves and the planet. By “healing” I mean not only increasing our personal health and well-being, but also creating a stronger sense of community across cultures, and finding business models that support both the environment and the community we live in.
AB: We know that meditation is good for us, but what specifically makes the practice so beneficial?
DMW: Meditation is beneficial, first, because it quiets and calms the mind, so that we can stay attentive to our goals without being distracted and also have equanimity, even in challenging situations. It also has the power to give us a sense of unity with others and the world around us, and this fosters compassion for both ourselves and others. This compassion has a strong healing and unifying effect on the community.
“We can stay attentive to our goals without being distracted and also have equanimity, even in challenging situations.”
AB: In your mind, what does it mean to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
DMW: For me, living the process starts with my daily meditation and yoga practice, as soon as I wake up. And then I work to carry that state of focus and equanimity into each part of my day. When I notice myself getting off balance and beginning to react to a situation, I try to pause and remember my center: the heart. And, then, from that place of stillness, I try to move forward in a way that will be beneficial to everyone in the situation. Of course, there are moments when I forget, but, with this intention, it becomes easier as I continue to practice it each day.