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Lions Roar : November 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN NoveMBer 2009 73 lost their hair. You know you could die. The fact that I’m alive and that I talk about the experience calmly and matter-of-factly in- spires people, but I do not identify myself as a cancer survivor.” One of her most important campaigns now is research into applications of mindful- ness with cancer patients, which she does in partnership with Susan Bauer-Wu. Results of a successful pilot study with patients un- dergoing stem-cell treatment were published in the journal Integrative Cancer Therapies in June, 2008. Based on that success, Bauer- Wu received a National Institutes of Health grant and is currently leading a three-year study involving 280 patients, in which one group receives mindfulness-based training, another group has standard care augmented by sessions with an oncology nurse educa- tor, and a third group receives standard care. Rosenbaum works as an advisor for the mindfulness instructors. When teaching professionals, one of Rosenbaum’s main emphases has been helping people—often nurses, who are very enthusiastic about this work—to under- stand that they are facilitating, not fixing, and that mindfulness needs to be translated to patients in a way that allows them to ap- preciate its real nature. “Since mindfulness is such a big thing these days, many people have heard of it but they automatically think of it as a technique, rather than a way of being. You need to embody it for people and find the words that will resonate for the particular patient you’re working with. They need to understand that a technique—stop- ping and focusing—is involved, but that it goes much deeper. A technique is mecha- nistic, but to really live with a practice, to encompass it and embody it, it can’t be about doing. It has to be about non-doing, connection, and compassion.” “I am passionate about this work,” Rosenbaum says at the end of our conver- sation. “Cancer is not something that any of us would ever want to have happen to us, but it can be a tremendous opportunity to look at some of our conditioning. It can also be an opportunity to look deeply and make amends for some things we don’t like. We can come into a greater sense of peace with ourselves and with others.” ♦ VISIT THE SHAMBHALA SUN ONLINE STORE www.shambhalasun.com PROCEEDS ENABLE US TO PRINT ON ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE PAPER SHAMBHALA SUN FOUNDATION An independent, nonprofit corporation. Publishers of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner ’s Quarterly. * (Above) SAMPLE ARCHIVAL PRINT : Head of a colossal Buddha, Musée des Arts Asiatiques-Guimet, Paris, France. Photograph by Michel Urtado. Enjoy our growing collection of dharma art captured in beautiful archival quality giclée prints.* Taken from the pages of the magazines the gallery includes pieces by such renowned teachers and artists as Thich Nhat Hanh, Chögyam Trungpa, Kaz Tanahashi and Natalie Goldberg. More of the Art You Love in our recently expanded collection for Less FALL SALE! Enjoy savings of up to 35% www.shambhalasun.com