Practicing in our Daily Lives: Offerings from Our Residents

Fern Dorresteyn Shares Family Practice

“We want to express our gratitude for the healing and deep connection our family experiences at your retreats.” ~ a couple visiting Morning Sun with their son and granddaughter

Tears flow as a mother shares about the tangible difference in the quality of her family’s life since they began to practice. She has learned how to release stress, to breathe and quiet her mind so that she can be truly present to see and listen to her child. For many of us, this practice is like a miracle.

This year Michael and I offered parenting discussion groups, training evenings, and supported family retreats around the country and in France. In Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hanh’s practice center, we shared the practice of “Beginning Anew” with over 100 parents and children from different countries. In Beginning Anew, parents and children listen deeply to each other, sharing what they love about each other, as well as what is hard for them in their life.  This builds trust, reconciles conflicts, and helps children share what is really going on inside. It was a beautiful sight to see parents and children sitting together in the gardens of New Hamlet sharing, crying, hugging and laughing as they paused everything else, in order to truly be together.

“We love the bedtime ritual you taught 4 years ago, we still do it every night!” ~ family retreat participant


Resident Author Ambrose Desmond Shares about his book on Mindfulness Based Self Compassion

The practice energy of Morning Sun is a tremendous resource for me. Recently that practice energy has been taking new shapes through me in the world. My first book, Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy: Mindfulness-Based Practices for Healing and Transformation was published last year and has met with much success.
My next book The Self-Compassion Skills Workbook will be released in the Spring of 2017. We have a new collaboration with Antioch University, which recently named me Distinguished Faculty in Applied Psychology. I continue to travel around the US teaching the practices I’ve learned from Thich Nhat Hanh to mental health professionals. Most importantly, these practices give me and my family strength, peace, and hope as we face some serious health issues. I offer deep gratitude to all beings who are nourishing the energies of mindfulness and compassion in the world.
Go to to learn more about this wonderful work.


Finding Solid Ground in the Midst of Political Unrest – A Link to Michael Ciborski’s Talks

Only two days after the presidential election Michael was scheduled to lead a retreat in Rochester, NY. It was a powerful moment to help friends to return to clarity and solidity in themselves. Here is a link to these talks if you would like to listen.  Through calming and looking deeply together, we found resilience, inspiration and healing. On our third day we practiced walking meditation to the nearby grave of Susan B. Anthony, reflecting on how we can be the continuation of such a strong and compassionate leader.

Residents Aurora Leon and Joaquin Carral share about Practicing in the Dr.’s Office

Joaquin and I work as doctors in an under-served clinic. We believe that one of the reasons we have a healthcare crisis is that we have forgotten to take care of the people who deliver the care. We began to address this, asking our manager if we could start doing “team building activities” during our monthly meetings. In one session we offered simple breathing exercises, asking the staff to take a break from their worries. I personally try to take a moment to calm, breathe and empty my mind in between patients so that I can be more fresh and present for the next person.
Our staff is very diverse, yet slowly they are feeling more comfortable with the exercises we are bringing. During a recent meeting we invited staff to share appreciations of our clinic, and we were all impressed by how much we actually care about our workplace. Slowly we are weaving our practice into our work and turning our work place into a supportive community.

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