Jeff welcomes to the podcast Senior Manager of Education Programs in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Miami and physician wellness advocate, Dr. David Cohen.
While most of what you hear about mindfulness meditation these days focuses on things like exercises, mantras, breathing, and the like – there are other practices that focus more on cultivating compassion.
Compare mental exercises to physical exercises. You can’t work out your entire body with one single exercise. The same is true in the mental realm.
David advocates for Metta Meditation – a specific form of mindfulness meditation that involves repeating the mantra “May I be peaceful. May I be free from suffering.” Metta meditation focuses on developing pure compassion for yourself and others without the promise of anything in return. Read more about it in David’s Medium article, Metta for Haters Like You and Me.
What steps does David suggest we do to practice metta meditation?
- Step 1 – Do some brief meditation to get into the right headspace.
- Step 2 – Start with yourself – repeat the mantra “May I be peaceful. May I be free from suffering.”
- Step 3 – Repeat this process for someone genuinely kind, your friends and family, someone random, and someone you don’t like. End with “May all beings be peaceful. May all beings be free from suffering.”
Most importantly, take steps to cultivate compassion for yourself and others!
David Cohen, EdD
David Cohen, EdD, Senior Manager of Education Programs in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Miami, has been in graduate medical education (GME) for three years after working in higher education the previous 11 years in several areas, mostly the law school. When he is not managing the administrative GME duties, he enjoys creating and administering physician wellness initiatives both in his department and institution wide on the GME Wellness Committee. David is an active member of the UM/Jackson Wellness Committee, has presented many Grand Rounds lectures on Physician Wellness to different departments within the institution, and administers several wellness initiatives within his own department including a weekly humanities-based newsletter and opportunities for faculties and trainees to present on topics that interest them outside of medicine to build camaraderie. He is also a serious meditator. Be sure to check out David’s Medium article, Metta for Haters Like You and Me.