Back to the tearoom where we have the internet connection. Unfortunately, there is no connection in the lecture hall. I will come back to the research preconference later tonight...now...
The symposium is now officially open! Rolf Sovik from HI reminded us about the research that Swami Rama underwent at the Menninger Institute in the '60s in order to help the western scientists understand yoga and meditation. Pandit Rajmani Tigunait offered a prayer and spoke briefly about Yoga and meditation no longer being "Eastern subjects" - largely because of the number of studies offered. John Kepner offered thanks to Sat Bir Khalsa who visioned this conference and was instrumental in making it happen. Sat Bir announced the 2nd Symposium will be sept 23-25, 2011 at Kripalu.
I've heard Dean Ornish speak a number of times, but for some reason he really came across in a direct, present excited manner today. As I said previously, he was not here rather broadcast live into our lecture hall. He was at the AARP convention in Florida which was attended by 25000 people. Of course he has every right to be excited at this time, having just had in August the Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease accepted for Medicare Coverage - the first lifestyle program ever!
His work exemplifies the power of comprehensive changes in lifestyle. He emphasized how that work addresses the underlying causes of problems. That the body has the capacity to heal itself. That, finally, this method is accepted not only as treatment, but as prevention even though Congress sees it as being even more costly since people will now live longer!
Ornish told us that good science got him (and us) pretty far but it isn't good enough. We have to address the cost structure and that's why he went after the reimbursement. If reimbursement is changed, then the system can be changed he believes. So, we'll see.
Thewhole system is having a heart attack right now, says Ornish. We are paying for things that are dangersou, expensive and ineffective. It's a fear-based model, but it we connect, love one another, experience happiness, and rediscover that the source of joy is within us, we will thrive.
He called us touchy, feely creatures. We need connections. A tiny example of that is that I'm blogging...and you're reading...
One thing that I've learned already about HI, is that you don't want to miss dinner. On that note, let me hear from you and I'll share more later.
Om shanti, Julie