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Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere

Fellowship and Service

Address: 1600 Mar West Street
Tiburon/Belvedere, CA 94920
Phone: 415-789-0161

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

THE POWER OF MINDFULNESS

“I grew up here at the TPC, and it’s great to be back,” said Leonard Capozzi, who was on hand to speak about the benefits of mindfulness. He also recalled that Marianne Strotz taught his fifth-grade yoga class at St. Hilary School.

In 1979, John Kabat-Zinn, who is now a professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, sought a meditation teacher to help him deal with stress while he was studying for his doctorate in molecular biology under Novel Laureate Salvador Luria at MIT. Later, he observed that a lot of patients at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center were falling through the cracks of the medical system, suffering side effects of treatment and not recovering as expected. He proposed trying mindfulness-based stress reduction, and although meditation and yoga weren’t well regarded there at the time, the director approved his proposal and gave him a space to work in the corner of the cafeteria. He developed an eight-week program in MSBR based on basic awareness practices and asked patients who weren’t getting better to participate. His background in science and the research he did contributed to the success of the program. “Thousands of studies show the clinical efficacy of mindfulness and MBSR in particular,” said Leonard.

He explained that all mindfulness practices have two components. The first is formal and includes practices such as meditation and yoga, and the second is informal, and activities such as eating lunch and driving a car can be mindfulness practices. “Mindfulness can arise in any situation, even in the chaos,” he said.
Leonard moved to Rome four years ago and thought he wouldn’t survive unless he retreated into mindfulness, and so he trained in the practice. “The shock of moving to Rome really had this nice fruit that came from it,” he said.

Mindfulness practice has two wings. Directing attention to whatever is happening in the here and now and openness to what we’re experiencing, which can be something painful. Thus, it includes present moment awareness and loving kindness.


The Chinese say there are 10,000 ways to feel pain and suffering in life. So, how does mindfulness practice alleviate suffering? Leonard told a personal story to illustrate its effectiveness. He lived in Rome 32 years ago when he was in college, and one day, he was cooking a huge pot of pasta and dropped it on his foot and was scalded. He had just started doing mindfulness practice and saw it as an opportunity to try it, so he didn’t take pain medication. Instead, he did mindfulness practice the entire night.


He noticed that the mind is constantly telling stories. When he criticized himself, the pain was worse. When he didn’t add a story to it, the pain calmed down. “It wasn’t this monolithic beast that arrived,” he said. Rather, he realized that pain increases when one resists it, and when you can generate kindness from inside, it is healing.


Leonard asked us to focus on points of contact. Then he asked how it would relate to eating lunch. He explained that we need to focus our attention on what we’re doing and be present for each gesture—every little bit of what we’re doing. “When we’re eating, we’re eating,” and so we need to pay attention to chewing and swallowing.


What we practice grows stronger, and so it’s beneficial to have a five-minute mindfulness practice each day. When the mind wanders, we bring it back, so it’s not a problem and is part of the experience. Mindfulness, therefore, gives us the opportunity to make the problems in our lives into opportunities for growth. “What this requires is a lot of curiousity, humor and courage,” he said, and it allows us to tap into our deepest potential and lies in our ability to turn toward ourselves with a kind, loving quality. “It goes against our conditioning to do that,” he said, but when we are in a present-centered network, it’s like putting a car into neutral, and a cascade of neurotransmitters and hormones goes into supporting the organism.


Leonard talked about Ronald Siegel, an assistant professor at Harvard University who studied mindfulness and meditation and verified four characteristics of mindfulness practice.

1. It increases tolerance for strong sensations and emotions and the ability to have pain and not react.
2. The ability to manage pain changes as it relates to uncomfortable sensations. Subsequently, the ability to accept all the different parts of ourselves increases.
3. Preoccupation with self-esteem issues decreases. You start to relate differently to your experiences. Some parts are integral and whole.
4. The ability to connect with others increases.
“All these things support and play off each other,” said Leonard.

Questions and Answers

George Landau asked if reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction that is a form of alternative medicine originating in Buddhism is the same, and Leonard explained that it’s different, because mindfulness is not a technique, a quick fix or a religion. Rather, it rests on the ability to bring awareness to the present problem with kindness.

“How do you relate it to forgiveness?” asked John Kaufmann. “Is there a difference between mindfulness and forgiving?”
Leonard explained that it requires striking a balance between activities and not paying attention to aches and pains. He suggested putting aside a little bit of time each day to practice.

Joe Lavigne asked if the best way for an individual to practice mindfulness is by oneself, and Leonard replied that it really depends on each person’s interest. “I started with a book,” he said, adding that many wonderful books are available.


Hank Bruce does a lot of driving and has many thoughts on his mind, and he couldn’t see see how to fit in mindfulness.


“When we drive, we think about all sorts of things. It’s how we relate to experiences,” explained Leonard, adding that the awareness itself has the power to diminish and defuse the difficult emotions we experience.

Bill Goldberg mentioned Andrew Weil’s belief that it’s important to get enough sleep. “If you don’t get sleep, all kinds of things go wrong,” he said.

Leonard explained that Weil is a big proponent of 4-7-8 breath, or relaxing breath. (https://www.drweil.com/videos-features/videos/breathing-exercises-4-7-8-breath/) “If you do it with kindness, it’s a mindfulness practice. It’s a wonderful practice. My wife and I do it every morning and every evening,” he said.


“Mindfulness practice is really as basic as our breath. When have we appreciated taking a breath?” he asked. “We need to pay attention to how we relate to our minds and bodies.”


To find out more, please go to https://www.mindful-by-nature.com/.

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MARK YOUR CALENDAR

GREAT GUEST SPEAKERS

January 17          Jay Gardner                    Wind + Wing Technology, Wind-powered ferries
                                                                    on San Francisco Bay

January 24          Justin Douglas                 Outreach Scholars

January 31          Club Assembly, no speaker

February 6           Fellowship, no speaker

February 14         Nancy Moody                   Lifehouse

February 21         Gabriel Buich

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  NOTEWORTHY EVENTS

TBA

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WHERE TO FIND US

Lunch Meetings
We welcome guests. If you'd like to hear a guest speaker or find out more about Rotary, please pay us a visit. We meet at the Tiburon Peninsula Club, 1600 Mar West Street, Tiburon, at 12:15 p.m., most Wednesdays, for
a guest speaker's interesting presentation and lunch (optional). Lunch & Attendance: $23, attendance only: $10

Happy Hour
We enjoy a social gathering on the third Thursday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at Servino Ristorante, 9 Main Street, Tiburon. This is a no-host event—place and pay for your own order.

From January to April, we will provide dinner for participants in the REST (Rotating Emergency Shelter Team) at St. Hilary's Church in Tarantino Hall. This service project will take the place of Happy Hour.

Board of Directors Meetings
Meetings of the Board of Directors are open to all members and take place on the second Wednesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the TPC.

Contact us at rotary@telli.com.

See our website at www.tiburonrotary.org

Send mail to Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere, P.O. Box 220, Tiburon, CA 94920

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tbrotary. Hope you "like" us!

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Scroll down to see our photo gallery of Rotarians at work and play!

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 ROTARY AT WORK

The Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere supports a wide range of programs, with a focus on youth, literacy and community. We believe that reaching out to others makes a better world and encourage others to join us. Here's what we're supporting in 2016-2017.

Youth—Investing in the Future

• 10,000 Degrees: Funding for support and mentoring to help low-income students gain access college and succeed.

• Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity: Support to provide a safety net of stable housing, guidance and community connections for young people 16 to 25, who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless in Marin County.

• Audubon Canyon Ranch: Support for children from low-income urban neighborhoods to go on field trips and experience nature.

• Bel Aire School’s Liberia Project: Advice and support for the fifth-grade students’ ongoing projects to help their sister school in Liberia, thus encouraging altruism at home and helping children in a disadvantaged country across the world.

Dave Hutton Rotary Award for Service Above Self: An annual award to a graduating eighth-grader with a record of outstanding community service at Del Mar Middle School.

• Dictionaries: Full-color, illustrated children’s dictionaries for every third grader in local schools every year.

• Eagle Scouts: Financial support for Eagle Scout projects, thus allowing Boy Scouts to develop leadership skills and prepare to become tomorrow’s leaders.

• Global Book Exchange: Support for the Global Book Exchange in San Rafael, which collects lightly-used books and redistributes them to teachers at schools with limited budgets, disadvantaged families and nonprofits that serve children, as well as schools throughout the world.

• Rotaplast International: Support for volunteer medical teams to provide life-changing surgery for children with cleft-lip and palate in needy communities around the world.

• Rotary Youth Leadership Awards: Scholarships so high school sophomores and juniors can attend a special camp that guides them to develop their leadership skills.

• Educator of the Year Awards: Annual awards to outstanding educators in local schools, whose unique projects give children a worldview that encourages them to become good citizens.

Meaningful Projects—Service Above Self

• Canal Alliance: Support for a program that teaches immigrants to speak English.

• Marin Villages: Support for programs that help seniors age in their own homes. Members pay a small fee and can enjoy social get-togethers and access to volunteers for help with tasks such as getting to appointments, changing light bulbs or assisting with pets.

• Pathway Home: Support for a program in Napa County that provides residential treatment for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

• Service to the Community Awards: Recognition for people who serve the community in meaningful ways, but don’t often get acknowledgement.

• St. Vincent de Paul: Support for helping Marin’s neediest residents obtain nutritious food, affordable housing, meaningful employment and a voice in the community.

• Tiburon’s Green Team: Support for the volunteers who plant, weed, prune and trim landscaping in public places to keep our community beautiful.

• Whistlestop: Underwriting for Whistlestop's Thanksgiving Feast for Seniors.

District Designated Funds

Rotary's District Designated Funds helped establish this sewing shop in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Photo: Courtesy of Keith and Holly Axtell

Funds from the Rotary International Foundation's annual campaign earn District Designated Funds for our club. For the past three years, we have contributed our funds to multi-club microcredit projects in Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru to train people in job and entrepreneurial skills and extend microloans to help them start small businesses and become self-sufficient

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GALLERY

Karen Glader welcomes new member Valerie Marsh to the club and gives her a Rotary pin.

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Rotarians have fun in the Day Before-Labor Day parade.

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Proclamation

The Town of Tiburon issued a proclamation in honor of the Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere's 40th anniversary, which we will celebrate in June, and the 100th anniversary of the Rotary International Foundation. Pictured, left to right, are George Landau, President Linda Emberson and Tiburon Mayor Jim Fraser. Photo: Marsall Gross.



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Visitor from Afar

Rehmah Kasule (above left), with President Linda Emberson) is the Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club of Kampala/Impala in Uganda. She took the opportunity to visit us when she was at a conference in San Francisco in October. In 2010, she received recognition at the White House for her work in empowering women and met President Obama. She then wrote a book, From Gomba to the White House. She shared an African proverb: “When you walk fast, you walk alone. When you walk with others, you go far.”

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MAKING KIDS SMILE

Marshall Gross donated two beautiful puppets that he won in a gift basket to Rotaplast's mission in Cebu City, Philippines. Dr. Angelo Capozzi (with the big dog) reports that the puppets are making kids smile every day before undergoing surgery, and the mission is going well.

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Tiburon Challenger

Charlie Oewel, representing the Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere, accepted a generous check from Ashoo Vaid (middle) of Wells Fargo and tournament director Brendan Curry (right) at the conclusion of the Tiburon Challenger. The funds will go to the club's education projects. (Photo: Getty Images for Revd)

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Rotary welcomes Kimberly Brooks

District Governor Jeri Fujimoto (center) inducted new member Kimberley Brooks (right) as Kimi's sponsor, Joe Lavigne, looked on. Photo: Marshall Gross

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DAY BEFORE LABOR DAY PARADE

Tari Nix and friend pull wagons with books for kids from the Global Book Exchange, as Marianne Strotz walks alongside, wheeling a Rotary sign. (Photo: Marshall Gross)

To see more photos of the parade, go to www.tiburonrotary.org and click on "Photo Gallery."

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President Linda Emberson (left) of Tiburon-Belvedere and President Marilyn Nemzer of Tiburon Sunset hitch a ride with Michael Heckmann in the Day Before Labor Day Parade. (Photo: Marshall Gross)

Dana and Chester (left), making friends.

Winter in August was the theme of the Tiburon Peninsula Chamber of Commerce's mixer at the Boardwalk. President Linda Emberson took the prize for the most creative hat.

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Jon Rankin views the on-court action at the annual Bocce Ball Tournament, a fundraiser for Rotaplast International. (Photo: J. Wilson)

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Changing of the Guard

Thanks to President Marianne

President Linda Emberson (left) thanks outgoing President Marianne Strotz (right) for her two outstanding years of leadership with a special Rotary jacket, as Karen Glader, the club's new secretary, looks on. (Photo: Marshall Gross)

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Honors for Angelo

Dr. Angelo Capozzi (left) and Dr. John Kaufmann with a child who underwent surgery during a Rotaplast mission to Peru in May 2016. (Photo: Courtesy of Rotaplast International)

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Service Above Self

Dave Hutton presents the Capt. Dave Hutton Rotary Service Above Self Award to Kendall Hermann, graduating senior at Del Mar Middle School, for her outstanding performance in community service. The presentation took place at a special awards assembly in June. Photo: Marshall Gross

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Teachers of the Year

(Left to right) RUSD Superintendent Nancy Lynch, Bel Aire School's Kelly Morphy, Reed School's Ross Modlin, Rotarian George Landau and Erin Turner of St. Hilary School (photo: Marshall Gross)

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Carnaval!

Mary Kaufmann and Jon Rankin got into the spirit of Carnaval, a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Tiburon-Belvedere. For more, see the photo gallery at www.tiburonrotary.org. (Photo: Marshall Gross)

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