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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

  Gold Mind

Meditation Project
(Benefits for fellow head-injury survivors)

Head-injury is an invisible disability, not easily seen from the outside like wheelchair or crutches. It is a complex injury to a complex organ. This condition is a disability known profoundly from inside and having a wide array of symptoms - different for each survivor. Gold Mind Meditation Project has the purpose of empowering you to transform your relationship with this condition and actually thrive: through the power of mindfulness, bringing bright awareness to what you perceive in the present moment.

I speak from personal experience.  Returning to college years ago, I was involved in a serious car accident. Jaws-of-Life were required to free me from the vehicle, I got a skull fracture and was in a coma for seven days. My brain swelled in my skull and when I came to I had amnesia, diplopia (double-vision), and severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). In an instant I was not who I used to be.

Since that time I have lived with the challenges of TBI. I struggled to complete my university degree and to get on with my new life. I graduated from the university and then within a few years experienced frustrating failure in the loss of several jobs. Often I was cloudy and very unaware of what I could do or be. My friend who is an occupational therapist pointed out that this was the direct result of my TBI and that I could have some say in my own rehabilitation.

TBI has often been misdiagnosed and thus poorly treated. In top-of-the line and expensive rehabilitation programs I was taught 'compensatory coping strategies' for the 'cognitive deficits' of my brain injury. These strategies were well-intended rehab but fell short of knowing and actually addressing innate well-being. They didn't work for me; I had to learn that necessary transformation for myself.  In my own explorations I learned to sift gold (possibilities) from the gravel of my life experiences in order to find meaning, value and purpose for myself.
Having the direct experience of the devastation and frustration of this condition, I intend to share what I've found in my life to be a powerful healing benefit.
I’ve learned mindfulness meditation practice also called Insight Meditation. Learning this simple practice can enhance your life with satisfaction, way more ease and smiles. Really! There is light at the end of the tunnel for each survivor.

Regular meditation practice has helped me be clear-eyed and mindful, capable of sustained attention. This training is intended to relieve suffering and dissatisfaction, freeing the mind of illusions. It grounds us in a sense of dignified inner wellness, and peace beyond the damages of our trauma and change.  This is the golden path of being authentic to your life now.

Mindfulness practice can lead to brain healing (neuroplasticity - the brain can heal itself).  I am now choosing to live my life intentionally and more skillfully, making peace with this malady and finding the healing I need. You can too. This is the start of a new path!

Had C. Walmer                      (503)332-3046 


  1. Hi,

    I ran across your blog from your Vipassana meditation community email. I could related a lot to your experience as I had one of my own- a brain aneurysm 3 years ago. It nearly knocked out my short term memory when I was only a sophomore in college.

    Although people say that I was different than before my aneurysm, I didn't "feel" different- on the inside. However, I feel like I have acquired an attraction to subjects and ideas I never thought would interest me before. I had taken a course in college with a Tibetan monk who taught me more about concentration and awareness. I also read another book "How God Changes Your Brain" by Andrew Newberg- a neurosurgeon who talks about Neurogenesis and Nueroplasticity. Then I also read "Awareness"- by Anthony De Mello who was a catholic priest. The books were written by authors of different background, I often feel that the messages were pointing me in the same direction of inner contemplation.

    As of today, I am still trying to observe how my mind functions. I am glad I ran across your blog.


    1. Cool, thanks for sharing Albert. I am in Portland, OR.
      Where are you? This practice may be very beneficial for you, as you can see from my writings. I'm teaching a workshop in July in Portland, and the five weekly classes to give students a taste of the benefits of mindfulness meditation.

      I'm out this Sunday and then for a week long retreat w/ Ajahn Jumnean up in Washington.
      Let's interact. See the Gold Mind Meditation Project page on Facebook and 'Like' it as well.
      Be well.


  2. Hi Had,

    I just moved to Beaverton from Atlanta after I graduated from college. I've been to PIMC during Febrary-March. I am interested in the classes you offer and want to learn more.

    Maybe we will meet the next few Sundays. I read what you posted about the practice and it seems that I have been doing something similar everyday in the morning just recently.

    I hope to learn more.


  3. My Workshop may or may not interest you, it is under a tbi survivor lead group at Legacy Good Sam Hospital (Marshall and NW 22nd in Portland). Time is 9:30 - 11:00, food and break provided. It will be followed by five Weds. evening sessions, 7 - 8:30PM at same location. Attendees will be encouraged to learn and practice the skill of meditation daily, so it becomes a natural habit and extends to all of your life.
    More announcement on this blog will be coming.

    Had Walmer