Meditation for Herbalists and Healthcare Providers: Finding and Maintaining a Practice

with Samuel Perry

These days it seems that everyone knows that Meditation is “good for you”.  A quick search for “Meditation” or “Mindfulness” on PubMed will present you with myriad studies showing that these practices have been demonstrated to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, help ease anxiety, relieve depression, increase focus etc.

Understanding the benefits of these practices, many medical practitioners including herbalists recommend that their clients meditate.  But do we all mean the same thing when we use these terms? is it possible (or even desire-able) to extract the medicinal component of these practices out of the cultures and religious systems where they have been held traditionally? And what do these practices actually look like in action, as part of daily life?

In this class we will unpack key terms like “Mindfulness” and “Meditation” exploring briefly the history of their appearance in the American lexicon and highlighting a diversity of practices. We will discuss how (just like with herbalists using differential evaluation) there isn’t just one practice for everyone. There are many different ways to meditate and among these various techniques and practices are choices appropriate for particular people and particular circumstances. We will share several valuable meditations during our time together and discuss strategies and tools for supporting each other in the humbling and challenging process of actually building a practice.

Samuel Perry, RH (AHG) is a clinical herbalist, medicine maker and herbal educator. Sam offers in-person herbal consultation in Albany, NY and the surrounding region as well as phone and Zoom consults for long-distance clients. Practicing in the Vitalist and Eclectic tradition of American Herbalism, Sam offers compassionate attention and support in all manner of health concerns. Sam is the Teaching Assistant and a core faculty member of Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism in New York City. He helps supervise the 3rd Year Student Clinic and reviews and offers feedback on all student homework for the program. He teaches classes covering energetics, botany, herbal history and philosophy and materia medica. The former farm manager of Raven Crest Botanicals, an Herb Farm, Apothecary and Retreat Center in Upstate New York, Sam still leads a variety of programing at Raven Crest including Silent Meditation Retreats and Herbal immersions.  He also runs a free 3 hour weekly Herbal Study Group for his local community in Albany, NY. A sometimes poet and a long-time Zen Buddhist practitioner, Sam’s teaching is expressed in a playful and fluid style.

Recorded on July 21, 2020