Changing Attitudes To Find Peace
Wednesday - October 05, 2011
“It’s not the situation that’s causing your stress, it’s your thoughts, and you can change that right here and now. You can choose to be peaceful right here and now. Peace is a choice, and it has nothing to do with what other people do or think.” -Gerald Jampolsky, M.D.
Eleven years ago, just before I was to interview Dr. Jerry Jampolsky, I learned that my 90-yearold mother-in-law almost choked to death in her Houston assisted-living facility. I was worried and furious. When I arrived at Jampolsky’s Kailua home, he sensed my stress.
“Let’s forget the interview and just talk about what’s going on with you,” he said.
As I began to share, years of worry, guilt, frustration and anger spilled forth. When I left, healing had begun.
That is Jerry Jampolsky. At almost 87, this psychiatrist, best-selling author and lecturer, alongside his wife and partner Diane Cirincione, Ph.D., has spent well over three decades helping people, groups, terminally ill children, world and local leaders, combat troops, prisoners, the grieving, hospital workers and angry columnists change their attitudes and find inner peace. Counseling thousands across the world through their 67 Centers for Attitudinal Healing in 24 countries as near as Mexico and as far flung as Outer Mongolia, this couple calls flight lounges home.
Now they’re back on Oahu, where they live half the time, for a three-day symposium, “Expressing the Attitudinal Principles in Daily Life,” and an introductory workshop for facilitators. There are Hawaii Centers for Attitudinal Healing on Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island. Both also are on the University of Hawaii John Burns School of MedicineDepartment of Complementary and Alternative Medicine faculty.
Cirincione, author, therapist and executive director of Attitudinal Healing International, describes their program as “organic,” not rigidly structured. “We stay out of the way but help facilitate people to surrender to love and get away from blocks,” she says.
She shared the touching story of a man from Douala, Cameroon in central Africa.
“My name is Tasha Abdou Tangunu,” the letter began. “I am writing because I want to be part of what you are doing.” Alcohol had once consumed Tasha’s life, he was broke and homeless. His wife and children had left. He spent his last pennies on a used book, Love Is Letting Go of Fear, written by Jampolsky, at a roadside stall. After repeatedly studying the book’s lessons, his life began to change. Were it not for Jampolsky’s book, he believes he would’ve been in prison or “in the grave.” With his family back and owning two small businesses, he now wanted to open a center for Attitudinal Healing to help reduce the misery of HIV/AIDS, poverty, and depression he saw around him. And so he did. Organic, as Cirincioni says.
Love is Letting Go of Fear, written in 1979, is Jampolsky’s best-seller with 5 million copies sold. It’s printed in 34 languages (recently re-released by Random House).
The principles form the basis for Attitudinal Healing Centers: “Taking responsibility for healing our own minds and hearts and for having harmony and integrity in all that we think, say, and do.”
Sometimes linked with the New Age spiritual movement, the website states that “Attitudinal Healing is not a religion, nor is it religious. People from many cultures, faiths and denominations, as well as those who follow no faith at all are welcome to participate.”
“We’ve helped heal relationships between people and their church that they left out of anger,” Jampolsky says. They’ve also worked with the Catholic Bishops Association, Seventh-day Adventists, training Mother Theresa’s sisters, the Dalai Lama, and even at Iranian children’s hospitals during President Rafsanjani’s term, pre-Ahmadinejad, changing hearts and opening minds through love.
“If we listen to the voice of fear we run away, but when we listen to the voice of love we go to a peaceful place, our heart, where miracles start to happen,” says Jampolsky, who at one time hit rock bottom. He believes God miraculously saved him.
Despite the despair they’ve witnessed, these guys really walk their talk.
“Every morning during our prayer and meditation, Diane and I say, ‘This is going to be the happiest day of our life, no matter what is put on our plate.’”
For information on the free presentation Friday, Oct. 14, at 6:30 p.m. at Windward United Church of Christ, go to ahinternational.org.
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