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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

The purpose of this blog and the entire website is to provide evidence-based information on how to live a vibrant, meaningful life while living with chronic health challenges or other life challenges.

I post to this blog three times per week. Monday posts are evidence-based published articles on mindfulness research and mindfulness-based practices, especially as they relate to health. Wednesday posts are videos of my presentations or interviews. Friday posts consist of Q&A related to living a meaningful, values-based life, regardless of the nature of your particular life challenges.

Here is this week’s question:
THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: What do you mean by the cultivation of Curiosity?

ANSWER: Curiosity means setting aside beliefs and being completely open to the immediate experience—not our interpretation of that experience, but rather, the experience itself, based on self-awareness of thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Throughout history, whenever events have occurred that couldn’t be explained by science, people have latched on to supernatural explanations, which is the opposite of curiosity. The cultivation of curiosity leads to openheartedness and open-mindedness.

Curiosity about others who seem different from us creates an environment conducive to the formation of healthy new relationships of all types. Curiosity about our inner subjective experience creates a rich learning environment, which contributes to self-mastery.

Openhearted curiosity cannot be maintained in every interpersonal interaction. Whenever we notice that we are judging or holding rigid beliefs about someone, the idea is to accept that judging others as well as ourselves is part of being human, and that the goal is not to be perfect, but to simply commit ourselves to the practice of openhearted curiosity as best as we can.

This website is offered as a free public service, supplying information that has been found helpful to certain people living with chronic health challenges or issues related to wellbeing. No treatment is offered on this website. The advice is general, and may or may not apply to your individual situation, and is not a substitute for psychotherapy or medical treatment.

What questions do you have about living a life of mastery or about the relationship between the mind and health or wellbeing? Just scroll down and type your question in the comment box below. Your specific question may not appear in this column. The reason for that is I wait until I get a certain number of related questions, then I pick one that covers them all and I answer that one. People in my classes and presentations asked most of the questions appearing in this column.

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