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This week on MD for Moms, I interview Conscious Health or Vedic Meditation instructor Dr. Jill Wener about how to inject calm within our lives, and why doing so may be so impactful. Think you need an abundance of time to meditate? Think again – Dr. Wener reveals ways to meditate in as little as a few minutes. Gone are the days of needing to sit on the floor uncomfortably with a clear mind and outstretched hands – instead, Vedic meditation is flexible and available to those who understand and practice it.
Dr Wener explains her journey with burnout and coming to a place of healing and joy through meditation. She similarly reviews how we can reduce excess reactions to stressful situations by meditation, and signs of burnout to identify and attempt to reduce.
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Learn more about my guest, Dr. Jill Wener:
As a physician and teacher, Jill uses meditation and mindfulness as key tools in her holistic approach to wellness and stress management. In addition to teaching Conscious Health Meditation in numerous settings, she has presented on mindfulness for stress reduction. Jill has received tremendous personal benefits from her own meditation practice, and finds joy sharing her passion with others.
Jill was born in Montreal and grew up in Atlanta. She attended Northwestern University, and after her first “Introduction to Buddhism” class, she chose a major in religion to complement her pre-med studies. In medical school at Emory University, Jill formed deep connections with her patients during her clinical rotations at Grady Memorial Hospital, a county hospital in downtown Atlanta. Because of its emphasis on collaboration and communication, she chose to specialize in Internal Medicine.
After her residency in Seattle, Jill moved back to Chicago to be closer to her family and to start her dream job practicing Hospital Medicine at an academic medical center downtown. Jill developed her talent as an educator during her 9+ years teaching residents and medical students. In addition to her clinical work, she coordinated faculty and trainee education and spoke about mindfulness and hospitalist education practices at national medical conferences.
In 2011, the stress of practicing hospital-based medicine began to take its toll. Jill began to experience severe burnout and seriously considered a leave of absence or a career change. In the midst of this emotional turmoil, she was introduced to Conscious Health Meditation. The practice immediately had a profound effect on her reactivity to stressful situations, her overall sense of happiness and well-being, and her levels of energy and creativity. With a background in science and medicine, she had always been skeptical of spiritual experiences. However, Jill was amazed at the ease and immediacy of the transcendent experiences from practicing Conscious Health Meditation. As her confidence and creativity grew, her anxiety and restlessness melted away.
A few years later, Jill attended her first meditation retreat, in Rishikesh, India. She quickly fell in love with the history and culture of India, as well as the advanced meditation practices she learned on the trip. While on the retreat, she realized she wanted to enrich other people’s lives by teaching Conscious Health (also known as Vedic) Meditation. She began to find ways to integrate her meditation practice into her work as a physician.
To prepare for her meditation teacher training, Jill completed her prerequisite coursework in the US and during extended visits to India and China. In the winter of 2016, she attended Initiator Training in Rishikesh. The three-month training consisted of intensive meditation, lectures in Vedic knowledge, and instruction on teaching meditation.
As a Conscious Health Meditation teacher, Jill uses her medical background to bring the benefits of meditation to professionals in health-related fields, patients, and other students interested in reducing stress and living a life filled with creativity, energy and fulfillment. Jill is currently living and teaching in Atlanta, and she also teaches in Chicago and Minneapolis. She is available for public speaking engagements, private consultations, and corporate courses in Conscious Health Meditation, and she is available to teach in other locations upon request. For more information, please contact Jill at Jill@JillWener.com.