He leads a number of classes for us including regular and advanced community practice meetings, and periodically offers programs specifically tailored to the unique experiences and needs of men and of first responders (active and retired law enforcement officers, firefighters, military personnel, EMT/paramedics and dispatchers). He also enjoys offering book club series in which participants discuss books about mindfulness and support each other as they discover new practices.
Here is what Erik told us about his mindfulness journey: “When I retired from police work after 25 years of service, I realized that although retirement did relieve me of some of the corrosive effects of daily exposure to human suffering, it didn’t relieve me of the residual effects. I was still too prone to frustration, anger, harsh judgments of myself and others, and occasional bouts of anxiety and mild depression. I’d been somewhat aware of meditation for sometime and decided to try it. Within a relatively short period of time after starting my practice, it occurred to me that had I learned about mindfulness as a young police officer, it would have had a profound impact on my career, my personal relationships, and my health.
First responders are exposed to critical incidents and chronic stressors that contribute to a higher prevalence of negative health outcomes compared to other occupations. I was no exception and I doubt that many other first responders are either. A personal interest in studying mindfulness to deepen my own practice quickly grew into a desire to teach mindfulness to others. In retirement, I find it deeply satisfying to be working with a number of law enforcement and civilian organizations to teach mindfulness practices to their employees.”
Check out our calendar to register for one of his upcoming classes.