Darlene Cohen


Darlene Cohen, M.A., LMT, earned her graduate degree in physiological psychology in 1966 and began sitting at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1970. She was ordained as a zen priest in 1999. While living at Green Gulch Farm, Zen Center's temple in Marin County, she developed rheumatoid arthritis, which had also plagued her mother. This painful and crippling disease led her to explore the potential of her meditation training to address chronic pain and catastrophic situations. In 1980 after receiving her certificate as a massage and movement teacher from Meir Schneider, the reknown Israeli self-healing teacher, she began instructing people with chronic illness in various meditation and concentration practices, many of them involving comforting movement.

In addition to her meditation training, Ms. Cohen has had extensive experience in group facilitation. Currently she sees private clients and gives arthritis workshops, classes, lectures and pain seminars emphasizing mindfulness at medical facilities and meditation centers throughout the Bay Area, Spokane, WA, Evanston, IL, and New York City. Her book ARTHRITIS: Stop Suffering, Start Moving/Everyday Exercises for Body and Mind, in its third printing, offers instruction in using the tasks of everyday life to ease pain and reduce restriction in the body. An essay on living with chronic pain, "The Only Way I Know of to Alleviate Suffering," which appeared in Being Bodies, edited by Susan Moon and Lenore Friedman, has put Ms. Cohen in touch with many people who share her experience all over the world. Her new book, Finding A Joyful Life in the Heart of Pain, elucidates the importance of acknowledging what great pain costs us and emphasizes the importance of pleasure and delight in lives made difficult by crushing stress and exhausting pain.

Darlene is married to Tony Patchell, who works for the San Francisco Public Health Department as a "street therapist," counseling homeless people with psychological problems and guiding them to any available resources.Tony and Darlene were ordained as zen priests in the same ceremony in May, 1999.

Darlene with son Ethanbr> and grandson Anthony
They have one son, Ethan, 25, who has grown up in Zen Center and is now preparing a group of Zen Center boys for their coming-of-age initiation ceremony. Ethan works as a counsellor for Community Beacon in the San Francisco Mission District, a non-profit agency committed to providing protection for pre-teens and presenting them with creative alternatives to gang life. Ethan is a single parent to 5-year-old Anthony.
Reading to her grandsons

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