Dr. Paul Epstein
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Awakening in Nature
August 2018

I've just returned from a 9 day, silent meditation retreat, 3 days of which was solo, in the Colorado Rockies hosted by the
EcoDharma Retreat Center . I want to share, some of what I learned and experienced on this powerful journey.

Fifty 50 years, ago I read one of my first, and still one of my favorite, books on meditation and spiritual awakening, "Be Here Now," by Baba Ram Dass  . It actually was pivotal in starting me on the path of self-healing and awakening. The title says it all, "Be Here Now." Sounds simple, doesn't it? What could be easier than to simply "Be Here Now." Yet, for most of us, including me, it remains an ongoing challenge.

On this retreat, I had the opportunity to practice meditation with 25 other participants. Each of us meditated, in silence, surrounded and embraced by mother nature. We were immersed in the beauty of the Rocky mountains with its creeks, forests, meadows, wild flowers, animals, clear blue skies, clouds and ever changing weather.

There was nowhere to go, nothing to do, nothing to make happen and no one to become. The invitation was to simply BE.

It was an opportunity to practice mindfulness and self-compassion. A time to simply hear, see, feel and pay attention, moment by moment, to what was happening around me and within me.

I had several intentions for my meditation practice on this retreat: To see with new eyes, cultivate patience, non-judgement, non-striving and acceptance of whatever arose in each moment. My overall intention was to simply "let go and let be."

I spent a lot of time sitting and walking by a beautiful, pristine creek, watching and listening to the constant movement and motion of the flowing water. The creek brought me a powerful message. It seemed to whisper, "Go with the flow. You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf."

In my solitude, I reflected on 3 questions, over and over again, as mantras to keep me focused:

What time is it?

Where are you?


What are you doing?
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"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."
~ Rabindranath Tagore
Dr. Epstein's Book Cover
"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have
my senses put 
in tune once more." 
~ John Burroughs
Little by little I was able to, more completely, be present in "the now moment," and melt into a deep sense of peace and contentment. With nothing to hold on to, and nothing to push away, I was able to simply be unconditionally present with whatever was happening. 

With 3 days alone in the wilderness, many thoughts and feelings came in to my mind. Some of them were pleasant... some were not. I would remind myself often of Rumi's poem, "The Guest House."

In the spirit of the Guest House, I treated everything that came up within me as a welcome guide and gift from beyond.

I was even able to catch a glimpse of actually experiencing the message of Zen writer, Alan Watts, in his book, "This is It!

As I experienced bliss, peace and serenity, I wondered how I could bring this awareness, and this 'state of being', more fully into my daily life, once I left the safe and supportive space of the retreat center, the like-minded people I was with, and the stunningly beautiful natural surroundings. I took inspiration, for that process, from Thich Naht Hahn:

"The present moment is where life can be found! If you don't arrive there you miss your appointment with life! Breathing in say I have arrived. Breathing out I say I am home."

This is a very simple practice, and very profound and deep practice.

These simple, yet powerful ideas, along with the practice of mindfulness, are the foundation for much of my work in Mindful Healing and Body medicine. To listen, pay attention and be in the NOW moment, all from a place of compassion, are keys to the journey of healing and awakening. This is what I wish for myself, my patients, and all beings.
Paul Epstein, ND
Mindful Healing: Mind-Body Integrative Medicine
(203) 226-3923
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Patient Appointments Available via Skype

In addition to my local, private practice in Westport, CT, I also see patients from all over the world via Skype.

Distance and time zone differences don't need to be a barrier to getting the help you need to facilitate your healing journey!

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An important part of my work is to Mentor health care practitioners, students and physicians to become more fully Integrative in their approach to caring for their patients and clients. 

Skype is a wonderful way to hold these sessions - convenient and easy!

If you are interested in learning life changing Mind-Body Therapies to add to your practice, call today to discuss a mentoring session, or mentoring program!

Serenity is not freedom from the storm,
but peace amidst the storm...

About Dr. Paul Epstein
Paul Epstein, ND is a graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM), specializing in Mindful Healing and Mind-Body Integrative Medicine.

He has more than 30 years experience in private practice successfully treating patients with powerful, life changing therapies.


Dr. Epstein is currently accepting new patients into his practice. He also works with healing professionals as a Professional Mentor to teach practitioners how to work in a truly integrative fashion in their own practice.

He is a pioneer and leading voice in Mind-Body Integrative Medicine lecturing internationally to both general and professional audiences.  

Dr. Epstein is an extraordinary teacher who presents compelling topics that inform, educate, motivate and inspire. His work is helping create a much needed paradigm shift in the practice of medicine and the healing arts.

Don't ever miss the opportunity to experience Dr. Epstein!

42 Richmondville Ave
Westport, CT 06880