Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Meditation Keeps Hospital Director Calm and Focused

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Meditation Keeps Hospital Director Calm and Focused

Article excerpt

Sr. Annuntiata Yang is director of St. Joseph Hospital in southern Taiwan and a Missionary Sister of Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God, whose motherhouse is in New Jersey. She was a delegate to the 15th Asia-Oceania Meeting of Religious, held in Samphran, Thailand, Oct. 13-21.

She faces many pressures running a hospital, but she said that her training as a religious and her attitude toward her work helps her to stay balanced and focused. She does this, she says, through daily meditation, a practice that calms her and keeps her connected to God. Following is an edited version of her story.

NCR: How did you begin to meditate?

Yang: When I was first in formation we would, of course, say our official prayers. But we did others as well. I remember getting up daily about 4:30 or 5, and we went out to do tai chi. It is exercise with slow and deliberate movement. You can feel your whole body as you do it. It brings together your body and mind. You think about your breathing, in and out, in and out.

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That practice was followed each day by a half hour of meditation. We put a special emphasis on meditation. We would, at times, have Buddhist monks come into our community to teach meditation practices. I would call what we did "sitting meditation." We would use the mantra "Jesus Christ."

In Buddhism you work to concentrate on your breathing. This is how you quiet down. This is how you unite your body and mind. You can use a word ... quietly repeating it, you calm down. We would do this for a half hour or even up to an hour every day. And then, after meditation, we would go for Mass.

Later in the morning we would begin our studies in theology and philosophy. Then, in the afternoon, we studied calligraphy, which is another way to slow you down, to focus you, to train your mind, to come inside you. …

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