Manolita Farolan Doise

IMG-3630Born in the Philippines, she arrived in 1964 with her parents, diplomats in Berne. She went to school in Lausanne and Geneva.  In her thirties, she returned to Manila, enrolled at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, where she earned her BA in Psychology; she obtained a second BA and her MA in Psychology at University of Geneva’s Faculté de Psychologie et Sciences de l’Education. The Office Médico-pédagogique, part of Geneva’s infrastructure for child and adolescent mental health, trained her as a psychoanalytic therapist. Later she earned an MA in Analytic Group Therapy with the Psychiatric Department of Geneva’s University Hospital. In 2010, she trained with Florence Meleo-Meyer and Melissa Blacker, senior clinicians and trainors at the Center for Mindfulness, at the University of Massachusetts’ Division of Preventive and Behavorial Medicine, in order to teach the 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program that Jon Kabat-Zinn developed.  Beatrice Weber, one of the first psychologists from Geneva to be trained by the Center for Mindfulness, and a pioneer in teaching the MBSR program at the Cantonal Hospital, led the 8-week course Manolita attended at an outpatient unit.

Manolita has been on retreat with Stephen et Martine Batchelor (secular Buddhism, Zen), Christina Feldman (Insight Meditation)  John Teasdale (Mindfulness), Charles Genoud and Patricia Genoud-Feldmann (secular Buddhism, Vipassana), Bhante Bodhidhamma (Mahasi), Bob Stahl (Mindfulness), Jon Kabat-Zinn (Mindfulness) on several occasions, Gregory Kramer and Phyllis Hicks (Insight Dialogue), Joseph Goldstein, the founder of Insight Meditation Society, Ajahn Sucitto (Forest Monks of Thailand), Pascal Auclair (Vipassana) and Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche.  In recent years, she has concentrated on following the teachings and retreats led by  Yongzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, Khenpo Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche, and Khenpo Gelek Jinpa, all of the Yungdrung Bön tradition, one of the five schools of Tibetan practices.

In September 2013, Manolita completed the 92-hour Teacher Development Intensive held at St-Arbogast in Austria, taught by senior staff from the Center for Mindfulness, led by Florence Meleo-Meyer.  Admission to this teacher training program was limited to those with extensive professional experience, a solid meditation practice, and previous training in MBSR as well as experience in teaching the 8-week MBSR program.

Manolita has taught MBSR at the University of the Philippines. In February 2015, she gave a workshop to teachers at the Canadian-American School, Makati, Philippines. For more details, see Manolita’s Facebook page where she posts poems, quotes, and pictures that approach Mindfulness in some way.

For her, yoga has not only been a way of keeping limber and fit, it also nourished her spiritual side. Yoga was the first meditative practice she encountered in her life.  This is the reason she teaches the yoga movements in the MBSR course with enthusiasm, faithful to Jon Kabat-Zinn’s MBSR curriculum.

Manolita turned to meditation in order to survive an existential crisis.  However, it accomplished far more than that.  She has no difficulty being punctual (this make you smile?) feels she disposes of more time, is more patient, sleeps without the aid of pills, enjoys very good health, keeps her weight stable, and is able to take things as they come.  Two things that stand out for her: meditation has greatly improved her immune system, and it has rendered her fearless, because she has trust.  Trust that she can be with whatever presents itself.  That may sound a little extreme to you who read this, but it is her observation.  Last, the pace of our modern life can become hectic, what with our addiction to our phones and nonstop connection, but with a moment of meditation each day, calm is within reach, anytime, anywhere.  Moments of equanimity are the bonus of a continuing meditative practice.

You have nothing to lose by trying out mindfulness; much to gain if you do choose to follow this path.

I would like to express my thanks to all my teachers, those of my beginings–Gregory Kramer, Phyllis Hicks, Charles Genoud, Patricia Feldman, Bhante Bodhidhamma, Stephen and Martine Batchelor, Christina Feldman, John Teasdale, Joseph Goldstein, Ajahn Sucitto, et Sayadaw U Tejaniya.  Then those with whom I have journeyed on the path since 2011, my beloved Tibetan masters–Yongdzin Lopon Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche, Khenchen Tenpa Yungdrung Rinpoche, Khenpo Gelek Jinpa of the Yungdrung Bön tradition, who guide my steps in dzogchen.  My profound gratitude to all.