Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives
March 2013
ASHA International Issue No.

Mother Teresa  

Several years ago, I discovered a quote by Mother Teresa. 


"We want  to create hope for the person and 
acceptance in the hearts of the people. We must give them hope - always hope - and remove the bitterness that is harming them when they are avoided by everyone...
compassionloveunderstanding... that is what is important."


Reading the quote reminded me of a time in my life when I received the universal, life-transforming gifts of hope, acceptance, compassion, love, and understanding - in the most unusual of places - a psych ward.


After years of struggling through the death-hold of depression, medications, countless hours of therapy, electro-convulsive therapy, and failed suicide attempts, I had finally chosen to get hospitalized. And, there, for the first time in my life, I met others like myself, people struggling with mental health issues, and I knew I was not alone. In the two weeks I spent in their midst, I received the gifts of hope, acceptance, compassion, love and understanding that has helped me heal, and inspired me to help others like myself heal. 


In this newsletter, I am glad to share articles on the healing power of compassion, and how to practice compassion meditation to enhance your health and well-being, and the well-being of the people you serve. Please be sure to read Priscilla's story featured in our Real People, Real Recovery column on the right. I am sure you will be inspired by her journey from panic to peace shared in her book Learning to Breathe.



Wishing you wellness, 


Gayathri Ramprasad, MBA, CPS 
Founder & President, ASHA International
Gayathri Signature 
Experts past and present say compassion is essential to health

Compassion is essential to health

"If we say, [the] practice of compassion is something holy, nobody [will] listen," said the Dalai Lama in a recent interview. "If [we] say, warm-heartedness... reduce[s] your blood pressure, your anxiety, your too much stress, [and that] your health [will] improve, then people pay attention."


Someone who's paying particularly close attention is Dr. James Doty, Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. In a recent column, Doty highlighted the work being done by psychologists Ed Diener and Martin Seligman indicating that the social connectedness fostered by compassion "is a predictor of longer life, faster recovery from disease, higher levels of happiness and well-being, and a greater sense of purpose and meaning." He goes on to say that, "While survival of the fittest may lead to short-term gain, research clearly shows it is survival of the kindest that leads to the long-term survival of a species." Read more...


Compassion Meditation 101
By Penelope Green 

              Compassion Meditation

Compassion meditation involves silently repeating certain phrases that express the intention to move from judgment to caring, from isolation to connection, from indifference or dislike to understanding. You don't have to force a particular feeling or get rid of unpleasant or undesirable reactions; the power of the practice is in the wholehearted gathering of attention and energy, and concentrating on each phrase. You can begin with a 20-minute session and increase the time gradually until you are meditating for half an hour at a time. If your mind wanders, don't be concerned. Notice whatever has captured your attention, let go of the thought or feeling, and simply return to the phrases. If you have to do that over and over again, it is fine.  Read more



Learning to Breathe
My Year Long Quest to Bring Calm to my Life
Learning to Breathe  
I recently read an incredible book by New York Times Best-selling author Priscilla Warner, and was deeply inspired by her journey from Panic to Peace. As a woman who has struggled with anxiety and panic for much of my life, I found Priscilla's message of hope and holistic healing life transforming. I invite you to read this book and benefit from its universal wisdom. Learn More...


ASHA International: Bringing hope and healing to people's lives.
Dear friends, 
Please note that you are receiving this newsletter because you have subscribed to it, or, as a token of our appreciation for your valuable support. In case you no longer wish to receive the newsletter, please unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of the email. Thanks! 



Gayathri Ramprasad, MBA, CPS, is not a doctor, therapist or health care professional. She is a mental health advocate and Certified Peer Specialist (CPS). The information shared in this E-mail is for general information purposes only and therefore not intended to replace the medical advice afforded by physicians or other healthcare professionals. 


In This Issue
Experts past and present say compassion is essential to health
Compassion Meditation 101
Learning to Breathe
Real People, Real Recovery
Unpcoming Events
About Us
Real People, Real Recovery
Profiles of Courage, Hope & Resilience 

Priscilla's Story

Priscilla Warner

Priscilla Warner has had a great life: a supportive husband, flourishing marriage, two loving sons, and a bestselling book, The Faith Club. But despite all her good fortune and success, she's suffered from anxiety and panic attacks so debilitating that they leave her unable to breathe. She's tried self-medicating-in high school, with a hidden flask of vodka she carried to stave off her anxiety-and later with prescription medications-daily doses of Klonopin with a dark chocolate chaser. After 40 years of hyperventilating and an overwhelming panic attack that's the ultimate wake-up call, Warner's mantra becomes "Neurotic Heal Thyself." Read More...



May 5, 2013: 
Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder: A 4-Step Plan for You and Your Loved Ones to Manage the Illness and Create a Life of Wellness - Community Mental Health Education Program, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, Cedar Mill Community Library, Portland, OR.
June 7, 2013:


Connecting Spirituality and Wellness Across Cultures 
- Breakout Session, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, Mental Health America's 2013 Annual Conference, The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, MD.



If you are interesting in participating in any of our upcoming programs, please contact Gayathri at 

ASHA International's mission is to promote personal, organizational, and community wellness through mental health education, training, and support.
You can make a difference!