Honoring the Path of the Warrior
Honoring the Path of the Warrior is a program that assists post-deployed veterans in making a positive transition from military to civilian life.
We provide research-based mindfulness programming that transmits tools that are both practical and accessible. Mindfulness-based interventions have proven to be successful at managing stress, anxiety, and trauma in a number of diverse populations and are being used within theVA system for returning veterans and soldiers being deployed. Our goal is to apply these powerful tools through activities that are meaningful and relevant to veterans. These tools assist in healing and well-being through:
- Learning mindfulness practices that reduce stress and enhance life skills in everyday situations
- Engaging in fun, challenging and adventurous physical activities
- Building community with other returning veterans
We create an opportunity for veterans to come together and step out of often lonely and isolating situations. Energy and vitality are renewed through participation in physically and mentally challenging activities. Mindfulness tools are provided that require a level of concentration and fierceness that is both foreign and familiar.This process helps veterans honor their own strength and build a bridge for the journey home.
The project began in the Spring of 2008, as a project of the San Francisco Zen Center in collaboration with Swords to Plowshares,Vet Centers, Campus Vet Clubs and the VA. Since it began, 70 veterans have participated in 9 one-day retreats combining trips to the beach, hiking, and rock climbing with mindfulness, meditation, sensory awareness, writing and art. A three-day whitewater river rafting and camping trip was offered in the summer of 2009, which created an environment of team-building, trust, and healing in the midst of adventure.
For more information, please download this PDF pamphlet Honoring the Path of the Warrior: Tools for Returning Veterans in the Transition Home.