Hemlata Pokharna is a researcher at the University of Chicago. She
teaches courses on spirituality and Medicine at the University of
Chicago. Independently she is the director of Journeys of Life:
A Program to promote Health, Wholeness and Dis-ease prevention.
and raised in India, she received much of her religious instruction
from Jain monks and nuns who emphasized inner peace and self discipline.
In United states she also received extensive training at the Gestalt
Institute of Cleveland, the Center for Nonviolent Communication,
and the Focusing Institute including training in Alternatives to
Violence, Conflict resolution and Mediation.
Journeys of Life program evolved from Dr. Pokharna’s quest
for inner peace and harmony in the western environment, to which
she had immigrated from India for advanced Biochemistry studies
in 1985. She believes that body, mind and soul are the integral
elements of the human condition, which means that spiritual health
and wholeness should be an integral part in health promotion programming.
The term spiritual health is being used here to mean the ability
to live in the wholeness of life. The consequences of disconnectedness
on physical and spiritual health can be devastating. However, people
can learn skills in life that lead to connectedness on three levels,
connecting with self, connecting with others, and connecting with
a larger meaning or purpose.
provides training to develop these skills. The program trains participants
to develop skills to connect with self through Meditation and Focusing,
and connect with others through Nonviolent communication.
mission is a statement of her journey of life as a Jain Indian woman
and scientist which is to educate, inspire and empower people in
the world to discover healthy and harmonious ways of being with
themselves and being together. Her mission and the program includes
different ways to live, learn and share the principles of reverence
and respect for life.