DR. HONEY CARANDANG: Mindfulness and a Balanced Life

“Let us live with mindfulness together and build a caring community.”

Attended Dr. Honey Carandang’s seminar last July 11, 2015 at St. Luke’s College of Medicine. It was divided into two main topics:

  1. Seeking Balance in our life
  2. Mindfulness

Let me share to you my dear friends, the learning that I acquired because I care for you and your well-being.

Dr. Honey Carandang


If your are not rested, you are irritable, you are easy to anger, you are reacting to so many things, when you are tired and harassed, you make everybody around you miserable, so it is a moral obligation for you to rest and it is for you own good also.


“Rest a part of all great religion, and yet we feel guilty sometimes.”


Pope Francis talks about contemplative rest that is to accept our body, to care for it, and to respect its full meaning.

Thich Nhat Hanh said that the intention of SPACE – around us and inside us, we need space in order to breathe, in order to live freely. If we don’t have space, we cannot be happy. Even beautiful flowers need space to breathe and radiate their beauty.

He added that we need space to return to ourselves and touch something deep within ourselves, so we need space to go back to ourselves.


“PLEA for a return to humility in the modern world – to faith, to love, to simplicity, to true wisdom as the fruit of self-examination… dialogue and generous encounter between persons.”


When Governor Salcedo of Albay was asked how come there is no casualty after Typhoon Ruby, he answered:

“Taking care of themselves has become ordinary as taking a bath or eating.”


Take care of ourselves and to find the balance or the lack of balance in our life because balance is the key to emotional and spiritual well-being.


How do you balance between work and play?

Do you dance? (or do any physical activities)

Do you go back to yourself and find yourself? Be grateful.

We have been told that it is better to give than to receive.

How many of you already received from another person?

To receive is to give a gift because you value the person, you empower the person and you put the person in a powerful position given to you.

Sometimes it is grateful to receive, because when we give, we are in control and to receive we are vulnerable and we are might humble.

How do you allow yourself to be taken care of?

Who do you allow to take care of you?

Being taken care of is not a luxury, it is a necessity –

 It is a tension to allow myself to be taken care of.

I. Dr. Carandang’s acronym of BALANCE:


B – Be the beholder of beauty


Let beauty touch you, let beauty affect you, let beauty heal you and heal your soul. If you think about it, if there is lack of beauty in our society, it leads to degradation of urban landscape, the ugly structures such as Torre de Manila the triumph of the loud and the superficial.

Allow yourself to revel and to be affected beauty. If you are not able to see beauty around you, there must be happening – you are harassed, no time for inner look, or you are depressed, you cannot be alive for the present and be alive for the beauty around you. If you are depressed, it is very difficult to feel and see the beaut around you. Also if you are traumatized, you are numb, you cannot appreciate the beauty around you.

A – Acceptance


Pain – if you deny it, it will fester until you are 80 years old. You won’t even know that it’s there because you cover it with something that prevents you from accepting it, from seeing it.

Pain must be felt in order for you to cope with it. It is the opposite of pain should not be felt. It should be felt, in order to accept it, for you to become stronger.

Mindful meditation does not change life.

Life remains as fragile and unforgettable.

But MINDFUL MEDITATION changes the heart’s capacity to accept life as it is and it will give you PEACE.  

L – Letting go and letting God


Jackman, a Buddhist scholar said, “As we encounter new experiences, with mindful and wise attention, we discover that one of these three things will happen to our new experience: it will go away, it will stay the same or it will get more intense, and whatever happens, it doesn’t really matter.”

A – Authenticity or being true to one’s self


Authenticity is a very important value in relationship and in being happy inside, being true to one’s self.

A journey towards the authentic self, it is a big networkthere is a frequent awareness of how inauthenticity can really be harmful even in corporation.

It is about being:

REAL, it is about having INTEGRITY.

Integrity is not just honesty, it is about being WHOLE.

Integrity is being able to be who you are, wherever you are, whoever you are with, you can be who you are, because whatever you do, you always go back to inside yourself, anchor on yourself and ask yourself based on your values:


“What actions will I do?”

If you are with corrupt people, you will not be corrupt, if you are with drug addicts, you won’t become drug addict because you have anchored on your deepest core of values.

I think that is one of the best things we can give to our children,

INTEGRITY – a solid sense of self, a core, a solid sense of values that they can anchor on, on anything that should be done. When they have that, we put them anywhere, they can go anywhere, and you know that they have that inner anchor, so you won’t have to worry on what will happen to them.

It is energy draining to pretend and it is energy draining to be with people who are pretending – anybody can be authentic. That is why people go to psychotherapy where they can be most real, because in this world, it is hard to be real, so there, created a place where they can be real.

To be REAL is essential for our being – to be able to be who you are.

Why are you here in this world? You are here to be who you are; it is your mission here. It is a journey to become who you truly are. There are people who can allow you to become who you truly are and there are people who will not tolerate you for being who you truly are, so you have a CHOICE.

If you are a parent or a mentor, how do you lead the person to become authentic? The best thing to do is to validate the feelings; it is one way to build integrity.

N – For a “high-quality” NO


When was the last time you said NO? A NO because you have already looked at everything and you are sure that you don’t want to do it. It is difficult to say NO because we do not want to disappoint the other person, not to hurt the other person or there is also a need to be liked and not to be disliked or feel rejected. To be aware of what is happening inside you, honor it, do not disregard it; you can say NO firmly and respectfully.


C – Care and compassion


There is this deep force that is given to all human beings – it comes from our deep interconnectedness with each other which is there, and that is the soul of our COMPASSION, our interconnectedness with one another and our need to be connected with others. It is our need for our own well-being to care for something outside of our self. It is a JOY. It can be plants, pets, it can project that you are developing.

But when you care for someone, you care that the person grows, your joy depends on the person’s growth and development. You rejoice to the person you are caring for, and when the person grows and flourishes, it gives you joy. If we don’t have care, what will happen to the human race, to our community, to our country? We need to care for someone or something outside ourselves so we won’t stagnate.


E – Enthusiasm



To be alive and to feel alive.

Howard Thurman said, “Don’t worry about what the world needs, ask what make you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

ENTHUSIASM – the aliveness, the commitment, the joy in doing something.

ENTHEO means being alive inside, being enthusiastic about something.


What is your passion?

What is it that you really enjoy doing?

What touches your soul?

What makes you alive?




MINDFULNESS is defined differently by the Western experts and Eastern experts.


In the WEST, mindfulness is a strategy or technique.


In the EAST, mindfulness is a way of life.

Hopefully, we practice Mindfulness as a way of life


Mindfulness goes beyond medical and health care – it bridges Psychology and Neuroscience.

Neuroplasticity – the process of change in the structural connections of the brain in response to experience.

Bridging Psychology and Neuroscience


Interpersonal Neurobiology (Integrated approach)

“The feeling of love and the activation of the neural circuit share the same TIME dimension, one is experiential and the other is physical.”


“It is fair to say that the neural firing can create the feeling of LOVE; it is equally fair to say that the feeling of love can create neural firing. We do not need to give dominance or superiority to one side or another. They are two side of the coin – the physical and mental side of reality.”

 – Daniel S. Siegel


Whatever you are doing there is always your inner life that needs attending to in order for you to do your job well.  Always be aware of what’s going inside of you as you are doing things because we have to cultivate and nurture the inner life.

“What am I feeling as I am doing this?”


MINDFULNESS – Awareness of what we are thinking and feeling at the moment, and accepting it, nurturing it, and cherishing it.


It is a practice that gives you joy in life.

What is happening around inside you?


Living with mindfulness means pausing to see the beauty of nature and being attentive to your environment.


Mindfulness at work means paying TOTAL attention to what you are doing and putting your heart in it versus just doing it mindlessly like a robot.


How do you practice mindfulness at work?


Mindfulness means listening to your BODY and acting on what it is telling you.



Mindfulness means giving TRUE PRESENCE and DEEP LISTENING.


 “Great fullness of being, which we experience as happiness, can also be described as LOVE.

To be undivided and unfragmented, to be completely present, is to love.

To pay ATTENTION is to LOVE.”

– Salzberg, Lovingkindness


About the Speaker

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Captured Moments with Dr. Honey Carandang

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“Take time to breathe, to savor every moment, and give your heart in everything you do. As much as possible, be mindful and maintain a balanced life. By practicing mindfulness as a way of life, you can achieve genuine happiness and others can benefit from the joy your heart radiates.”

–  Jennifer Francia P. Villanueva, RPm



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