Suffering & Delight Meditation Groups

"To live a life beyond suffering and pleasure and to include them both
in great measure is what my life is about."
Darlene Cohen
Darlene Cohen
Zen Priest and pain counselor Darlene Cohen

Do you have chronic pain?
  • Does chronic pain, anxiety, depression, grief, confusion, or sadness get in the way of your having a satisfying life?
  • Do you find yourself more isolated, feeling powerless or helpless, or struggling against pain?
  • Are you using your pain to deepen your understanding of life and wish to be part of a community doing that together?

I meet many people in my chronic pain workshops who are dealing with physical or psychic pain. Some of them impress and inspire me because they are already using their pain to penetrate into the deepest sources of human reality. As space becomes available, I invite such practitioners to join these meditation groups for people in pain.

The groups are small, six to eight people. We practice particular meditation and mindfulness techniques throughout the month, then meet to discuss our experience with them and their effectiveness in dealing with our pain and/or catastrophe.

The purpose of the group is to find the most effective ways of dealing internally with chronic suffering, and at the same time, to support each other's individual exploration.

The practices change every 6 months. Participants can renew their group membership every 6 months; some people have been in the San Francisco group for years.

Call 831-359-5291 or email for further information.



Current neurological research validates that when we are actively doing something about our pain, the pre-frontal cortex actually works to neutralize pain signals within the brain, effectively shutting off the alarm when pain increases. Meditation has proven to be a powerful thing to do about pain. Helping others also helps everyone.

Suffering and Delight groups are small communities of people with chronic physical or emotional pain. Members support one another in using meditation and other practices to live full, satisfying lives right in the midst of their pain. We make our suffering useful to others and this helps everyone. Membership is by invitation only.

Of course, membership in this community, like all others, brings certain responsibilities.

  1. Each member makes a commitment to meet once a month for six consecutive months.
  2. In order to do this deep work together, groups are "closed" for each six-month cycle and positions open as members decide to leave the group.

    Members make practice and participation a priority each month.
  3. Members agree to focus on and take care of their own physical comfort throughout meetings.

    People may lie down, stand, walk around, stretch, take breaks, get some snacks, and do whatever is possible to minimize their pain or discomfort during group time. This teaches the mind to keep two tracks going all the time—one for personal comfort and well being and another for the other things that are going on. We hold these two simultaneously.
  4. Members make a commitment to practice on a regular basis.

    In between meetings we do various practices in our daily lives. Members meditate five days each week. We talk about our experiences with these practices in our monthly meetings and learn from one another's experiences. You can see a list of the types of topics we might take up on the Private Pain Consultations page. Of course, members often decide what the syllabus topic will be.
  5. Membership in Suffering & Delight, as well as everything that is discussed in meetings, is kept in strict confidence by all members.

    We respect one another and create safety in our discussions by making a commitment to one another’s confidentiality.

    "I was near suicide when I found Suffering & Delight . It literally saved my life."
    N., long-time group member



New groups are forming and locations being determined. If you are interested in having an S&D group in your area, please contact

San Francisco S&D, Meditation group for people with pain
Meets once a month, usually on Saturdays, from 11:30 to 3:00 p.m.,
$40 per month, By invitation only.
Contact Beata Chapman by email or phone for details.

Sebastopol S&D

Meets on once a month on Mondays from noon to 3 p.m.,
$40 per month. By invitation only.
Contact Beata Chapman by email or phone for details.

eS&D, S&D Group for people with pain.
Meets twice each month, usually on Monday evenings from 6 – 7:30 p.m. PT
$40 per month. By invitation only.
Contact Beata Chapman by email or phone for details.

If you are interested in joining an S&D group, please email us at