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Past Meetings

September 26, 2017


Shannon Quinn, the PMCQ president, opened the first event of the 2017-2018 season by welcoming back everyone and introducing this year’s theme, “Leading into tomorrow,” which was chosen to present the upcoming issues and topics affecting the pharmaceutical industry. Shannon provided an overview of the topics that will be presented over the next few months. She also informed the audience that the PMCQ is now a company page on LinkedIn, and its objective is to share relevant and educational content in order to keep everyone well informed. Everyone was invited to follow the PMCQ on LinkedIn. Shannon finished by thanking this event’s generous sponsors from all different levels: Educational, Corporate, and Supporting Partners.

Stephanie Sauriol from Otsuka then introduced the evening’s speaker, Hani Kafouri. He is an ex-pharmaceutical executive, who is now an accomplished psychologist, coach, international speaker and certified mindful meditation practitioner. As Stephanie explained, the purpose of Hani’s presentation was to help us discover the fundamentals of mindful living and meditation, and how mindfulness helped him conquer the climb of Mount Kilimanjaro and complete the grueling Ironman Triathlon this past September in Mont Tremblant.

According to Hani, mindfulness is simple; it’s basically sitting down in a quiet spot and being present in the moment. Although it is simple, most of us get caught up in the stresses of everyday life and we forget to take some time to ourselves, but Hani pointed out that there are several benefits of practicing mindfulness through the act of meditation, including stress reduction, better health, enhanced relationships, increased performance, and self-actualization. Over the last 10 years, a lot of research has been published and many companies, such as Google, Ford, Otsuka and various others, have offered their employees training on practicing mindfulness. This has resulted in an increase in employee productivity and a decrease in burn out, anxiety and stress.

Hani stated that the only time where we are really experience something, is in the present; everything else that we think we might be experiencing is a total illusion and part of our imagination. To explain that concept, Hani specified that many people are living in the past and ruminate over events and experiences long gone, or else they spend too much time anticipating something potentially stressful happening in the future. By not accepting what’s happening in the present we deprive ourselves of enjoying the present. Many of us anticipate distressing events; we have a tendency toward a negative prediction even before the actual event. Two approaches were described by Hani on how to best deal with distressing thoughts:

  • Cognitive based Therapy: Challenge our thoughts and try to reshape them so we can think differently
  • Mindfulness-based psychotherapy: Acknowledge and accept our thoughts as they are

Practicing mindfulness meditation has shown numerous benefits related to our own individual wellness, as reported in many studies: reduction in blood pressure, inflammation, tobacco cravings, and insomnia, and at the same time improvements in our business capacities, such as better leadership, enhanced creativity, stronger engagement and many more positive impacts for our careers.

Hani shared with the group some tips and insights on how to start practicing mindful meditation:

  • Find a quiet and comfortable place to do it
  • Sit or stand in a comfortable position
  • Make meditation part of your routine (early morning is best, before meals)
  • Meditation is most effective when done for 20 minutes, twice a day
  • Do not set expectations or goals; simply focus on the moment and the rewards will come over time
  • Do not change your breathing, just keep your focus on your normal breathing
  • Observe your thoughts, emotions, sensations
  • Do not judge yourself during or after practice (this part takes time to master)

Hani’s presentation was well-received by the audience and many people had questions. He was asked at the end of the presentation if he could summarize 3 key takeaways for the audience:

  1. Do not confuse your thoughts with what is actually happening. Once we come to the realization that our thoughts are just that —thoughts—we may free ourselves from much unnecessary suffering. While planning for the future and remembering the past are unique human qualities, we need not be held hostage by them – it is only in the present that we can shape our past and our future, and function at our best.
  2. Make mediation a habit. Meditating a few minutes every day can change your mind, brain and life. Several scientific studies over the last 20 years have shown this to be true.
  3. Proper and consistent meditation practice is key. Follow some basic principles in order to maximize the benefits of meditation: Do not force anything, do not judge yourself, and just do your best to be fully aware of what is happening around you.


Jo-Ann Charland
Training Consultant and Medical Writer
Cell: 438-998-0498


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Supporting Care Partners

Virtual Meeting
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Online only!

Tel: (514) 486-3458
Fax: (514) 486-4794

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