Hello! My name is Will Meecham. Below is a mission statement and a brief personal history. But first, I invite you to view this 3-minute video about the human body:
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Mission Statement

So what are we pursuing, exactly? What do we call it?
My spiritual journey began 35 years ago in Christian contexts: first Quakerism, then Roman Catholicism. As I understand it, the goal of Christian worship is salvation (aka, redemption). We are saved from sin and the suffering it causes by turning our hearts toward God, particularly as embodied in Christ. For Quakers, this is an inward turning: toward the Light of Christ within. We connect with our innate divinity while honoring the divinity in others. For Roman Catholics, the turning is outward: we connect with a God who stands beyond human weakness, an omniscient being who loves us and wants to save us.
More than a decade ago I started practicing in the Eastern traditions of Raja Yoga and Theravada Buddhism. I’m not expert in either, but both speak of enlightenment (aka, liberation, nirvana, realization, or awakening). My understanding is that in yogic traditions, enlightenment comes from recognizing one’s individual nature, one’s soul, as inseparable from the world soul, or God. We gain freedom by reclaiming our connection to the timeless Divine, while the difficulties of mortal existence are seen as illusory and transient. In contrast, Buddhism focuses not on soul (a central Buddhist belief is that no permanent soul exists), but on mind. With the right practice, we gain insight into worldly life, knowing it as impermanent, impersonal, and never fully satisfying. These insights free the mind to recognize its source in pure awareness, which remains stable despite the chaos of living. By grounding ourselves in that stability, we liberate ourselves from suffering.
Although big conceptual differences separate these traditions, they share much in common. They all direct us toward connection and away from suffering.
I don’t worry much about the existence of God or soul. Regardless of what does or doesn’t exist, I know what I experience. At times I feel something divine in my chest, warm and full like the Light of Christ. Sometimes I sense a vast intelligence surrounding me and the world, and sometimes I feel inseparable from that larger intelligence. Other times, my painful stories dissolve like temporary ripples in the ocean of awareness, and I know that I am awareness itself.
So we have all these names: redemption, salvation, nirvana, realization, awakening, liberation, and enlightenment. They don’t mean exactly the same thing, but they point to a single phenomenon: the power of connection to free us from suffering. Now, although another name isn’t needed, I propose one: Enlivenment.
We enliven ourselves and our world when we connect with Life and know it as the fabric of all experience. As we practice what I call Mindful Biology, we feel Life everywhere and always: in what we see, hear, touch, smell, taste, and in every bodily sensation. We realize how rooted we are in the body’s living processes. We begin to move through the world as Life, feeling no separation from it, surrendering to our dependence upon it. Deeply connected, we accept Life as it comes and are freed from needless suffering.
Enlivenment doesn’t bump into questions about the existence of God or soul. We know Life exists, and we know how it feels. I have no problem with ideas about God or soul, but in Life I find something unquestionable. Neither science nor skepticism can argue with these basic truths: Life accompanies us in every moment; it supports our existence; it manifests intelligence. Even more, it remains after our individual body dies.
When we know we are Life, we know that even when our personal storyline goes awry–or ends, the larger part of us continues unchanged. Our self story becomes less important, a mere subplot in the grand narrative. No matter what happens, Life flows through the world and the cosmos, self-balancing and whole. When we accept it as it is, it offers both salvation and enlightenment. To know Life–in our minds, bodies and souls–is to be enlivened.

Personal History

I’m a former physician and longterm meditator. Mindful Biology grew out this background as well as my history of childhood adversity.
My early adversity included parental addictions, frequent relocations, my parents' divorce when I was four, my mother's severe depression, her suicide when I was six, abuse at the hands of a stepmother, and my sister's psychosis when I was eleven. These difficulties fueled a lifelong search for wellness.
Nature gave me refuge as I came of age. It taught me to love biology, which motivated me to go to college. I began by focusing on zoology and ecology, but I drifted into biomedical fields. I entered graduate school to study biophysics and neuroscience. When the lab environment felt too isolating, I decided on medical training. I specialized in ophthalmology, ocular oncology, and reconstructive surgery.
Though raised an atheist, I felt spiritual leanings. These gained importance when I entered 12-step programs near the end of medical school. Their spiritual focus led me to try a variety of churches, but none felt right. Then I happened upon a Quaker meeting house. It drew me in because Quakerism had been part of my ancestry. I soon found that silent worship works for me. The contemplative environment helped me connect my love of biology with spiritual feelings of awe.
Serious neck problems ended my surgical career at age forty-one. Emotional upheaval followed and culminated in powerful spiritual experiences. Many of these were Christian in character. Because my wife had been raised Catholic, I converted and began attending mass. Reverence and mystery enriched my connection with biology.
To reduce stress and tension, I took up mindfulness meditation after my career ended. I found that my biological knowledge complemented mindfulness practice. Wanting to go deeper, I sought guidance at a Buddhist retreat center.
Around this time, I was learning to practice acupuncture. Chinese Medicine helped me adopt a holistic view of the body and healthcare. I grew more sensitive to bodily energies and how our connection with nature influences well-being.
In 2010, I began leading a meditation group. Using life science to help people deepen mindfulness felt rewarding. Mindful Biology was born.
Two years later, I began teaching at a yoga institute that focused on mindfulness and trauma. My role was to explain human biology to budding yoga teachers and yoga therapists. Many came from poor parts of Oakland with substandard schools. They were suspicious of academics, so teaching science required care. Using inspiring imagery, I emphasized life's beauty, complexity, and subtlety. I led guided meditations to help students connect biological concepts with embodied feelings. Several said this was the first time they'd enjoyed studying science.
Teaching enriched my meditation practice. As I grew more comfortable with biology-based mindfulness, I felt less separate from my body, other beings, and the biosphere. This led me to non-dual practices, which became part of my spiritual repertoire.
As Mindful Biology matured, I found ways to merge science with spirituality while honoring the values of both. For instance, I learned to emphasize well-established, non-controversial findings. I found this limits skepticism but leaves plenty of room for awe and reverence. I also learned to avoid technical detail and encourage meditative investigation of the basic stuff of life.
While developing Mindful Biology, I wasn't keeping notes. I am unable to name sources for many of the ideas presented. Yet there were sources: books I've read, traditions I've explored, and people who've taught and guided me. Mindful Biology expresses my aesthetics and worldview, but its principles and practices were developed by others, often long ago.
Mindful Biology isn't an academic project; it's a program of joyful relating with Life. It connects us with our bodies, one another, and the natural world. Though it hasn't been researched directly, it presents scientific facts, offers evidence-based practices, and has helped me and many students. I invite you to give it a try.