By Libby Hopkins

Parker Pope of Tampa volunteers a lot of his time to help those who suffer from cancer and other debilitating diseases. He helps them by playing crystal singing bowls and Tibetan bowls. The sound the bowls helps them to relax deeply and even meditate.

“When playing the bowls, I noticed that people who were heavily burdened could learn to relax deeply,” Pope said. “I noticed that people who thought they could never meditate for five minutes found out that they could meditate for 40 plus minutes.”

Pope facilitates free meditation classes at the Arbor Greene Community Center in Tampa three times a week, but he wanted to help more people in the community find healing through meditation and the singing bowls. He decided to offer his services to local disease recovery groups and charities.

One of the charities Pope volunteers with is Faces of Courage cancer foundation. The foundation hosts free camps at Rotary’s Camp Florida in Brandon for women and children who are survivors or who are battling cancer. Peggie Sherry is the director of Faces of Courage and she is thrilled with Pope’s generosity by volunteering to bring his singing bowls to her women’s camps.

“He teaches our campers to slow down, relax, de-stress and clear their many frightening thoughts,” Sherry said. “What most people don’t understand is when a person is under constant stress it slaps the immune system and that is something we never want to do while doing through cancer treatment. Parker is an amazing asset to our camps.”

Pope recently brought his singing bowls to the LIVESTRONG Graduation at the Campo YMCA in Valrico. The participants of the program were relaxed and focused by the bowls.

“When the bowls are played, the people sometimes get such an emotional release from complications in their lives, it’s truly amazing,” Pope said. “When I see organizations like Faces of Courage and LIVESTRONG care so deeply for the people in their program, it’s easy to want to do more. Their work in the healing community for the diagnosable disease survivors is really admirable.”

To learn more about Pope’s singing bowls or to attend one of his free meditation classes at the Arbor Greene Community Center, visit www.mindfulnesssangha.com.

The Arbor Greene Community Center is located at 18000 Arbor Greene Dr. in Tampa.