It's Magic: Michael Eselun at TEDxEncinitas

Michael's  TED-X talk explores a map of how we might discover magic in life, often in the unlikeliest of places.

The Art of Impermanence

Michael was invited to participate in a documentary film project created by filmmaker Vanessa Smith, called the Art of Impermanence-- a series of 5-minute films exploring the theme of impermanence.  Michael shares some of his reflections on the subject based upon his experiences as an oncology chaplain.

Embracing Our LGBT Community

Michael Eselun is a co-founder of GLIDE, Gays and Lesbians Initiating for Equality. Over the last 20 years, Michael and his fellow speakers have spoken to an audience of over 150,000 in the Los Angeles area about homophobia and anti-gay bias.  In this video, Michael gives the keynote address to an audience of leaders in education in Carroll County, MD.  This interactive presentation explores the underpinnings of homophobia in our culture, while looking at the price that particular prejudice exacts, both individually and collectively.

Riding the Cancer Wave—Spiritually Speaking

The journey through cancer is not unlike riding a wave—peaks, valleys, wipe outs, and even sublime thrills.  No wave is exactly like another, and each surfer has a unique style and way to navigate the wave and all its surprises.   Michael explores the qualities he’s observed that help patients and families ride the cancer wave with greater ease.  He shares what can sometimes happen when lifelong beliefs meet the challenge of cancer—to the religious and secular alike. Michael will discusses how it is that we tend to find meaning in the unlikeliest of places—including on the cancer wave.  A part of the Insights Into Cancer Lecture Series,  Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology.

Cancer: "It Could Be Worse"- A Spiritual Ponzi Scheme?

Michael explores a common coping strategy used throughout the larger circles of life, but especially within the world of cancer, by both patients and caregivers alike — “it could be worse.” Embracing that frame of mind is often presumed to snap those struggling back into “an attitude of gratitude,” so the burden doesn’t seem so heavy.   As one contemplates the universe or even one’s understanding of God, “it could be worse” might seem to balance out one’s perception of the scales of justice and fairness.  But what are the implications? What does it say about our view of suffering and the suffering of others? What is the cost of clinging to “it could be worse,” as a way of getting through our challenges? A part of the Insights Into Cancer Lecture Series,  Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology

Riding the Cancer Wave-- Spiritually Speaking

Michael serves as keynote for the 9th Annual Conference for Women Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer,  hosted by Living Beyond Breast Cancer in Philadelphia. 

Cancer: Restringing the Beads of Our Own Stories

Michael explores the power implicit in our own stories—the journey of our lives. That power that lies within our stories can help us explain us to ourselves and others, it can even sustain us… or it can sometimes haunt us. Either way, a diagnosis of cancer not only adds a new chapter to the story of our lives but it can sometimes insist that we reinterpret a previous chapter or two. How we interpret those stories can even help us to make spiritual sense of our lives… how do those stories intersect with our beliefs about any larger truth or reality?   We might think the meaning of our story is fixed and unchanging or we might be surprised by what we find when we revisit it yet again. A part of the Insights Into Cancer Lecture Series, Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology.

Spiritually Speaking - Podcast

Religious and spiritual values have been reported by many patients as important cancer coping tools. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) “the terms spirituality and religion are often used in place of each other, but for many people they have different meanings.”

Join Fight Colorectal Cancer’s Sharyn Worrall, and Chaplain Michael Eselun, BCC from the Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology as they explore the role of spirituality and cancer.

Chaplaincy Alive!

A discussion with Michael Eselun, BCC-- Oncology Chaplain and Inspirational Speaker.

"I'm creating a safe space for people to tell the truth and tell their own stories without judgement and with respect..." –Michael Eselun

Do the Wright Thing - Radio Interview

Community Service Program, "Do the Wright Thing" on KDAY 93.5 in Los Angeles, -- Host Amanda Wright interviews UCLA Oncology Chaplain Michael Eselun about his work with cancer patients and the life lessons he's found there.

Confronting End-of-Life  -  Podcast

Michael Eselun, Chaplain for the Simms Mann Center for Integrative Oncology chats with  Fight Colorectal Cancer’s Sharyn Worrall about confronting the end of life and honoring where we are mentally, spiritually and emotionally when it comes to this and other taboo, tricky, existential topics

Cancer: Journey or Pilgrimage?

Michael Eselun, BCC, Simms/Mann Center Chaplain, shares and weaves stories to explore the experience of cancer as a pilgrimage. Many would describe a diagnosis of cancer as the beginning of a journey- a journey that of course, no one would ever choose to take.  Much has been written about “the cancer journey,” language that can contain and frame the experience of cancer. Similarly, life itself is often described as a journey.  But what is the destination?  The common wisdom is that “it’s all about the journey and not the destination.”  But is that always true?  The poet T.S. Eliot tells us:  “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”  What if cancer is a pilgrimage--a pilgrimage to that place “where we started,” to our essential self?  This lecture uses patient experiences and personal travel stories as metaphors for our internal and external pilgrimages through life, in all its messiness.  A part of the Insights Into Cancer Lecture Series, Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology.

It Could Be Worse: Michael Eselun at TEDxUCLA Salon

Michael Eselun, an oncology chaplain at UCLA, explores compassion through the lens of a common coping perspective used nearly universally when the going gets tough— “it could be worse”.