San Diego Cancer Research Institute

Brenner-isms, the IV: April

by admin on April 1st, 2016 at 11:28 am

The Epigenetic Phenomenon is the scientific proof that environmental factors such as diet, radiation and the emotional experiences of prior generations can effect the expression of genes and the biochemistry of the brain.

Psychology is the future of Preventative Medicine.

The result of the earliest human experiences of epigenetics led to fears of difference and over millennia gave birth to tribes, religions, nations, prejudice, racism, hate and wars.

Coping skills to dull the pain of the unmet needs save us in childhood yet create the same pain in adulthood.

To eliminate the prejudice and racism of the epigenetic past and present demands awareness of how our past once saved us, shaped our present and now has become destructive.

Fear birthed stress with the need to form relationships, groups, religions, nations, prejudice, racism and wars. ALL the above were coping skills for a young species. It ALL must stop for our Collective Survival and collective adulthood.

To eliminate the prejudice and racism of the epigenetic past and present demands awareness of how our past once saved us, shaped our present and now has become destructive.

The present is an illusion created by the non-existent past and projected into the non- existent future.

Partnership is meeting one’s own needs.

To heal is a state of expansion.

The question is more significant than the answer.

If Life itself is the ultimate gift, do we understand life by dissecting it or by living it?

Love is letting go of judgment and comparison.

If our observations are altered by the generational past, what does the present look like?

The Heart Way

by admin on March 8th, 2016 at 11:25 am

Dr. Brenner would like to share this beautiful video about acceptance of death.
This video was created by Dr. Brenner’s grandson, Jaime, as part of the What’s Your Story Project.

If you enjoy the video, please leave feedback on the WYS YouTube Page!

Brenner-isms 3: March

by admin on March 2nd, 2016 at 11:40 am

brennerEpigentics, the study of those environmental forces and trans-generational experiences that effect the expression of genes without effecting gene sequencing, has shown that generation after generation has been born with racism and prejudice.  Born of color into an environment that is reticent to support your birth rights can only lead to suppression and hardships.  The long term impact of Epigenetic is the source of the hate and violence found within such societies which stifle the creativity, equality and humanism of our most vulnerable populations.

The most precious gift in life is life itself.

The present is the present.

Love is a dance between togetherness and aloneness.

The present and the series of choices made within those moments are the creators of our unique story.

Our story is an illusion of the mind. Choice is the only reality.

We are no more than particles within a conscious organism.

Fear, judgment and comparison are our collective cancer.

Love is letting go of judgment and comparison.

Love “does” have conditions.

It is to do No Harm.  Love demands permission.

It takes two to say “Yes” or one to say “No” to have an honoring relationship.

The gift of a meaningful relationship is to individually uncover and heal unfinished business, as well as that of your ancestors.

Individual therapy, pre-marital therapy, and perinatal therapy are keys to prevent illness. Unresolved stress sets the stage for dis-ease.

Brenner-isms, Part 2: February

by admin on February 2nd, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Dr. Paul Brenner has been posting words of wisdom on his Facebook page. We have collected these Brenner-isms to inspire you in the New Year.

 Trying to get it right gets it wrong.

 The greatest gift in life is life itself.

 As soon as we see anything else in life as other than ourselves we become separated from life.

 Life is a shared creation. Everything exists in relationship.

 Who we are is far more important than what we do.

 Who is our commonality. Our doing is our separation.

 Illness can be a friend. It is a time to search within and ask, “Why now?”

 Chronic illness may be asking for transformation.

 Health does not mean freedom from illness. Health is the understanding and acceptance of the life process.

 Stress can shift balanced health to dis-health.

 What are you getting out of illness that is not obtainable in health?

 Psychology is the future of Preventative Medicine.

 If I’m not you, who am I?

 Replace discomforting tapes of emotional pain and suffering by rekindling those innate tapes of contentment and gratitude.

 llness is not the enemy. Illness is a call for movement, transformation.

 If I were alone long enough, I would create you as my best friend. You are my mirror of my disowned self. I can only find me through you. You are part of my wholeness.

 We are no more than particles within a conscious organism.

 Any belief that demeans another life form demeans self.

Brenner-isms: January

by admin on December 31st, 2015 at 9:22 am

Dr. Paul Brenner has been posting words of wisdom on his Facebook page. We have collected these Brenner-isms to inspire you in the New Year.




  • Pure love for others comes from the overflow of love for self and so asks for nothing in return. Such love leads to no-self.
  • You cannot give another what is not within yourself.
  • I am that other, I am.
  • Life abhors constancy.
  • Illness is not the enemy. Illness is a call for movement, transformation.
  • The only one who can save you is you.
  • The only one who can meet your unmet needs is you.
  • Your gift to life is found in your childhood emotional pain.
  • Psychology is Medicine. To truly be present is to erase the past.
  • No thought is worth thinking about.
  • The unmet needs of childhood become a part of our definition of love.
  • A ‘no’ overrules a ‘yes.’
  • The opposite of your cherished values also have values.


INSPIRE! The Power of Story

by admin on December 16th, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Interested in seeing Dr. Brenner, live?

Of course you are! Check out the flyer for more information!

These Homeless Children Will Inspire You

by admin on November 18th, 2015 at 7:23 pm

Dr. Paul Brenner shared a moving and inspiring video, created by his grandson, Jamie Falk, to raise awareness about homeless children and families in our communities, ‘refugees’ in their own Country.


by admin on July 13th, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Dr. Brenner is hard at work with several projects (especially the one called Life) and will return to blogging soon. In the meantime, we are revisiting his post from November of 2013: “SAVE OUR YOUNG” with the addition of a flyer and a link of related projects in which SDCRI is been involved.

SDCRI, through its Hope Made Visible project, is involved in supporting veterans by sharing flags among Armed Services Veterans in Supportive Communities created by Habitat for Humanity.
Check out the flyer for the Hope Made Visible project.
Hope Made Visible™ is an Expressive Arts Therapy program of San Diego Cancer Research Institute; it was created, facilitated and launched internationally by Alessandra Colfi, PhD. Flags have been used throughout history, in different cultures and traditions, as a symbolic means to express personal and universal ideas, to promote and share healing, peace, compassion, and wisdom. Colors, words, and visual symbols become unique self-expression of hope, dreams, victories, losses,and concerns. Sharing the flags allows each artist to be a part of the larger healing group, to be of service to others in similar circumstances, and to co-create an integrated, inclusive community.
h4hOur Veterans have embraced this process and created many stunning flags which symbolically capture their personal stories, feelings, and hopes.

Click here to visit Habitat for Humanity‘s homepage.

(Original post below is from Dr. Brenner’s personal Blog, November 23, 2013)


Our newspapers often report the high incidence of PTSD (1 in 5 soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan), as well as the high incidence of suicide (22 per day) in our military. The vast majority of military suicides are the enlisted ranks between the ages of 17-30. Interestingly, suicide is not necessarily related to combat experience. And, 30 % of our homeless are veterans.


The brain is 95% formed by age three. The remaining 5% is completed in women between the ages of 17-23 and in men between 19- 27 years. This 5% is in the prefrontal cortex area that is responsible for reasoning.

Why Do We Kill Our Young?

A Modest Proposal:

If there was an international law, similar to the one banning nerve gas, that also prohibited men and women from being recruited into the Armed Services before the age of 30, I think we would have a good “shot” at peace. And hopefully, religious groups would agree to stop enlisting their young as suicide bombers?

The military Industrial Complex could then merge with Habitat for Humanity International. The Veterans Administration and National Cemeteries could document humankind’s evolution. V.A. hospitals could be converted to Community Hospitals. Fewer bionic limbs would be necessary. The CIA could use their spare time to investigate congress. The NSA would have greater control of their secret files. Ammunition plants could close and the NRA can use their stock piled bullets to shoot each other. Just think, no debt, stability and maybe, no need for the Federal Reserve.

The Private Defense Company, Academia, aka Black Water International and it’s cohorts Halliburton, DynCorp, Triple Canopy, Executive Outcome, Military Professionals, Total Intelligence Services and yes… Monsanto (check the internet) will have no one to defend other than themselves from each other.

Peace at the cost of saving our young. Seems, a “no-brainer”.

Paul Brenner, M.D., PhD

Booklist: Paul Brenner M.D., Ph.D.

by admin on March 13th, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Below is a collection of wonderful books by Dr. Paul Brenner, M.D., Ph.D.. Please click on the image or link to take you to a website where you can view or purchase the books. If you find a link that is missing, please contact us here.


  1. Love Made Visible

lmvby Paul Brenner, M.D., Ph.D., Susan Wingate (Photographer)

“The newborn is conceived in that moment appropriately referred to as ‘making love’– a moment when formless love is made into manifest love.”




  1. Buddha in the Waiting Room: Simple Truths About Health, Illness, and Healing

buddhaby Paul Brenner, M.D., Ph.D.

This text is a physician’s poignant and insightful account of the mutual holy ground that both physician and patient touch as they encounter the mysteries of life and death together.






  1. Seeing Your Life Through New Eyes: Simple Truths about Health, Illness and Healing

neweyesby Paul Brenner, M.D., Ph.D., Donna Martin, PsyD

Seeing Your Life Through New Eyes identifies the origin of your personal profile and points you in directions to maximize your potential and transcend self-imposed limitations. This workbook format helps readers create a diary of self-discovery and assists in resolving any misunderstood relationships and addictive behavior.




  1. Seeing Your Life Through New Eyes: A Workbook to Free Yourself from Your Past

seeingby Paul Brenner, M.D., Ph.D., Donna Martin, Psyd

Guiding readers through a series of questions about their parents, this workbook identifies formative “gifts” and “hurts” that shape how individuals approach relationships.







  1. Life is a Shared Creation

by Paul Brenner, M.D., Ph.D.










  1. A Shared Creation

by Paul Brenner, M.D., Ph.D.









  1. Health Is a Question of Balance

by Dr. Paul Brenner

Less than a Decade, More than a Lifetime

by admin on December 15th, 2014 at 10:15 am

I was given an assignment by Dr. Vicario to start a Support Group for the San Diego Cancer Center and Research Institute (SDCRI).  The group was composed of individuals with various types of cancer.  It was small for the first month or so, and then blossomed to fifteen, twenty-five or thirty participants.   Although individuals were free to join or leave at will, there was a core group of about fifteen or so who stayed until life took them and another would enter.  Each session lasted between 2 to 3 hours.

In the second year, Maura McBratney, a Minister, a saint, a gift, joined me as a co-facilitator.  Maura had dug herself out of chronic incapacitating attacks of Multiple Sclerosis.  And I was luxuriating for ten years with a low grade prostate cancer.  I honestly considered myself a fraud announcing at each session, “I too have cancer.” By my eighth year in the group, my cancer became aggressive. I personally experience an uncommon acceptance and excitement about bone metastasis: “Finally, I’m really part of the group for the first time.”

The people in the group confirmed to me what I sensed about cancer patients over a half a century of being a physician, I.e., the nobility of what it is to be human: to live moments of bliss and fear, dread and aliveness, knowing and not knowing, bodily pain and bodily silence, hopelessness and helplessness, never wanting to share with others what is happening for fear of retracting the statement next week.

Cancer folks live in the truth of the moment because that is all that exists.  Cancer confirms that we live in a binary world, at the still point where opposites co-exist in wave patterns that move at the speed of light yet experienced by the ill as a steady state.  Chronic illness is Life: You hope it can get better but fear it will get worse.  There is no choice other than to live into what is happening now, because that’s all there is. (Come on Paul? How prosaic! You and the Dali Lama!)
The well know this truth as well as the sick, but in health we are seduced by external needs, in illness by internalized emotions.  Cancer people know about each others’ inner life without asking.

For those with aggressive disease, thoughts of the future force the mind to stay in the present.  The mind cannot help but search the past for unfinished business, “could haves”, “should haves” and “why nots”, Questions arise as pop ups, “What does forgiveness really mean?”, ‘What is self-love?”, “Forgiving another is easy, but how do I forgive myself?” “What unfinished business do I have?”  “S..t, how can I resolve that one?”  “What’s death?” “Will I do it well?” “What the f… does that mean?  “How can I find peace in this moment, this second?”  Then, the final realization that no thought is worth thinking about.  Chronic illness teaches patience and silence.

The body tries to offer the answers.  Cancer patients know their body.  They learn to trust it more than their mind.  The body instantaneously senses through feelings, a knowing contraction or a relaxation before doctors says a word.  The cancer patient learns to move from distrusting the body to only trusting it.  The body does not predict, assume or question what’s happening now. Its messages are clear, precise.

The cancer person learns to trust themselves and those who are on “the same path.”  This cancer group functioned as an organism, a unit, sharing and informing its integral parts without judgment or a need to understand the particulars of “what” someone is dealing with, but more how they are responding to what they have been given.  Another’s cancer always seemed worse than their own.  The group confirmed for me what I had learned at The Cancer Center seeing individuals one on one.  The cancer patients are selfless individuals, “the other” is more important than themselves.  Pleasing and giving are the primary coping skills of cancer patients, their way of showing love.

However, in the Cancer Group, the self morphs further into the collective presence of love, pain and service to others.  At the end of the session, you can hear the silence; feel the fatigue as the group formed a prayer circle.  Following a long hug, the group would dissolve into a smaller klatch, then moved slowly out the door.  Too often they would meet again in the hall to chat further, before entering the other world, a world that is less alive, vibrant, colorful, humorous, poignant and far less present and loving.  The group became addicted to each other.

I am grateful to “my cancer group”, the collective group.  It is “their group.”  Each one referring to it as “my group.” I am grateful for the presence they have brought into my life, the honesty, the love.  The group ended December 16th, 2014.  I left four months prior to that date. I had lost my boundaries within the group.  I could no longer contain the groups love and pain.  I cracked. I felt that if I stayed longer, I would die. The pain was greater than the love. I lost my balance. I could not do one more group, see one more patient or attend one more funeral. I was spent.

“If I am not for myself, who is for me?
And being only for my own self, What am I?
And if not now, when?”
Rabbi Hillel 110BC-10CE, Sage and Scholar

I am grateful that I was a member of a group of varying individuals who met once a week and bared their souls, for 2-3 hours, over nearly a decade.  My group, “The Group,” a relatively small collection of people, showed me my limits to surrendering fully into the Collective and so into collective Life.  Life is, has always been and will continue to be suffering and love.  We humans gift impersonal Life with personal Love, but if I lose love of self, I am incapable of gifting Life with my love and for the gift of my life and love that was bequeathed to me by my ancestors.  Yes, I could no longer hold the still point where self, other and all Life have always and will always coexist.  My first book was, ”Health is a Question of Balance.”  I should have read it.  Hopefully, next life, I can stay fully in The Collective longer.

Paul Brenner, M.D., Ph.D.

← Older postsNewer posts →