Continue to Practice with us in2014 ! Dates for Mindfulness Meditation Programs, Retreats, and on- going meditation groups. See Below my monthly message for many offerings!
2014 Mindful-Way Events:
Mindful Eating for Healthy Living with Beth Mulligan begins with a new date: January 22nd 6:30 PM with a free introductory talk,(please RSVP here) followed by the eight week course, at the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at UC Irvine
includes a workbook, recordings and an all-day retreat!
Listen to this great TED Talk “Why Diets Don’t Work: Try Mindfulness!” by Neuroscientist and former dieter Sandra Aamodt here.
If you’ve made one more New Years Resolution to lose weight, but realize deep down that this has never had lasting effects before, and you’ll be on the merry go round once again, you might want to try a new approach that involves change from within. And it does not involve dieting. Research shows that compared to going on a diet, this path is more effective and sustainable, because it’s enjoyable. read more here: Mindful Eating for Healthy Living. In my work as a Physician Assistant in Primary Care for over 30 years, i have seen how much people struggle with this issue and how educating (lecturing) or trying to scare people in reducing caloric intake and exercising more does not work. In fact it usually makes people feel discouraged, judged and eventually want to eat more. That’s why I am so passionate about Mindful Eating, I finally found a way to help people change behaviors and attitudes and actually feel good about themselves in the process!
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) with Hugh O’Neill begins February 4th, daytime and evening classes availble. To learn more, please attend the free introductory lecture on January 21st 6:30 PM, these fill up fast so register in advance here.
For other day long and weekly events, see below my monthly message!
“ Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” Winnie the Pooh
Present Moment, Only Moment
Greetings from Mindful-Way Stress Reduction 2014
I had the great opportunity to end 2013 and begin 2014 at a silent meditation retreat, which is something I do every year. When I returned, my inbox was full of New Year messages, which were full of wonderful suggestions of reflecting upon 2013 and setting intentions for 2014. It made me realize something about myself, I can’t think about life right now, a year at a time. I can only do it in moments. Much of 2013 was a roller coaster ride, with some of the extreme challenges of life-which every single human being goes through in some way or other- all packed together in a relatively short space of time. What it taught me was, that no matter what we plan or think is going to happen, we actually don’t know. In six months we went through the serious cancer diagnosis of a dear friend, the deaths of two loved ones and two forest fires. Meanwhile wonderful events were taking place, my God daughter’s first baby born healthy and beautiful, meaningful work opportunities, great time with new and old friends, living in an interesting variety of beautiful places while our home was being restored… This intense period of life allowed me (OK maybe forced is a better word) to really let go of my illusion that I am in control of life, and that things are going to go as I planned. Having a meditation practice is so helpful to ride this kind of uncertainty. As a yogi once said “You can’t stop the waves but you can learn how to surf”. When we teach people Mindfulness Practices, so much of it encourages us to find ways to connect with and be in the present moment. Often the question arises, “How can I plan anything or set goals if I’m just in the present moment?” Here’s my experience; being fully present and centered is a great place from which to make plans and set intentions. Then we do what ever needs to be done, put it in our calendar, figure out the steps to get it done, and we let go.This is a purposeful and effective way of relating to the future. What is often really happening is we are rehearsing life in our heads and thinking about the future when it does not serve us. This might be called worrying. Reflecting on the past can be useful also as a learning opportunity, but ruminating on it is not useful either. So coming back to the present moments (a skill learned in Mindfulness Classes), can ensure that we can plan and we can learn and we can still live in the richness of the present moment which is the only moment we are actually alive. The photo above, of my friend who just finished chemotherapy and surgery enjoying her first grandchild captures it all. She knows as well as anyone not to miss what is here right in front of us, no matter what the future holds. Here are some other opportunities with our friends:
January 19th: Daylong workshop at Insight LA with world renound meditation teacher
Not familliar with Shinzen? Listen to this talk here.
January 25th 9:30-4:30 Daylong Retreat in the Desert with Larry Yang.
Looking for a meditation class in the Palm Springs area? Reduce Stress and Rediscover Well -Being a 4 week meditation class with my friend and colleague Cheryl Slean in Rancho Mirage. Register here. Daytime class begins Saturday, February 8th.
Weekly meditation groups:
In the Palm Springs area: Insight Community of the Desert where you can sit with guidance of excellent teachers including Larry Yang and Beth Mulligan every Sunday from 4:30–6:00 PM by donation only. I’ll be teaching January 19th!
In Los Angeles there are many opportunities at Insight LA it really helps to strengthen one’s practice to sit with a group.
UCLA has weekly sitting groups also through the Mindful Awarenss Research center known as M.A.R.C.
Yokoji Zen Mountain Center is open to support your practice. Join the Sunday program every and any week. They have literally weathered the storm and practice there is as strong and steady as the mountain. Thank you Yokoji teachers and residents!!
UCSD Center for Mindfulness has Mindfulness programs for teens, adults, professional trainings, and the only Center currently offering the 8 week Mindful Self- Compassion program.
Also in the San Diego Area (Encinitas) visit 2nd Street Sangha with multiple offerings and classes led by the wonderful Diana Shimkus!
UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center has classes, workshops and Retreats throughout the year-including on line training. Check out this page for the calendar!
RESEARCH EVIDENCE CONTINUES TO MOUNT Just this past December a new study at the Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, revealed that periods of mindfulness meditation practice (compared with the same amount of time engaged in quiet activities) can alter gene expression in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs. (Here’s a link to the scientific article and another in the Huffington Post.)
Book Recommendation of the Month:
Children of Silence and Slow Time by Ian McCrorie
I picked this book up off a friend’s coffee table and couldn’t put it down. Every poem and story rang with a jem of truth. “Meditation helps you find what you never lost.” Ian McCrorie
Written with the wisdom, humility, and humor of one who has taken the time to examine themselves and the nature of the human condition, this new collection of story-poems regards concerns of the experienced meditator. The thoughtful and insightful poems serve as both inspiration and motivation to others who are trying to walk the path of self-discovery. Each one serves to nourish the spirit while also providing a fresh kind of sustenance.
Meet the Author
Ian McCrorie has been practicing meditation for more than 20 years. He has traveled the world to study with renowned teachers, lived as a recluse in meditation, and for more than 10 years has been conducting courses in Vipassana meditation. He is the author of The Moon Appears When the Water Is Still. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario
Did you know that there is new magazine called Mindful?
With both on -line a print versions. The will donate 10% of your subscription to the Mindfulness Center of your choice (see their list at the site) Learn more here