Monday, November 14, 2016

Mindful Living Workshop for 55 Plus in Manchester NH

Join us! This workshop is for anyone 55 years of age and up,  who is a new or existing member of the William B. Cashin Senior Activity Center in Manchester NH. Membership is FREE for residents of Manchester and only $25 annually for anyone from other cities and towns. Members can partake of this workshop, as well as a huge array of other activities, classes, and much, much more! 
Lovely place, wonderful people!


Monday, October 31, 2016

Nervous to TRY Group Meditation?

Well, you are NOT alone! In fact, when I first went to a meditation center over 20 or so years ago, I was scared, nervous and had a whole host of questions running through my head.  I thought I would take some time to answer them here in the hopes it will encourage you to give it a try sometime and join a mindfulness meditation class here in Bedford, NH or near where you live:

Will it be weird?
It might feel weird. You are learning something new, so if you typically take a bit of time to warm up to learning new things, then the same feeling may or may not might apply here as well.

Will the people who come to class be even weirder?
The people who attend meditation classes are just like you, me and everyone else: like-minded people looking for ways to help alleviate stress and learn to be more present and focused in your home or work life.

Will I fit in?
These classes are attended by a variety of people, of all shapes and sizes, from all ethnicities, careers, and ages! 18 and up, as the focus is on adults, not children. Most fall within the age of 20 something to 70 something. A mix of both men and women attend.

Will I stand out?
See above!

Will everyone know I have never done this before?
Only if you tell us, although sometimes I will ask if I have any people who are new to meditation practice. I only to do this to help assist me with my choice of guidance to the group as whole. Not because they or I are judging you. In fact, mindfulness means "non judgmental, present moment awareness." So rest assured, this is a very accepting place to practice and learn!

Will I have to do anything odd?
You will sit in a chair. In fact, most people who attend sit in the chairs provided. Some folks bring yoga mats to sit or lie down on, and that is always open to everyone. You might be asked to do a bit of VERY gentle stretching,  seated or standing, now and again.

What if I don't like it?
You might not, and then again, you might. Try not to let this hold you back from trying it. Something about meditation spoke to you, which is why you are taking the time to read through this right now. If I have learned anything in my life, it is try something.....just  give it a try.  It may surprise you!

What if I can't sit still, am coughing, or have to go the bathroom?
Then shift your seat, cough or go to the bathroom! You are not restricted, in any way from doing so. Bring some water in an enclosed container if it will help. And recognize it is perfectly normal to feel like you cannot sit still. The more you practice, the less bothersome this becomes, but we ALL feel antsy! Leaning into the discomfort sometimes, prior to shifting, and not running from these feelings was so helpful for me to learn!

Will meditating make me a zombie, someone lacking emotions or the ability to think?
Meditation practice is an opportunity to learn far more about yourself then you think you know, and to learn how to RESPOND, not REACT to the difficulties you encounter. You will feel more deeply, and develop better ways to respond to those feelings. Less "knee jerk" reactions to life. Those habituated patterns we all learn get so deeply ingrained in our brains. Meditation allows us to develop and strengthen new neural pathways that bring about more calm, greater focus and creativity in how we handle life.

Will it cost me a lot to do this?
My routine weekly and the monthly classes are a donation based fee structure. You give anywhere from $5 to $20 every time you attend. HALF of all donations are shared with the people who donate the spaces for me to to run these classes. If you enjoy what you are doing, and feel it has value then give generously to show your appreciation! It is DEEPLY appreciated in return!

What should I bring?
A yoga mat, if you prefer. A blanket or towel. pillow or cushion. Meditation cushion. In other words what ever helps to make YOU feel more comfortable. Chairs are provided and the cushions/blankets help to make them a bit more comfy for you. Bring along a friend or family anytime!

What if I can't stop thinking while I sit there meditating?
Guess what....you CAN'T! Your mind does exactly what it it wants and it will often seem just when we get the most quiet, that our mind goes on over drive! Well....you are not alone! Happens to me all the time. Meditation practice enables me to focus less on the story line going on in my head, and just attend to the breath or the focus of the meditation as a means to not get caught up in the thinking mind.

Will people make fun of me if I tell them I practice meditation?
Speaking from personal experience, I find many people are most supportive. However, there are some people who may still see meditation as oddly exotic, new age mumbo jumbo, or just plain weird. My personal aim with all this mindfulness teaching I do, is to dispel those myths and iconic images of what it means to practice meditation or be a meditator.  Locally, I have found most people are genuinely interested and curious, while also a bit nervous about trying it for the first time with a group. Some too feel it will be of no value, or a waste of time. Having a bit of skepticism about meditation, along with a somewhat open minded approach will serve you well, as it has myself. No goals, and no expectations as to outcome.

Does practice mean I have to give up my religion or join another?
Bottom line answer is NO! In fact, practicing mindfulness meditation can enhance your own spiritual practice. The weekly and monthly meditation practice classes are non secular. And the only reason the monthly Taste of Mindfulness is held on a Sunday is because BYPC: The Bedford Youth Performing Company who lends me the space Sundays is closed, so quiet abounds in this typically wonderfully busy establishment!

When and why did I start a meditation practice?
I was a very bright, intelligent, creative, joyful, happy and fun loving child! When I entered the working world in my early 20's I was unstoppable. I was my career. Promoted at a very young age, I was under 25 and found myself responsible for over 125 employees in Downtown Boston.  It was super scary and frightening, and a few people made it a truly difficult transition, but I loved every minute of it!

So as the years progressed,  I was the first one to give up my vacations, started work earlier then most, stayed super late, and volunteered for special projects time and time again, even if it meant sacrificing relationships and family. I WAS my job/career. For a long time, my good health, fit body and youthful outlook were of help. But slowly, that thin veneer of what I thought would make me invulnerable fell away and I felt burned out. Panic attacks started (I did not even know what the word panic attack meant till I had one.....remember back in the late 80's early 90's many people were still skeptical of the effects of stress on the body!) This lead me to seek answers, and in so doing discovered yoga, meditation and CBT. All three helped me to get back my footing, regain my self confidence and move ahead in life.

Have there been false starts and difficulties along the way! YES! Breast cancer 13 years ago....and yes, practice made a huge difference! Now, with menopause, Hashimoto Thyroiditis, loss of both my parents within 6 months of one another and the co parenting of a middle school aged son to be an empathetic, caring, healthy and resilient person, all bring their share of challenges to life.

So, I continue to practice. Discovering along the way that when I think I need it the least, is actually when I need it the most.

Is there any difference between the two ongoing monthly and weekly meditation classes?
The biggest difference is that Thursday night meditation practice is done by electric candlelight as it is held in the evening 7:30 to 8:30 PM at the Old Town Hall in Bedford, NH. The monthly Sunday class  at BYPC is at 10AM, so no electric candlelights.

Remember, meditation is not a panacea for all of life's ills. It is not a substitute for traditional health care. It is not the answer to everything. These are all myths to dispel. 

If you want to learn how to listen to your body and understand its feelings, learn to find more moments of calm, develop clearer focus, increase creativity and just learn to perhaps adapt better to the upheavals in your own life or to simply experience a greater sense of well being, then.......

Try It! And remember all of us are BEGINNERS at this....THAT is why we PRACTICE!


Friday, October 14, 2016

Where to Meditate in Bedford NH

Taste of Mindfulness Monthly Practice

This practice class is offered monthly, 10AM to 11:15AM on a Sunday at: BYPC: Bedford Youth
Performing Company, 155 Route 101 and Bell Hill Road
Lower Level, Enter thru back door facing away from 101

Dates Are:
2016 5/22, 6/12, 7/24, 8/28, 9/25, 10/30, 11/20, 12/18 
2017 1/22, 2/19, 3/26, 4/9, 5/7, 6/11

Drop In for Meditation Weekly Practice

Thursdays, 7:30 PM to 8:30PM, at Old Town Hall 70 Bedford Center Road, Bedford, NH, 2nd Floor,
Across from the Bedford Public Library. Park in any of the 3 lots located behind the Town Hall building.

Dates Are: Classes run September thru early June
2016 Sept 8, 15,22, 29 Oct 13, 20 Nov 10, 17, Dec 1, 8, 15, 22
2017 Jan 5, 12, 19, 26 Feb 2, 9, 16, 23 Mar 23, 30 Apr 6, 13, 20
May 4, 11, 18, 25 June 1

Beginners, to more advanced welcome to attend ANY of the classes on this handout. Bring along a friend.

Chairs provided, feel free to bring a mat/cushion/blanket along to increase comfort!

Mindfully Connected Monthly Book Discussion Group

This meet up group follows the same date and location schedule as the Taste of
Mindfulness Practice listed above with the exception that the start time is 11:15 and
ends on or around 12:30PM. Anyone is welcome to attend, and feel free to
purchase the book on your own or not. Excerpts from the book are read and discussed each time we meet, so never a need to purchase!

Feel free to join us when you are able to make the dates and times work.
There is never a need to attend all the classes or practice times. Each and
every class/meet up is a stand alone.

Donation-based giving for any and all practice/meet ups. Suggested amount
of $5 to $20, half shared with BYPC and the Town of Bedford.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no MBSR classes this fall 2016 or Spring of 2017.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Meditation Class Schedule Bedford, NH

Taste of Mindfulness Monthly Practice

This practice class is offered monthly, 10AM to 11:15AM on a Sunday at: BYPC: Bedford Youth
Performing Company, 155 Route 101 and Bell Hill Road
Lower Level, Enter thru back door facing away from 101

Dates Are:
2016 5/22, 6/12, 7/24, 8/28, 9/25, 10/30, 11/20, 12/18 
2017 1/20, 2/19, 3/26, 4/9, 5/7, 6/11

Drop In for Meditation Weekly Practice

Thursdays, 7:30 PM to 8:30PM, at Old Town Hall 70 Bedford Center Road, Bedford, NH, 2nd Floor,
Across from the Bedford Public Library. Park in any of the 3 lots located behind the Town Hall building.

Dates Are: Classes run September thru early June
2016 Sept 8, 15,22, 29 Oct 13, 20 Nov 10, 17, Dec 1, 8, 15, 22
2017 Jan 5, 12, 19, 26 Feb 2, 9, 16, 23 Mar 23, 30 Apr 6, 13, 20
May 4, 11, 18, 25 June 1

Beginners, to more advanced welcome to attend ANY of the classes on this handout. Bring along a friend.

Chairs provided, feel free to bring a mat/cushion/blanket along to increase comfort!


Mindfully Connected Monthly Book Discussion Group

This meet up group follows the same date and location schedule as the Taste of
Mindfulness Practice listed above with the exception that the start time is 11:15 and
ends on or around 12:30PM. Anyone is welcome to attend, and feel free to
purchase the book on your own or not. Excerpts from the book are read and discussed each time we meet, so never a need to purchase!


Feel free to join us when you are able to make the dates and times work.
There is never a need to attend all the classes or practice times. Each and
every class/meet up is a stand alone.

Donation-based giving for any and all practice/meet ups. Suggested amount
of $5 to $20, half shared with BYPC and the Town of Bedford.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no MBSR classes this fall 2016 or Spring of 2017.

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Weekly Meditation Bedford NH

Join Us for Meditation

DROP IN FOR MEDITATION CLASS
Bedford, NH  Town Hall 
LAST WEEKLY MEDITATION UNTIL SEPTEMBER 2016!
Thursday MAY 26th
 
Taking this time for YOU, and settling into the stillness with some reflective mindfulness meditation. So, unwind, relax and find more calm moments in the midst of all that is happening in your life right now.


Each week I will guide the group in a variety of mindfulness meditations.

All Classes held on Thursdays from 7:30 to 8:30 PM. 


This class is for anyone, regardless of your experience with meditation, so beginners to the more advanced. Wear loose, comfortable clothes, bring along a yoga mat, pillows, blanket, cushion, etc. or anything else you may need for your comfort. Chairs are provided.

About the Instructor: Cecilia has been teaching meditation and mindfulness classes for the Town of Bedford and the Adult Education Program in Goffstown. She also teaches the full 8-week traditional Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program as taught at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she received her training. In addition, Cecilia is a 22-year practitioner of both yoga and meditation. Those who have taken her classes are typically struck by her enthusiasm and willingness to share her knowledge of mindfulness practices. Making people feel at ease by debunking the myths and iconic images of meditation is what keeps people coming back again and again to her classes.


See below for details as to specific class dates:

2015 Dec 3 10  17 

2016 Jan 7 14 21 28   Feb 4 11 18 25    Mar 17 24 31
Apr 7 14 21 28      May 5 12 19 26



LOCATION: Bedford Town Hall (across from the Library) Plenty of parking behind the building on Meetinghouse Road.
COST: Fee is donation-based (suggested donation $5-$10 per class, paid by cash or check directly to the teacher each week)
SPONSORED BY: Bedford Parks & Recreation Department
Visit our website: www.BedfordRecOnline.com or call 472-5242


This weekly class is a time to practice meditation for those that like establishing a routine or for those who are unable to make our monthly Sunday classes. But it is also for anyone who wants to see how effective and truly beneficial meditation can be in your life.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Meditation Bedford NH

A Taste of Mindfulness Meditation Practice Group 
Sunday May 22nd
Bedford, NH
10 AM to 11:15AM
New Monthly Sunday Dates Posted Each Month on this Site 
We are located in the REAR of the building at BYPC, the Bedford Youth Performing Company, lower level, so follow the painted arrows indicating how to enter the parking lot. 
The Bedford Youth Performing Company is located at 155 Route 101 and Bell Hill Road, Bedford, NH. Bell Hill Road is located off of Bedford Center Road and also connects to 101 as well, BUT you can only enter Bell Hill Road from 101 if you are heading WEST. If you are heading EAST on 101, take a left at the lights on the corner of Meetinghouse Road and Bedford Center Rd. Bell Hill Road is about a 1/2 mile down on your left, just past the Bedford Library. BYPC is at the end of Bell Hill Road, on the right, just before 101.  
Plenty of parking out back and if needed, up front on the second level. Enter through the back entrance door and we are just inside the foyer, to your right. 
By the way, do not go by the attendance numbers on Meet Up to decide whether to attend or not. I get a number of other attendees from my Mindful Matrix Website, the classes I have been teaching, and lots of referrals! 
Whether you are new to meditation or more practiced, please come out and join our monthly Sunday practice group! This is a fun, relaxed and comfortable group of like-minded individuals who come together each month to reinforce their mindfulness practice or to discover something new about meditation. So, it is a time for both discovery and insight about yourself and your practice. 
Each month we will alternate with a variety of guided meditations, silent sitting time, gentle mindful stretches, and perhaps a walking meditation or reading relevant to mindfulness. Please try to be on time as we start promptly at 10AM. If you arrive late, enter quietly and find a seat. Turn all cell phones off or place on vibrate. 
The format for the class allows ample time for Q and A, and discussion at the conclusion of the meditation(s) and is time for you to discuss anything related to the morning practice. You do not have to stay for the Q&A portion, which occurs around 11AM, but can leave at this time. 
Regular attendance truly does make a difference, however please come join us any time you are able to schedule the time. If that means one Sunday every few months  or so, that's perfectly fine! Please feel free to bring anyone along with you anytime as well.
No "set fee" is asked of you, however it would be so helpful for all of you to leave a donation in the box provided each Sunday when you are able to attend.  I do share half of the donations with BYPC for lending me the room, free of charge. 
Suggested donation is $5 to $10. 
It is SO deeply appreciated and helps me to know it is in fact, appreciated in return! 
NEXT DATES ARE:
  15/22   6/12   7/24  8/28  9/25  10/30  11/20  12/18
Doing nothing is essential for thinking to occur. Many of the most important thoughts are unintentional—they can be neither solicited nor cajoled but have a rhythm of their own, creeping up, arriving, and leaving when we least expect them. It is important to cultivate the lassitude of mind that clears a place for the arrival of what cannot be anticipated. Idleness allows time for the mind to wander to places never before imagined and to return transformed.
—Mark C. Taylor 

THANK YOU