Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Now and Zen

Being Present in the Present



When I recently Googled “How to meditate?” I got over 18 million hits. It makes it all sound so complicated, when in reality it doesn’t have to be. All you need is yourself, a quiet space to sit and just—be. 

I was skeptical when I first thought about trying meditation. I’m a chronic insomniac. I have a hard time sitting still and as a writer by profession I find it hard to turn my mind off. Was it going to help me? Was there a Meditation for Dummies book? (Yes.) Or an app, podcast, or download that could guide me? (Yes, many.) 

As a cancer survivor, I was powering up my recovery with diet, exercise, and support groups. I wanted to add meditation. So I decided to try the Relax and Restore class at the Center for Survivorship (CFS) in Southport—a serene, light-filled wellness center. Taught by Lisa Sheehan since CFS opened in 2012, the 60-minute class explores mindfulness, meditation, relaxation, and practices that help break the cycle of stress to find inner stillness. Lisa says it’s ideal for anyone recovering from surgery or treatment for illness, or seeking a little R and R. 

Through her studies at UMASS Medical School, Sheehan practices Mindfulness Meditation, which is a secular, breath-focused practice derived from a centuries-old Buddhist meditation style called Vipassana or Insight Meditation. The technique helps you be aware of every detail of your mental and physical experience moment by moment, without reacting to it. Lisa says, “When we notice our minds have wandered away from the breath into thought, we simply come back and begin again without judgment.” By the end of the first class, I had almost nodded off three times. But I felt relaxed, more centered. This was new for me. 

In a typical class, the lights are dimmed, soothing music is played, and Sheehan begins the session with a thought for the day. After a 15-minute guided meditation while seated, most participants choose to lie down for a reclined meditation, in order to observe how our bodies are feeling and to get in touch with their breathing. Carol Soennichsen, a regular, feels the class sets the tone for her week. “I love the Monday class because I feel rested and at peace by the end of the session. There are techniques I’ve learned here that have helped me at stressful times.”

“Meditation teaches us to be more present in the present,” explains Sheehan. She feels the biggest misconception about the practice is that people think it’s about clearing your mind of all thoughts. But she notes, “Any time you can stop and get in touch with your breathing is beneficial. Meditation teaches us to live more mindfully in the present, not projecting into the future with worry, or getting stuck in the past with regret or anger.”

Much has been written about the ways meditation can help cancer patients reduce stress, relieve symptoms, and improve quality of life. From personal experience, any chance to quiet my mind so I can face machines, radiation, chemotherapy, and follow-up tests with a little more calm is very welcome. One participant said the practice helped her get through her radiation treatment and that she was able to diminish its negative impact on her. “Meditation involves drawing the senses inward, giving ourselves permission to be still and just be rather than always doing,” explains Sheehan.

Launched last August in Darien, Pathway to Mindfulness is attracting many people from around Fairfield County. During the 50-minute class, clients learn the basics of unguided meditation as well as numerous techniques to make daily meditation easier and more meaningful. Clients are taught how to focus on their breathing, and to be aware of their thoughts. They are encouraged to bring mindfulness to daily tasks and to help handle the stressors of their lives. To inspire clients to develop their own daily practice, they start slowly at Pathway, with a 5-minute daily meditation, working up to 20 minutes. 

Scientific research has shown that 20 minutes of meditation most days can make substantial changes in one’s life. It generally takes six to eight sessions to develop a practice. The result? People smile more, are calmer, and more engaged with the world.


Meditate Your Way

 The beauty of meditating is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. Find a quiet spot in your house, sit on a mat or comfy chair (you can even lie down, but don’t fall asleep!), light some candles, play some music. Set a timer if that helps.

If you’re always on the go, you can meditate when you’re out walking, at the beach, on a plane, or even in the carpool line (where a little extra peace might be very helpful). 

Great apps for meditating: Omvana, Buddhify, Take A Break, The Mindfullness App, and Headspace.

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

               

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Catch the Vibe Newsletter

See this weekend's events in the area!
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

A Little Holiday Magic

Style Tips from the Pros

Merry & Bright

A Silvermine Home Transformed for the Holidays

All Ages, All Seasons

Tips to help your skin

What are some non-electronic toy options for kids?

Ten Minutes With the Newly Elected CT State Senator

Will Haskell's 22 years old––and he won

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

January 2019

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Hartford Boat Show (HBS50) features the newest boats on the market including center consoles, fishing boats, luxury cruisers, deck and pontoon boats, sport and...

Cost: $12 in advance online, $14 at the door, $10 Senior/Military one day pass

Where:
Expo Center at Mohegan Sun
1 Mohegan Sun Blvd
Uncasville, CT  06382
View map »


Sponsor: Connecticut Marine Trades Association
Telephone: 860-767-2645
Contact Name: Kathleen Burns
Website »

More information

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, with Santa visiting on December 8! Decorated for the...

Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Wednesday, January 23rd at 7:00 PM Create a cool yarn hat in a single evening! All materials will be provided. This event is free and no registration is required. Ages 12 and up. Hosted by North...

Cost: Free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Thursday, Jan. 24 Author Talk: Stephanie Land - Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother's Will to Survive, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Maid is showing up on almost every best of, must read, don't miss list of...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Contact Name: Wilton Library
Website »

More information

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Born from humble beginnings in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, CT The Alpaca Gnomes cut their teeth in the neighborhood bar scene by playing marathon shows filled with originals and a wide...

Cost: $15.00 - $20.00

Where:
Wall Street Theater
71 Wall Street
Norwalk, CT  06850
View map »


Sponsor: Jeanne Moore
Telephone: (203) 831-5004
Contact Name: Jeanne Moore
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Winter Guided Hike @ Woodcock Nature Center Saturday January 26th, 10-11:30am, FREE ​ Join Mr. Sam for a hike where we'll investigate whats going on in nature in the winter season and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Woodcock Nature Center
56 Deer Run Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Woodcock Nature Center
Telephone: (203) 762-7280
Contact Name: Sam Nunes
Website »

More information

Saturday, Jan. 26 Mini Golf Family Day in the Stacks at Wilton Library, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wilton Library will hold its 2nd mini golf fundraising event. There will be food (each paid admission will...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Contact Name: Wilton Library
Website »

More information

The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Saturday, January 26th from 1:00 - 2:00 PM, Ages 4+ Attend for groovy crafts, snacks, games, and more in celebration of the Pete the Cat book series. This event is free and no registration is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags