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Chris Scheller to lead Intro to Mindfulness Meditation

Evening meditation

Did you know that our very own Director of Religious Education, Chris Scheller, is a meditation instructor with over 20 years experience with meditation? While meditation is part of our RE classes for children and youth, and we have an ongoing meditation class on Thursday afternoons, some adults have expressed interest in an introduction to mindfulness meditation class at another time to supplement the Thursday meditation group. Chris is happy to offer this class on an experimental basis to see if there is interest.

The class  will be offered on Tuesdays, from 12 – 1pm, beginning October 25th, in the Commons, and is open to all. No experience is necessary.

Chris will present a short lesson on mindfulness each week for the first 10 – 15 minutes or so, depending on interest and engagement with the topic, and then lead a guided meditation that incorporates that lesson and includes consistent elements of a relaxation body scan and mindfulness training with the breath, with time for questions and discussion of how we might connect this to the important matters of our lives and spiritual journeys at the end. Typical topics at the beginning include “What is mindfulness?”, “The evidence and science behind mindfulness”, “Mindfulness and the mind-body connection”, “how to practice”, “how mindfulness works with stress reduction”, “working with emotions”, “mindfulness and the workplace”, “mindfulness and emotional intelligence”, “transforming fear through loving-kindness meditation”, “interpersonal mindfulness”, “mindfulness of the body”, “the healthy path of mindful eating, exercise, rest, and connection”… “mindfulness and creativity”… “mindfulness and relationships”… “mindfulness and developing wisdom”…”mindfulness and energizing your life”…”mindfulness and self-understanding”…”mindfulness and developing joy, compassion, equanimity”, “mindful movement, walking and exercise”… He can provide exercises for home practice for those who would like to really develop their skills and are interested in a daily practice, but will keep it accessible for anyone who drops in on any class for the first time. So the information will build to provide an integral understanding of applying mindfulness to all aspects of life, but each lesson will be self-contained and accessible without previous information.
Chris has been teaching mindfulness meditation since 2007 and has taught to a whole range of people and situations and ages from youth to adults at the Karuna and Groton Schools, and Babson College, where he still teaches. He began meditating 20 years ago in 1996, when he studied at various retreat centers and monasteries in India and the USA including the Tushita Meditation Centre in Dharamsala, the Insight Meditation Society, the Zen Peacemakers, and lived and studied at the Cambridge Zen Center. He trained to teach meditation at Harvard University, where he received a Master of Divinity degree in 2009. There he concentrated his studies on the intersection of meditation and psychology, as well as the history of meditation practices within the Buddhist tradition. Between 2009 to 2011 he coordinated and managed an NIH-funded random controlled trial of a mindfulness-based psychotherapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which influenced the way he teaches mindfulness specifically for stress reduction based on scientific research.

Please contact Chris with any questions or just come and join any week.