Good morning, everyone. Please join me in discussing the joy of a more tranquil, peaceful mind where we, magically, have more time, in this very busy life. Where we have the opportunity to slow down, unwind, breathe deeply, and enjoy inner peace.

Please open your minds to at least trying the practice of meditation. Studies show that meditation is recommended as one of the steps to help guard our brains against Alzheimer’s in a study done by Helen Lavretsky, MD, professor in residence in the psychiatry department at UCLA.

Only 12 minutes of daily meditation for 12 weeks, along with a weekly, hour- long yoga session, reduced stress levels and saw an improvement in verbal memory.

Apparently, we suffer more stress in our lives than we realize. So, why not open our minds to the lovely, peaceful practice of meditation?

Now is the perfect time to open up this exciting new world. We are very fortunate in Napa County to have Dr. James Keolker, master meditation teacher, who is our county’s only teacher to specialize in teaching seniors.

Happily, Dr. Keolker has a new series for seniors coming up. In a conversation with Dr. Keolker, he said: “I like to think of meditation as a part of what I call “creative aging” — that is, folks of our age looking for ways to create a harmonious life for ourselves whatever our difficulty might be. Something practical, something useful. That is why I so deeply believe in meditation. A compact form of meditation is using a mantra, a word or two that has special meaning.”

Dr. Keolker’s first class of his new fall series will be, “Mastering Mantra Meditation for Seniors,” an invaluable way to meditate anywhere, anytime.

This class will be given on Friday, Sept. 8 at 9:30 a.m. at Rianda House Senior Center, 1475 Main St. in St. Helena (next door to the post office). There is no charge, however contributions are accepted.

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Dr. Keolker’s second class is titled, “The P’s and Q’s of Senior Meditation” and “will explore not only the basics of meditation but our realizing, as seniors, that life is not perfect, personal, or permanent. And how meditation can help us happily realize that.”

This class will also be held at Rianda House on Friday, Sept. 22, at 9:30 a.m.

Dr. Keolker continues, “Mental health practitioners and physicians now tell us that repeated meditation can result in our improved emotional stability, reduce our negative thinking, better our relations with others, increase our compassion, and give us a greater sense of self and calm. These classes will work toward those goals.”

I, for one, am eager to have a little tranquility in my life through the practice of meditation, how about you?

I’ve had the pleasure of attending Dr. Keolker’s meditation classes at Rianda House a number of times, and speaking from personal experience, I strongly advise you to sign up for these classes early as enrollment fills up very quickly. Call (707) 963-8555 in the next day or two to hold your space. On that note of looking forward to a wonderful, very worthwhile event, I bid you goodbye for another week. In the meantime, think kindness and love, not anger and hate. Walk gently on this good earth.

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