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Good morning, fellow “young-at-heart” seniors.

I thought we’d continue our conversation on the wonderful “gift” we should give ourselves of the practice of meditation, as it gives us the ability of connecting with a feeling of well-being, and who doesn’t need that from time to time?

Remember last week when I realized that you can’t leave the practice of meditation for a period of time and expect to jump right back into it? Tim Carl helped me to understand that, and to remind me that it’s all about “letting go, and finding the beauty in each and every moment.” Tim writes for the St. Helena Star and The Weekly Calistogan, and had written an article titled “Meditate on this.”

Thanks to Tim’s article and his personal advice, I’m working my way back to where I had left off, and very glad to be back in the game.

The story of meditation continues.

I was very fortunate, recently, to meet someone I know you’re going to like as much as I do.

Please say hello to James Keolker, a new friend, who will soon be teaching a series of meditation classes at the Rianda House Senior Activity Center in St Helena. The focus will be on Mindfulness and Mindful Awareness Skills.

Of course, the series of classes will be specifically aimed at seniors.

A little of James’ background before we get into the classes he’ll be teaching soon.

James has an extensive background in meditation practice, having taught at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin (I have happily spent several weekends in silent meditation at Spirit Rock). Among other places, James has taught at the Ratna Ling Retreat Center in Sonoma, and, locally, at the Silverado Spa and Health Center.

James is a Certified Master Teacher of Meditation and Mindfulness, by the Mindfulness Institute of San Francisco, as well as a professor emeritus at the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco.

James’ focus for this series is aimed at the 60-plus senior. He says, “Since sensory decline is often a challenge for us oldsters, each of the classes will focus on a specific sense: How meditation can improve our awareness of taste, our hearing, our vision awareness, scent sense, touch awareness, among others.”

This exciting series begins weekly from 10 to 11 a.m. Fridays, beginning Sept. 4, and ends Oct. 23 (except for Sept. 18, when there is no class). Rianda House is located at 1475 Main St. in St. Helena. Call Mary Sherman, 963-8555, or visit for reservations.

James does not charge for these classes. I told you that you’d like him.

I’m hopeful that other county senior centers will follow Rianda House’s lead and contact James for a possible series of these excellent classes. Contact James Keolker at

I’ll look forward to seeing you at James’ first class Friday, Sept. 4.

We also have a “Save The Date” announcement for you. It’s almost time for the annual “Celebrating Older Adults Event,” which was previously called “Celebrating Seniors.” This marks the fourth year of this event and it is still going strong. Please save Saturday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for this fun event. It will be held at Chardonnay Hall at the Napa County Fairgrounds. Come on down, neighbors, we promise you a good old-fashioned fun time with music, dancing, games and wagon rides. Much more information to come, a little closer to the date.

Goodbye for now. I’m very pleased to be sharing Senior Corner with you and the St. Helena Star. If you have any questions or comments, please shoot me an email at

Continue to live happy, do good work and take care of one another.


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