Well, here we are with another day of paradise in Napa Valley.

Today I thought it would be interesting to have a conversation on meditation. A large part of the joy that I get out of writing our column, besides our weekly visits, is researching various topics. I find researching meditation to be one of the most interesting topics of all.

For instance, I’d like to quote a couple of comments from Ronesh Sinha, M.D., an internal medicine physician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation:“If you’re under stress, you need meditation.”

Dr. Sinha started prescribing meditation to his stressed-out patients after discovering that “studies showed meditation helps the brain that allows you to plan, be creative and keep your emotions under control.”

In addition, he says, “the same part of your brain becomes stimulated and then exhausted by multitasking and digital over-stimulation. Once that happens, the more primitive parts of your brain, which are associated with increased irritability, anxiety and aggressive behavior, take over.”

Wouldn’t you agree that this fact alone would encourage us to make meditation an important part of our lives?

I love the way things work out, don’t you? As most of you know, we who are fortunate to live in Napa Valley, have the opportunity of taking classes given by a master teacher, Dr. James Keolker, who offers the only Napa Valley meditation classes specifically for seniors.

Happily, Dr. Keolker has become a friend through the years that I’ve been attending his classes, and I’ve asked him if he would please write a little something for our Corner and he graciously agreed.

“Dear readers of Senior Corner,

In my view, Holiday time can be a joyous time but can also be a stressful time for seniors. That is why meditation can be such a good friend, a refuge, a wonderful companion in such times. Besides, enjoying meditation among friends in a class can be especially enjoyable.

So to add joy and cheer, Rianda House Senior Center in St. Helena has announced two holiday meditation classes. The first will be A Special Thanksgiving Meditation on Friday, Nov. 16 at 9:30 am. What will make this class particularly special is a Ceremony of Gratitude. Each person, in attendance, will be given a water-washed stone of Thanksgiving remembrance.

This has been popular for a number of years and folks have asked for it to be repeated. This year our object of gratitude will be meditation itself, this great gift that has been handed down to us over the past 2,500 years.

The second holiday treat will be A Winter Solstice Meditation for Seniors on Friday, Dec. 21 at 9:30 a.m. and will explore the meanings behind the solstice as well as the Eastern practice of singing bowls. The bowls are an ancient way of creating meditative sounds and a perfect way to welcome the winter season with contemplation, happiness and joy. Most interesting this year, the class will be held on the actual day of the annual solstice.

Both classes are free of charge as a gift to our senior community. But space reservation is required by calling (707) 963-8555. Rianda House is at 1475 Main St., St. Helena.”

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We thank you, Dr. Keolker, for sending this most welcome information. I’m sure that many of us will be looking forward to next Friday’s Special Thanksgiving Meditation, as well as the following month’s A Winter Solstice Meditation for Seniors.

I wanted you to join me in reading Dr. Keolker’s note so you would get a sense of his love and dedication to the practice of meditation. As many things of value, learning the practice of meditation might seem challenging, but it is so worth our time and energy for the great rewards we’ll receive in making our lives more fulfilling and meaningful. Again, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn from a teacher who patiently and lovingly will show us the way. Be sure and make your reservations immediately and I’ll see you there.

Let’s see what’s going on at our Napa Senior Center. Construction is under way. Completion of the improvements to the Center is expected to be six months.

First of all, big hurrahs to recreation coordinator Linda Button and recreation supervisor Kelly Abernathy for keeping all events at the Senior Center running smoothly. Of course the annual Thanksgiving Luncheon will not be happening this year due to the construction. The Center will be closed on Nov. 12, 22 and 23.

Trips and Tours will be a trip to San Francisco to see Beach Blanket Babylon on Sunday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., cost: $125, Code# 11661; Friday Forum: National Pie Day at Black Bear Diner, Friday, Nov. 30, 3:00 p.m. $2.00 (meal not included). Code# 11866. All regular classes will be ongoing at their ‘away’ locations. If you have any questions, please call (707) 255-1800, or www.cityofnapa.org/parksandrec

We’ll have more good news about and for seniors of Napa Valley next week.

As always, it’s been so much fun visiting with you. In the meantime, find the joy in your life.

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