Betty Rhodes, Senior Corner: Get out your calendars!

Good morning, dear readers. Once again we have many wonderful activities coming up for us.

For instance, I recently had a conversation with Dr. James Keolker, popular master meditation teacher.

I wanted to ask him about the new fall meditation series specifically for seniors, recently announced by Rianda House Senior Education Center in St Helena that will feature Dr. Keolker.

I asked Dr. Keolker to tell us a bit about his new series and what the focus for the series will be.

He said, “First of all, let me begin by saying, sometimes our lives get very complicated and our emotions get tied in knots. Meditation can be a great way to untangle. It’s also important to know how meditation works for our minds, our brains. So our first class will be Breath Meditation and How to Unknot Your Mind for Clarity, Joy and Well-being. There is an old saying, ‘Those who control their breath control their mind’ and science has shown breath meditation can lead to clearer thinking and emotional well-being, so important for us seniors.”

His first class sounds very interesting, and I understand that it will be held on Friday, Sept. 13 at 9:30 a.m.

While you have your calendars out, please note the dates of class two, Friday, Sept. 20 at 9:30 and class three on Friday, Sept. 27 at 9:30. We will be expanding on these two classes in the next two weeks, other than to say, Class 1 talks of breath meditation, Class 2 focuses on body intelligence, and class 3 focuses on how to combine breath and body meditation.

I’m happy to say that Dr.Keolker will be re-joining us when we move onto more facts about meditation and more depth on the upcoming classes two and three.

As Dr. Keolker says, “The bottom line is we want folks to enjoy these classes and to find meditation useful in their daily lives.”

By the way, this year’s series begins Dr. Keolker’s fifth year at Rianda House. He is a certificated meditation and mindfulness teacher and has taught at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Ratna Ling Retreat Center and Collabria Care Center, among others. His classes are open to both those new to meditation and those more experienced.

He added this bit of very interesting information: “Western science has shown that whatever meditation technique is used the results are often the same: enhanced cognitive clarity, lower blood pressure and heart rate, neural renewal, in other words, enhanced mental and physical health, all issues important to us as seniors.”

As his classes fill up quickly, you’ll want to make your reservations early by calling 707-963-8555. Rianda House is at 1475 Main St. in St Helena.

Dear friends, we need your help for the upcoming ninth annual Centenarians Celebration, an event to celebrate citizens who have reached the age of 100 or more. Are you, or do you know someone, who is, or will be, 100 years old, or older by Dec? 31? Please contact Jesus Tijero at 707-253-6170 or Jesus.Tijero@countyofnapa.org.

You are all invited to the Napa Senior Center, 1500 Jefferson St. on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Come and help celebrate our centenarians. There were 20 centenarians last year. With your help, we might be able to add to that number.

This wonderful celebration is thanks to our Napa County Board of Supervisors and Napa County Commission on Aging and other community leaders. Please attend if you can.

Let’s talk about Collabria Care’s list of upcoming events that Robbie Hayes sent us.

An upbeat documentary called: “Lives Well Lived: Celebrating Secrets Wit and Wisdom of Age” is screening at the Cameo Cinema, St. Helena, sponsored by the UpValley Village and Rianda House. This documentary film by Sky Bergman celebrates the wit and wisdom of adults 75 to 100 years old who are living their lives to the fullest. Forty people share their secrets and insights to living a meaningful life. Their memories and inspiring personal histories will make you laugh, perhaps cry, but mostly inspire you. Doesn’t this sound up-lifting and inspirational? The author will be available via Skype for Q&A. The Cameo is at 1340 Main St., St. Helena. The program is 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18. Admission is $6 at the door, and complimentary wine will be served.

Note from Celine Regalia, executive director of Collabria Care: “Each year our grief counselors offer comfort to hundreds of families and loved ones ofour patients. Did you know that these services are offered free of charge throughout the community?”

Collabria Care provides:

— Weekly Drop-in,-Learning to live with loss;

— In Grief Support, Learning to Live with Loss

— Grief & The Holidays

— Understanding Suicide Grief & Loss

— Anticipatory Grief Counseling

Thank you, Celine.

Two additional events presented by UpValley Village (information, thanks to Billie Hewitt and Myrna David, contact Myrna at 707-815-0217, or mdavid@collabriacare.org ) follows:

1.Oral Histories: Creating a Narrative Legacy, includes a presentation by Roger Eardley-Pryor, Ph.D., oral historian with the UC Berkeley Bancroft Library held at the Yountville Community Center, 65616 Washington St., Yountville. Free of charge.

2. Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Author talk and book signing, including a presentation by Dr. Louise Aronson, MD, MFA, geriatrician and author to be held at the Calistoga Community Center, 1307 Washington Street, Calistoga. Free of charge.

And, finally, the circus is coming to town! E & M Presents brings the return of the Zoppé Italian Family Circus. The new show “La Nonna,” is dedicated to women’s courage, strength and beauty.

I have been an admirer of Evy Warshawski ever since I met her, a few years ago when I was enjoying being a member-in training with Leadership Napa Valley, and Evy was artistic director of the Napa Valley Opera House. She and her husband, Morrie co-founded E & M Presents, dedicated to bringing live, touring performances geared to kids and families to Napa venues.

More next time about the Zoppe Italian Family Circus, but hold these dates: Friday, Oct. 4 through Sunday, Oct. 6 (for a total of five shows) Lots more in future columns. Don’t forget the grand reopening and ribbon cutting celebration at our Napa Senior Center at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept 20. The address is 1500 Jefferson St. Please RSVP by calling 707-255-1800. There will be a brunch-style light refreshments, musical entertainment, and guided tours of the newly renovated Senior Center building. Entertainment provided by the “Pickle Creek String Band”

See you there. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

With so many fun and exciting things to do, let’s get everything down on our calendars. We won’t want to miss a thing.

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Always love hearing from you at: bettyrrhodes@sbcglobal.net