GWelcome to the Senior Corner.

Because meditation is such a large part of my life, and I receive so much comfort from it, I’d like to tell you about a wonderful opportunity for you to jump in and enjoy the peace that you can receive from practicing meditation.

As a senior, and at this time, maybe more than any other time in our lives, we need to step out and learn new things that will benefit us. I truly believe that if you give this a chance, you will be well rewarded.

I’ve introduced you to Dr. James Keolker in previous visits, but in case you didn’t read about him, please let me sing his praises once again. He is a certified master teacher of meditation, a longtime meditator and graduate of the Mindfulness Institute of San Francisco as well as having trained with such renowned teachers as Jack Kornfield, Mark Coleman and Dr. Anna Douglas.

Keolker has also taught at the esteemed Spirit Rock Meditation Center, as well as Ratna Ling Retreat Center.

Recently, Keolker completed a very well-received, filled-to-capacity series of meditation classes at Rianda House, 1475 Main St. in St. Helena.

Happily, Keolker will be presenting another series beginning on Friday, May 6.

We’ll get back to the new series of classes in just a moment, but first, I wanted to share with you a conversation I had with Keolker recently.

I asked why he thought his classes on meditation have become so popular.

“Well, I’m grateful that seniors find them beneficial. Life seems to get more hectic as we age with all sorts of challenges and distraction, and meditation can really give you a reassuring calm to help meet those needs, if you know how.”

“I like to start with the basics, even for experienced meditators,” he continued, “and then progress to the more subtle. However, one kind of meditation may not fit all. That’s why I’m beginning a new series on ‘Power Meditation for Seniors’ that will introduce different ways to meditate, something for every need.”

Friday, May 6, will start the series off with “The Power of Insight Meditation” and how seniors can sharpen their mental awareness as well as learn how to relax from stress. I think you will agree that these will be valuable skills for us to have.

The following Friday, May 13, Keolker will continue with “The Power of Mantra Meditation” and the benefits of learning how to focus and concentrate despite the distractions of our everyday lives.

Friday, May 20, will feature “The Power of Body-scan Meditation,” a method for reducing stress under the most trying of circumstances.

The series will conclude on Friday, May 27, with “The Power of Earth-Turning Meditation,” a new way to assure one’s peace and tranquility, invaluable tools as we age.

Because of Keolker’s series on meditation, he will be holding two sessions during this series, 9 and 10:15 a.m. By the way, these meditation classes are the only classes in Napa Valley designed specifically for seniors.

The last series Keolker held at Rianda House filled up quickly, so I would suggest making reservations soon by calling the Rianda House Senior Activities Center at 707-963-8555

If, for some reason, you are unable to make these classes, Dr. Keolker will also be the featured speaker on “The Power of Meditation and Mindfulness” on Tuesday, May 24, at 6 p.m., in the conference room at Collabria Care (formerly Napa Valley Hospice and Adult Day Services) at 414 Jefferson St. in Napa, as part of the Retirement Renewal Forums.

Keolker explains that “this will be an introduction, the nuts and bolts of meditation and what it can do for folks about to retire or those already in retirement, an especially stressful time.”

The Forum is without charge and light refreshments will be served. Reservations may be made by calling 707-258-9087, ext. 272.

In my view, as I’ve taken lessons from Keolker, I believe there is no such thing as too many lessons from an excellent meditation teacher, and he is truly the best I have ever taken from.

I tell my children that one form of meditation is like taking a mini vacation, and there are many other equally beneficial surprises gained through meditation.

I hope that you will join me in taking both the series and enjoying Keolker as featured speaker at the “Retirement Renewal Forum” on May 24 at 6 p.m.

Have a wonderful week, enjoy the lovely weather, and we’ll visit again in a week.

I love hearing from you. Your emails give me ideas on what you are interested in hearing about and that is very helpful to me, as we are learning on this journey together.

Please email me at bettyrrhodes@sbcglobal.net.

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