When I was in college so long ago, I gave  myself for my 21st birthday a Transcendental Meditation course .  It was a weekend seminar.  I was going through some stressful times and thought this would be a great gift to give myself.  I still can’t believe  that that far back I was drawn in that direction.  I certainly did not meditate as much as I wanted to but now I see whatever I did was better than nothing.

Over the years I had meditated on and off using the mantra I was given at TM.  I actually wanted to go to Maharishi University in the 1970’s but the thought of that really aggravated my mom who thought I would be joining a cult.  I couldn’t say it wasn’t at the time so I didn’t pursue it.

I took the most wonderful 8 week class in Tribeca for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Elizabeth Coleman.  I highly recommend this course.  Once a month after you take the 8 week class Elizabeth has a drop-in class too.

I had an  interesting  realization when I took the class a few years ago. My high school yearbook quote was by Thoreau,

“When it is time to die, let us not discover that we never lived.”  

In high school I thought that meant that we should get out there and live,  not eat the same thing everyday, have a menial job, and never leave your neighborhood.  Then I read the book Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. (I read that book because I liked the title since my grandmother used to say “Wherever you go, you take yourself along.”)  To my surprise Kabat-Zinn brings up that Thoreau quote from Walden Pond, and shines a whole new light on it.  He explains (I am totally paraphrasing) that Thoreau says,  without mindfulness you are missing out on the life you are living because while you are present in the room your mind is somewhere else. We miss out on living our lives because we were never fully present.



Link to the website: Elizabeth J. Coleman