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Mindfulness and the Body: Working with Pain

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The Satellite Felton

6265 California 9

Felton, CA 95018

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REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED: Please only register if you can attend at least 4 of the 5 classes. Space is limited. We will meet on Nov. 6, 13, 20, Dec. 4, 11. (We do not meet on Monday, Nov. 27.) If you have any questions, email Betsy at: gardenblessings@gmail.com

More information: bloomofthepresent.org

This 5-week class will focus on the fundamentals of mindfulness meditation with an special emphasis on working with physical pain. It is for people new to meditation as well as experienced students who would like support for their practice.

Each class will include group meditation, explanatory talks and Q & A. You will be expected to meditate daily a minimum of 20 minutes during the five weeks. Handouts and readings will be distributed each week along with assignments. A guided meditation audio will be emailed after each class.

In this class we will:
• Practice meditation, including several approaches for focusing the mind and paying attention.
• Receive suggestions and support for creating a regular daily practice.
• Explore what mindfulness is and is not; learn why is it effective in pain management.
• Discover how our thoughts and emotions can alleviate or intensify our pain.
• Learn what to do about pain—how to work with intense and unwanted sensations

As living creatures, we are all subject to pain; it's serves as a simple warning that the body is injured or out of balance. Therefore, we all need to learn to respond to pain with greater ease and skill. Most pain is temporary, often fleeting or easily alleviated by medical treatments. However, many of us, due to known or unknown causes, have chronic pain which can undermine the quality of life and can be difficult to manage. This class is for people with either ordinary or chronic levels of pain.

Even with extensive modern research, the exact mechanisms of pain are still not known. But we do know that is pain is actually experienced in the brain, not the body, and that how we think about or react to pain can significantly affect its severity and intensity. Using meditation approaches, we can retrain the mind to perceive pain differently and we can create an attitude of caring attention. We can learn to relax even when experiencing intense unpleasant sensations.

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing nonjudgemental awareness to our moment to moment changing experience. This approach can be applied to all aspects of life, whether we are experiencing physical sensations, sensory input, thoughts, or the vast range of feelings and emotions. Mindfulness is part of a larger group of teachings in Buddhism that can lead to spiritual maturity, increased compassion and inner freedom. These qualities contribute to more peace in our lives and in the world around us.

CARLA BRENNAN has been practicing meditation for over 40 years and has taught Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for 18 years. She is the full-time Guiding Teacher for Bloom of the Present Insight Meditation in Santa Cruz. bloomofthepresent.org.

COST: This 5-week class will be offered by donation.

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The Satellite Felton

6265 California 9

Felton, CA 95018

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