Meditation

An approach that in many different ways quiets the mind, induces relaxation and all levels (physical, mental, emotional) by using the breath and directing the awareness inside. It can treat stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, and substance.

Led by Rita Melissano
Sessions held in the Meditation Building.


What people seem to want the most these days is inner peace and relaxation. What people have practiced for thousands of years to achieve that is meditation, an art as old as humankind. Meditation is being recognized as a powerful tool to balance and improve the quality of our life, enhance longevity and prevent depression, anxiety and other health issues such as high blood pressure and the rise of the stress hormone (cortisol). Many studies in reputable Centers like Harvard Medical School, Oxford University and M.I.T. today and as early as the sixties have revealed remarkable results in only weeks of practice and after even twenty minutes in first time meditators. There are many different types of meditation: some stress the concentration efforts, some emphasize the effortlessness of the experience. They come from all spiritual traditions around the world: Christian (Centering Prayer from the Desert Fathers), Hindu (e.g. TM, Kriya), Buddhist (e.g. Mindfulness), Sufi, Kabhala, and Native American just to name a few. Whether sitting quietly in a chair, in a lotus position or even walking, what all of them have in common is the attention to the breath, the eyes closed, the repetition of a word (mantra) or phrase which helps free the mind from thoughts. If thoughts come you simply accept them and gently bring your attention to the breath or the word again.

The Mayo clinic has announced in its newsletter the benefit of regular meditation for physical and emotional wellbeing, citing the endorsement of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (part of the National Institutes of Health). Recommended also by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), Mindfulness Meditation has been found by leading psychologists “significantly effective” as a way of preventing relapses of depression and an alternative to long-term treatment with antidepressants. The Reader Digest just recently was encouraging meditation for middle-schoolers, reporting the health benefits of those children meditating a total of 20 minutes a day in a study done by the Medical College of Georgia. Meditation is practiced today in homes, corporate offices, law firms, government buildings, schools, prisons, and hospitals. More than ten million adult Americans today practice some form of meditation on a regular basis. By so doing they succeed in strengthening their immune system, reducing their stress level, quieting their mind by re-patterning their brain, producing alpha and theta waves (the state of deep relaxation), and developing the left frontal cortex which is associated with a positive attitude, one of acceptance and peace. Imagine yourself doing meditation with your partner and even with your children, as a family!

I have been practicing meditation from many different traditions for almost thirty years and I personally know the significance of this practice in bringing harmony and balance in one’s existence and living a more spiritual and compassionate life. That is also why I am not attached to any particular tradition, but honor all of them in their similar basic principles and yet different ways of expressing them. Students in my classes are exposed to all of them when they attend the group sessions regularly. They quickly learn that our happiness and sufferings are determined by our mental attitude and the power of our mind and spirit, a word from Latin that actually means “breath”. The breath is our link to life and to the present moment, which is all we have that keeps us free from the pain of the past, the anxiety and fear of the future, and from the judgment of ourselves and others. Meditation helps us go inside, connects us with our true essence, transforms our “doing” mode into the depth of our “being”. There, in between breaths, we can truly find ourselves.

I have heard many life-changing stories over the years in my meditation classes. Through their regular practice people can deeply change their relationship with themselves and the world outside at all levels: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

Donations only are accepted for the meditation classes. I have made the decision not to set a fee. The ancient spiritual teachings and principles I bring are priceless and are meant to uplift, bring knowledge, and enhance conscious and spiritual living. I believe that the more people give the more they allow themselves to receive, the more they show that their hearts are filled with gratitude, the more they acknowledge the blessings that take place in their life. St. Francis of Assisi used to say “It is in giving that we receive”. People’s donations will reflect the relationship they have with themselves, their ability not to be attached to money or to their fear of either having or not having money. Choosing to give, generously, little or not at all may then may reflect people’s attitude not only in the meditation class but in the classroom we call life: it becomes a tool for self-awareness and discovery.