The new year is a time when many consider adopting lifestyle changes to move toward better mind and body health. One change to consider is learning about meditation or mindfulness practices.
With five groups meeting in Carbondale, you can find one on almost any day of the week; in the morning or evening, and even those offering online options.
As the stressors of everyday life increase, many have sought complementary health practices to bring more balance to their lives. A report based on data from the 2017 National Health Interview Survey found that U.S. adults’ use of meditation tripled between 2012 and 2017, from 4.1 percent to 14.2 percent.
Laura Bartels, of the Mindful Life Program, says we can train our mind and body to first relax and when we “learn to release all that stuff we hold and now with a relaxed body, let’s see if we can couple that with stable attention.”
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute of Health, lists the benefits of meditation on their website. It is generally considered to be beneficial for reducing blood pressure as well as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and flare-ups in people who have had ulcerative colitis and assisting in smoking cessation. It may ease symptoms of anxiety and depression and may help people with insomnia and pain management. They caution it should never be used in place of medication or in delaying seeking medical treatment.
The Carbondale groups offer a variety of practices; some meditations are silent, while others offer guided meditation and discussion.
Linda and Russ Criswell lead a silent meditation group that Linda describes, “When a group of people gets together in silence, it’s more silent than when you’re by yourself. The silence is really powerful.”
Some groups are based on Kriya yoga or Buddhist-based meditation practices.
Monica Muñiz of Mountain Institute describes the Kriya meditation practice, brought here from India, as, “It’s not a religion, but it’s a spiritual science.”
Ted Reed says Mindfulness Meditation Communities’ practice is based on 2600-year-old Buddhist teachings. A teaching for an age-old problem, he says, “the monkey mind has been around as long as humans have been around.”
Where to find meditation groups in Carbondale
Kriya and Lamplighting meditation, directly from Maha Avatar Babaji’s lineage, guided relaxation & stress relief techniques, with silent meditation & chant
Studio 2, 202 Main St.
Monday evening, 6 to 7 p.m.
Contact: Monica Muñiz at 970-379-6602 https://mountaininstitute.com
Mindful Life Program
Third Street Center, 520 S. Third St., Suite 28
Monday evenings, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., guided meditation, discussion & weekly mindfulness readings
Tuesday evenings, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., (location WoC Dharma Center in Suite 36), mindfulness for those in recovery
Thursday evenings, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., online meditation using Zoom app
Contact: Laura Bartels at 970-633-0163
Mindfulness Meditation Communities
Tibetan Buddhist philosophy & meditation
Carbondale Community School,
1505 Dolores Way
Sunday mornings, 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Contact: Ted Reed at 970-379-8422
Silent & unguided group meditation
The Launchpad, 76 S. 4th St.
Monday, Wednesday, & Friday mornings, 6:45 to 7:30 a.m.
Contact: Russ & Linda Criswell at 970-388-3597
Way of Compassion Dharma Center
Weekday mornings, except Tuesdays, 6 to 6:30 a.m., online meditation using Zoom app
Wednesday evenings, 6 to 7:30 p.m., meditation & Dharma teaching
Saturday mornings, two 24-minute groups.
The first session starts at 8:00 a.m., the second one starts at 8:30 a.m., Silent meditation & Buddha of Compassion practice
Third Street Center, 520 S. Third St., Suite 36
Contact: John Bruna at firstname.lastname@example.org
True Nature Healing Arts
Owner Eaden Shantay said they are currently not offering meditation, as he is on sabbatical.