Facilitator: Marie Olson

My path toward the career of counseling and teaching mindfulness has been a natural progression of curiosity about human psychology and spirituality since a young age. An important personal catalyst for my professional work has been suffering. Over a decade ago, life experiences occurred that left me helpless, hopeless and traumatized. Sudden losses and changes in my reality felt unbearable. I was introduced to meditation as a practice 11 years ago. During this time, I found myself calling on internal resources to navigate what had happened and came to learn about asking for help from professionals, mentors, and a higher power. As a Licensed Associate Counselor and an expressive art therapist in training, I dedicate my skills to be with suffering in ways that Buddhist practitioners have focused on for centuries. Now, I focus on modalities that deepen the ability to experience reality on reality’s terms. I offer mindfulness as a practice to support stress reduction, redirect thoughts, navigate emotions safely, make peace with pain, practice forgiveness, and grow the capacity to experience compassion and joy. In the past five years, I have intentionally deepened my meditation practice through pursuing teachings in Thailand, and currently training in a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program led by Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. Vipassana, pali for “seeing clearly,” is my primary form of mediation practice. This form of meditation is commonly known in the United States as “mindfulness” meditation.

What this group offers:

Mindfulness meditation is a practice in experiencing the aliveness of every moment with curiosity and compassion. It is not a relaxation exercise, a quick fix, a technique or a religion – it is a practice of paying attention in a cultivated way which begins to become a lens for day-to-day life. What is so cool about mindfulness meditation is that research is showing that hours of dedicated practice impacts brain structures, and the areas of the brain associated with fear, fight-or-flight, and aggression can become less prominent and areas of the brain associated with emotion regulation and cognitive processing become more prominent. Not only that, but a meditation practice over time can improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain while decreasing stress hormones. Meditation practice is like a gym for mental health, this group offers guidance in practicing mindfulness through directives for cultivating a kind awareness of the here and now.

Group structure:

Arrive up to 10 minutes early to make a cup of tea and get acquainted with the space.

2 minutes to stretch, settle in, and find a comfy place in the group room.

5 minutes for introductions and intention setting.

10 minutes for the teacher to talk on a topic which will inform the practice for the evening.

20-25 minutes of guided meditation practice.

10-15 closing writing reflections about the practice and Q&A with the teacher.

FAQs:

What should I wear? Wear whatever helps you feel at ease, I’d recommend something flexible and comfortable. And you can leave your shoes on or off, up to you!

What should I bring? Everything you need will be provided, if you want to bring a personal journal to write insights, a cushion or pillow that is up to you.

The meditation instruction may direct standing, sitting, or laying down posture. The meditation posture is to allow for alert relaxation without falling asleep, cushions, blankets, pillows, and yoga mats provided. While it is common to feel some discomfort during sitting meditations, caring for yourself is welcomed. Variations, moving around and changing positions are encouraged in order to get the most from the practice!

Current Groups

Details:

Day/Time: Thursdays, 7pm for 4 weeks.

First Group: Feb 3rd – 24th

Second Group: March 10th – 31st

Cost: $165

*Cancellation policy – in order to get a refund or reschedule, please cancel your group 48 hours before the first date of your group by contacting Noel@thewellmesa.com