breathe

woman meditation imageHave you heard about Meditation and Mindfulness?  

Want to learn more about it?

Learn how to focus your attention, access a sense of calm and balance, lower your level of stress, improve your health, and harness your true inner strength and resilience . . . here’s how

 

Join 2bpresent this fall to learn about the incredible benefits of establishing your own personal meditation practice.  This fall 2bpresent is offering new courses and workshops for beginning and experienced meditators.  To learn more and to register, click on the links below.

What students are saying about our classes and workshops . . .

SWG_1544_©Sandra_Wong_Geroux (1)“This was a fantastic course. (On a scale of 1 – 5 ) I would rate it a 6. Everybody in the class
seem to have a great time – Cheryl was knowledgeable and generous. I would highly recommend this to any of my friends and would take future courses offered by Cheryl!”  – student, Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation

“Just a quick note to thank you so much for being such a wonderful instructor.  I am enjoying your class so much, and I really love practicing being mindful.  I am trying hard to be present in every moment, and am filled with gratitude that I signed up for the class.  It’s been great, and I’m looking forward to what comes next!” – Rosemary, Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation course, 4/12/16

“Your classes are helping refocus my mind from the chronic pain and anger I have been carrying for over 7 yrs . It will be a long process to let go but I know I need to. I took your advice and walked ‘the loop’ around the water today with my dog.   There are hundreds of daffodils in bloom that some generous soul planted years ago, I saw a sweet rabbit and listened to the birds.  So enjoyable.   Many thanks.” – Barbara, Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation course, 4/07/16

 

New Fall Classes

Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness can help you lower your levels of stress, stay focused and calm, and live your life with a greater sense of ease and happiness.  This course integrates research-based material from the fields of Neuroscience, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and Positive Psychology, as well as Eastern Philosophy and Practices, to introduce individuals to the physical, emotional and psychological benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation. These benefits include decreased stress and the physical symptoms of stress on the body, Increased focus and concentration, and improved sleep.   Each week, we will learn and practice formal and informal mindfulness practices that will help quiet the mind, bring increased focus to our daily activities, cultivate greater happiness and improve overall health and wellbeing.   Friday mornings, 9:30 am to 10:30 am, from 10/07/16 to 11/18/16.

For more information and to register, CLICK HERE.

 

New Fall Workshops

What is Mindfulness & Meditation?  

man-meditatingMindfulness & Meditation.  These words are everywhere, but what do they actually mean? How can we use mindfulness meditation to lower stress, sharpen our focus and attention, and cultivate greater happiness?  Join Cheryl Vigder Brause, Executive Director of 2bpresent, to learn more about mindfulness and meditation in this interactive workshop in which we will explore the growing body of scientific evidence from the fields of mindfulness, neuroscience and positive psychology and learn practical mindfulness tools to help us relax, have greater focus and find your inner quiet, calm and strength.  Tuesday, October 27, 2016, 7 pm.  For more information and to register, CLICK HERE.

 

Unleashing the Power of Creativity Through Meditation 

Learn how to use meditation to access a free flow of thoughts and tap in to your greatest creativity.  Join Cheryl Vigder Brause, Executive Director of 2bpresent, to learn more about mindfulness and meditation in this interactive workshop in which we will explore meditation practices to help you problem-solve, find creative solutions and access new and innovative ideas.  Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 7 pm.   For more information and to register, CLICK HERE.

 

Stressed Out? Learn Ways to Lower Your Stress and Find Calm and Clarity for a More Productive and Healthy life. meditation_at_work image

The long-term health affects of chronic stress on your body are severe. Learn why our bodies react the way they do and how you
can change your thoughts and behavior through mindfulness meditation practices to lower your levels of stress at work and at home, find greater calm and a healthier lifestyle. 
Join Cheryl Vigder Brause, Executive Director of 2bpresent, in this interactive workshop in which we will explore the growing body of scientific evidence from the fields of mindfulness, neuroscience and positive psychology and learn practical tools on how to use mindfulness to help us relax and navigate the stresses of our busy lives.  Tuesday, November 8, 2016, 7 pm.   For more information and to register, CLICK HERE.

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Weekly Wisdom #55

by cheryl on March 16, 2016

in Weekly Wisdom

“Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”  – Winne the Pooh

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All New 2bp TV !

by cheryl on October 1, 2015

in 2bp TV, Classes, Events, Events and Classes

Announcing 2bpresent’s All New You Tube Channel!

 

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We are thrilled to announce our new You Tube Channel!  In the coming months, we will continue to add new videos explaining the science of mindfulness, the “How To’s” of integrating mindfulness into your life, Mindfulness for Children, and lots of new Guided Meditations and Videos to help you lower stress, improve your focus and concentration, overcome test anxiety, get a better night’s sleep, prepare for that big game, and so much more!  Be sure to sign on to our newsletter to get updates on what’s new and subscribe to 2bp TV.

 

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What if you could be more peaceful with yourself, those around you and your world?

Join us on a journey to finding real happiness as we explore meditation and mindfulness, and learn how to incorporate them into our everyday lives. Mindfulness can help you lower your levels of stress, stay focused and calm, and live your life with a greater sense of ease and happiness.

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of mindfulness and meditation, and will help you gain a deeper understanding of these practices.

Join us for contemplation, meditation and action-based exercises. This is a five week class. We will meet for one hour each week.

Evening Class Dates & Time: 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29 and 11/5 from 7 pm to 8 pm.

Investment: $195

Location: Groove, 108 Chatsworth Avenue, Larchmont, New York.

 

THIS CLASS IS NO LONGER ACCEPTING REGISTRATIONS

 

About the Instructor . . .

Cheryl Brause is the Co-Founder of 2bpresent. She has practiced meditation and mindfulness for many years, and has worked in the field of teaching mindfulness meditation for the past four years to adults, teens and children. Cheryl has studied meditation and mindfulness under with many leaders in the field. She has completed her Level I and II Meditation Teacher Training from Om Yoga. She is trained in Learning to BREATHE – a mindfulness curriculum for adolescents, and completed her K-12 Mindful Schools Curriculum Training. Cheryl teaches mindfulness and meditation privately to children, teens and adults. She has also created and taught programs in our community to train teachers and students in stress reduction techniques and mindfulness tools to help them thrive.

What people are saying about 2bpresent classes and workshops. . .

“Every now and then you come across a class or a person who helps you to be a better person. Cheryl offers just that. I am a better person because of all the things that I have learned- I am a better spouse, a better mother, a better friend, a better co-worker, and actually even more compassionate with myself. And what’s the best part? That I got all this by simply learning how to slow down and calm down. I will be forever grateful!

Taking the beginning meditation class is the single most important thing I have done for myself in the last decade. I can honestly say that my family and I are all happier because of my taking this one step to learn how to be calmer and more mindful.” – Psychologist, mother and participant in Real Happiness and Mindful Living

“Cheryl’s class taught me not only how to meditate, but how to incorporate mindfulness into everything that I do. Cheryl is extremely knowledgable about the practice of mindfulness and has a teaching style that is very easy to understand and accessible. It was a truly life changing experience. I can’t wait for my next class!” – MBA, mother, participant in Mindful Living

“I took Cheryl’s mindfulness class last spring and the effects have stayed with me. The tools and techniques she showed the class were fun and easy to use and the discussion really brought everything down to a real level that can be applied. Cheryl has a unique way of speaking about mindfulness that is very insightful and practical. I thoroughly enjoyed the class and would highly recommend it!” – Organizational Development Consultant, mother, participant in Mindful Living

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We are thrilled to welcome back Sharon Salzberg to our mindful community for a fall evening exploring Lovingkindness in the Face of Adversity

Wednesday November 13th from 7:00-9:00pm

Mamaroneck, NY (location to be sent upon confirmation)

 

Sharon is one of America’s leading spiritual teachers and authors.  She is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. She has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. The ancient Buddhist practices of vipassana (mindfulness) and metta (lovingkindness) are the foundations of her work.

During this evening we will explore the power of lovingkindness when we face our own physical challenge or illness, emotional upheaval, negativity from others, or unfairness in how we are being treated. We will look at lovingkindness and compassion as strengths rather than as submissive states, and talk about joining them with discerning action, wisdom, and our often untapped capacity for resilience. We’ll practice meditation along with dialogue and discourse.  Suitable for both beginning and more experienced meditators.

To Register Click Here

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Top Ten Mindfulness Tips for 2013 for Living a More Peaceful Life

Top Ten Mindfulness Tips from 2012

by cheryl on January 10, 2013

in Meditation

In 2012, we explored many ways to bring calm and joy into our lives.  Here is a recap of some of our favorite tools to help us lead a more stress-free, joy-filled and meaningful life.

 1. Breathe Deeply

That’s our story and we are sticking to it – one of the simplest and most effective ways to calm down is through simple mindful breathing exercises.  The simple act of taking a few long, deep breaths can work wonders on your body and your mind. Research has shown that the simple act of breathing deeply and fully can stop the release of stress hormones in the body and allow physical and neurological function to be restored to a normal state.  Breathing deeply and mindfully helps stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system which triggers this relaxation response.  By focusing your attention on your breath, you will also slow down the tornado of thoughts spinning around in your mind.   So, try to stop for a minute or two each day, close your eyes and breathe deeply, inhaling fully through your nose and filling your lungs and belly as you inhale.  Then, empty your chest and abdomen completely as you exhale.  Repeat for a few minutes in the morning or throughout the day to find a bit of space, calm and relaxation wherever you are.  Try it with your children and you will be teaching them a valuable way to calm themselves down in any stressful situation.  It even helps at night to relax and unwind before bedtime, and get a better night sleep. So, in 2013, keep breathing deeply!

2. Do An Act of Kindness

Little acts of kindness not only brighten other people’s days, but can go a long way in increasing your own happiness. The new and emerging science of positive psychology, the study of happiness, shows that we can increase our own sense of wellbeing by making other people happy.  So, share a smile with a stranger, help someone open a door, offer a helping hand to someone in need, and you will feel a wonderful sense of connection and joy.

3. Practice Mindful Listening

Often when we lend an ear to a child or a friend, we are in problem solving mode.  We are analyzing, judging, or trying to fix something most of the time we are listening.  The truth is that people just want to be heard and feel listened to.  So, try some mindful listening by saying little, by looking into the other person’s eyes and  by giving them your full attention  – no texting, e-mailing or other distractions allowed.  We all know that frustrating feeling when we are speaking and we can actually feel that the other person is not really listening to us.  Rather, be a compassionate and fully present listener.  What a wonderful gift to give a child, parent or friend.  In doing so, you are also modeling mindful listening and may reap the benefits of that person learning to give you their full attention in return.

4. Think of Something You Did Well Each Day

At the end of each day, we often go through a list of all that we failed to accomplish and all that we did not do well.  Instead, at the end of each day, make a list of all that you did right.  We need to take the time to recognize and appreciate all that we accomplish each day, big or small.  Whether it is taking some much needed time for ourself, making sure our children are clothed and fed, calling a friend that we haven’t spoken to in a while, or completing a project at work, we need to appreciate our efforts and recognize our worth.   We may feel we are in a “thankless” job or situation, but the truth is there is great value in thanking ourselves on a job well done.  So, each night make sure to think about something you did well each day – you deserve it!

5. Take Time for Yourself

As we mentioned in one of our first blogs, it is so important to put your own oxygen mask on first.  We cannot find peace and calm in the world around us if we are not peaceful and calm ourselves.  We cannot expect our children to be relaxed and joyful if we don’t model that behavior.   So, it is essential to take a time out and make time for yourself.  In the end, it is not only a wonderful opportunity to connect with yourself, but it will pay off many times over in how you interact with the world around you.

6. Keep a Gratitude Journal

We often get stuck in the monotony of our daily schedules and forget to take note of the extraordinary gifts we have in our lives.  One way to get out of this rut, is to buy a small notebook and create a Gratitude Journal.   This can be a personal journal or you can create a family gratitude journal, in which each member of the family can jot done one thing he or she is grateful for each day.  You can also make this a family routine during dinner, with each person reflecting on something good that happened that day.  Research has shown that by simply recalling a positive experience our bodies release pleasure hormones, which can give us an increased overall feeling of wellbeing.

7. Unplug

It is increasingly apparent that we are becoming a society addicted to our electronic devices, unable to go for 60 seconds without checking our e-mails, voicemails or texts.  In 2013, challenge yourself to “unplug” for at least 30 minutes each the day, and during mealtimes.  Make “screen free” time in which you turn off your devices, phones and computers.  Although these are valuable tools in our modern world, they are also a source of distraction, increased stress, and huge energy zappers because they take us away from where we are and who we are with.  Checking our messages while engaged in a conversation with someone sends a strong message to those we are with that they are not important or worthy of our attention.  We must be mindful as well of the example we are setting for our children as we constantly check our devices while we are at a stoplight, while they are talking to us or during mealtime.  We can’t ask them to unplug if we are not willing to do the same.  So, take time each day to power off, so you can tune in and be fully present in the moment, before those moments pass you by.

8. Look into their Eyes

We have all heard that the Eyes are the Windows to the Soul.  Try it out and see for yourself.  Make a point of looking into the eyes of the person you are with.  When saying “Good Morning” or “Thank you” to people throughout the day, look into their eyes and see if you notice a difference in how it feels.  You can establish a much greater connection to the people around you by taking the time to stop and notice them by looking into their eyes.  So often these days we are so busy doing other things, that we don’t take a few seconds to truly acknowledge the people around us.  Try it and you will see that you can enrich your everyday experiences with your children, your colleagues and even total strangers by simply taking a brief moment to truly notice them.

9.  Take a Walk in Nature

Enjoying nature is a great way to take a much-needed break in our busy, hectic lives.  It offers us the opportunity to slow down, breathe deeply and clear our minds.  When taking a walk, running, hiking, or walking the dog, try to be fully present where you are, rather than solve problems, make mental lists or think about your busy schedule, which takes you somewhere else.  Use this time to clear your thoughts, appreciate where you are at that moment, and connect to the beautiful world around you.

10. Practice Acceptance

In 2012, we wrote about Letting Go of Expectations.  The flip side of that lesson is to practice acceptance.  Life is a roller coaster ride, full of ups and downs, great joys and great disappointments.  If we can learn to accept that life is not perfect, we are not perfect, those around us are not perfect and we embrace those imperfections and accept people and situations as they are, life becomes much easier.  We can learn to accept ourselves and the people in our lives for who they are, not who we want them to be.  In doing so we learn to embrace and appreciate ourselves and others with an open heart and mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Much-Needed Holiday Stress-Reducing Meditation

A Meditation for the Holiday Season

by cheryl on November 20, 2012

in Healthy Living

Why is it that during this joyful, festive time of year so many people are feeling anxious, depressed or depleted?  All that gift giving and holiday cheer  can be exhausting.  There is pressure to be happy and full of joy.   So when we don’t feel like being in the holiday spirit (or we may feel downright depressed), we become upset with ourselves and ask, “What is wrong with me?”

First, there is nothing wrong with you.  Throw away any judgment or feeling of disappointment in yourself.  You feel the way you feel, and that is OK.  It is an exhausting time of year.  There is cooking to do, presents to wrap, gifts to give, roads to travel.  You may also feel lonely or sad.  In addition, there are always those complicated family dynamics to contend with, which are often even more intense this time of year.  So, remind yourself that it is OK to feel whatever you feel.

Second, whether you are a regular meditator or have never tried meditation before, try this simple holiday meditation.  It doesn’t take long and I know you will feel a little better after giving it a try.  The great part about this meditation is that you can use it over and over again throughout the holiday season, as needed (no prescription required).

Step 1:

Find a quiet spot.  Allow yourself to escape for a short time from the commotion.  Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor, with your back straight OR lie down comfortably on your back in a resting position. Gently close your eyes.

Step 2:

Breathe deeply, in through your nose, then release that air back out through your nose.   Simply follow your breath in through your nose, filling up your lungs and abdomen, allowing your belly and chest to expand.   As you exhale, follow your breath back out through your lungs, your abdomen contracting, as the air flows out your nose.  As you inhale, think of letting in a sense of  calm, quiet, and stillness.   As you exhale, release all of the tension in your body, and any anxiety or sadness you are feeling.  With each exhale, simply let go.  As you continue your breathing, exhale for a slightly longer time than you inhale.  For example, inhale for two counts, then exhale for four counts.  You can use any number you want, just try to make your exhales longer than your inhales.  Fully release all of the air you are holding on to.  After doing this several times, you will begin to feel more relaxed, calm and peaceful.

Step 3:

After you have done some breathing and are in a nice rhythm, continue your slow, steady breathing while you think about five things you are grateful for.  These can be almost anything.  Just take the time to remind yourself of a few incredible gifts, big or small, that you have in your life.  For example, you may be grateful for allowing yourself to take this much needed time out from the holiday madness.   I will give you the first five things that pop into my head.

 

#1 – I am grateful for my breath.  As I breathe in and breathe out, I am so thankful that I can breathe freely, that my body works in a miraculous rhythm, naturally and rhythmically.  I am grateful for my breath.

 

#2 – I am grateful for my children.  I am incredibly lucky to have three beautiful, healthy, loving children who bring great joy to my life.  I am grateful for my children.

 

#3 – I am grateful for my husband.  I am so thankful to have a supportive husband who loves me unconditionally every day.  I am grateful for my husband.

 

#4 – I am grateful for my own wellness warrior, my mother.  My mother spent all of last year fighting lymphoma.  Every day she faced very difficult physical and emotional challenges with incredible strength, optimism and courage.  Through the most difficult circumstances, she was an example of the importance of being present in each moment, taking each day as it came,  one moment at a time, and, sometimes, one breath at a time.  I am grateful for my mother.

#5 – I am grateful for my friends.  I have so many people in my life that love and care about me.  I am truly blessed to have them in life.  I am grateful for my friends.

 

Step 4:

Smile and continue to breathe.  After taking the time to think about a few things you are grateful for, return to your breath.  Try smiling by simply turning the very ends of your mouth upwards, to allow some happiness in.  “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”  (Thich Nhat Hanh)  Focus on your breath, on that feeling of gratitude and on letting go. Take this time for yourself.  Be present, let go and simply breathe this holiday season!

 

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We came across this great video that we thought that you might find interesting.  Take a look and let us know what you think.

 

 

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Lessons From My Cushion

Lessons From My Cushion February 29, 2012

As we come to the close of Sharon Salzberg’s Real Happiness 28 Day Meditation Challenge, we have been thinking about all of the lessons that we have learned from Real Happiness, and there are many.  Here are a few of the things we learned  . . . (1) Meditation, like life, is challenging.  Some days are […]

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Reset

Reset February 14, 2012

Yesterday, my computer stopped working.  I was sitting with many different screens open all at one time — writing, researching, and communicating.   Suddenly, the computer screen completely froze.   The mouse wouId not budge and my heart slowly sank.  I began to panic.  Would I lose all of my work? Were all of my documents, pictures […]

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