mindfulness

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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Making Friends With My Thoughts

To Sit with Discomfort

by cheryl on February 5, 2016

in Meditation

When I first tried meditating several years ago, I remember struggling between trying to still my body and my mind.  At first, I found it incredibly difficult and physically uncomfortable to sit still, which was then followed by my many thoughts,  “My knee really hurts . . . My back aches . . . I am feeling restless . . . I am uncomfortable,” which only made my physical discomfort more deeply felt. Other days, I would have no problem physically sitting still,  but my mind was the source of my discomfort, refusing to be still.

Over the years,  I have learned that it is best to “make friends” with my discomfort.  I try not to struggle against whatever is distracting me, or figure it out or beat myself up for having these distractions.   I use them, instead, as an important part of my meditation.  I try to approach my discomfort or distraction with a sense of curiosity and interest, no longer trying to do anything with it.   I simply observe what I am experiencing with a friendly, loving and gentle attention.   I look at my experience, whatever that may be, as an opportunity for self-awareness, rather than an obstacle to it.

It would be nice to report that each time I sit down to meditate I find myself enjoying twenty minutes of sheer bliss.   What I have found, instead, is that each meditation is different.  Somedays I have an ache or a pain, some days my mind is extremely busy, and other days my mind and my body are peaceful and still.   In essence, this is what the practice is all about.  Learning to sit and simply get to know myself, to have some sense of control over where I place my  attention, and when I feel out of control, to simply let it be and watch without becoming overwhelmed by it.

Just like my meditation practice, my days are not all the same, and certainly not always peaceful – – – people can annoy me, my children don’t always listen to me, my house is not always clean, my back sometimes aches, people close to me get sick, and the evening news continues to report great tragedies around the globe.   I find that I can now look at all of these things with a sense of presence, openness and curiosity, just like I practice on my cushion each morning.  Instead of getting swept away by what is happening, overwhelmed by it, or trying to figure it out, I can connect to my own inner stillness and allow myself to feel whatever comes up fully (anger, sadness, frustration and, yes, great joy) and just be with it.  All this from simply sitting on my cushion for a few minutes a day.

On to Week 2!

 

This blog is part of Sharon Salzberg’s Real Happiness Meditation Challenge.  In the month of February, you can join over 12,000 people around the world who have committed to sit each day and give meditation a try!  You can learn more about the challenge, join in and read what people are saying by clicking  here.

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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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I am truly enjoying watching the 2014 Winter Olympics, as I marvel at the athleticism, mental toughness and bravery of the Olympic athletes.  They seem to be able to do things with their bodies that would be impossible to most mere mortals, while facing both physical and mental challenges with such incredible courage and composure.  Their secret is out, however, and all evidence points not only to incredibly disciplined physical conditioning, but also to training their brains to conquer their fears and mental roadblocks which could  keep them from performing  at their highest level.  Using techniques such as guided visualizations to imagine themselves achieving their Olympic goals, daily meditation practices to stay calm and focused, and mindfulness exercises to learn to handle their negative thoughts that serve as roadblocks to optimal performance, Olympians are including their brains as a key part of their daily conditioning.  Brain-Training Secrets of Olympic Athletes

And, how about those Seattle Seahawks?  I must admit that I did not have a favorite team going in to this year’s Super Bowl, nor did I pick a team to root for once the game began. (I was more interested in selecting the best Superbowl commercial.)  I was, however, blown away by the sheer force, focus and seemingly unstoppable performance of the Seahawks, led by quarterback Russell Wilson, on Super Bowl Sunday.  It was no surprise that I later learned of the incredible Seahawk training regimen that includes daily yoga, meditation and mindfulness training.  Lotus Pose on Two

What was once the purview of Buddhist monks and yogis, yoga, meditation and mindfulness training is now becoming an important part of melding physical and mental conditioning to optimize an athlete’s performance.   Trainers, coaches and athletes alike are seeing that one of the most important parts of the body to train is the brain.

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Which wolf do you feed?

Which Wolf Do You Feed?

by cheryl on February 11, 2014

in 2mindfulmoms

Thoughts from Week 2 of the Real Happiness – 28 Day Meditation Challenge . . .

 

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. 

He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.  One is Evil – It is anger, fear, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

This Native American Cherokee story was told to me three times in one week, by three different people, in completely unrelated situations.  A message from the Universe, heard loud and clear. I love this story because it  relates so beautifully to the practice of meditation and mindfulness.  We are motivated either  by love or by fear.  The amazing part of a meditation practice is that we can begin to observe our patterns of behavior, thoughts and emotions, to see them for what they really are — fear based acts or acts of unconditional love.   Once we become more aware and see ourselves more clearly,  we can decide how we choose to act — an amazingly powerful process.  The other incredible benefit from a meditation practice is that we can cultivate a different attitude or lens through which we see the world.   We can choose to act from love rather than from fear, and practice creating positive neural pathways (the scientifically researched approach) or practice lovingkindness (the 2500 year-old Buddhist meditation approach).   However one chooses to explain the process, we can choose to act from love rather than from fear.  In doing so, the world becomes a different place (kinder, gentler, more loving), and we begin to move in it with greater joy and greater ease.  So, this week, as I continue Week 2 of my Meditation Challenge, I look deeper at which wolf I feed, and continue to choose love.

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What is all this Mindfulness stuff anyway?

What is all this Mindfulness stuff anyway?

by cheryl on January 26, 2014

in Meditation

Mindfulness is everywhere – in the news, on magazine covers, in our schools and all over the internet – which leaves many wondering, where did it come from and why is it attracting so much attention?

Mindfulness has its roots in ancient India.  Over 2500 years ago, Vipassana meditation was taught by Buddha as a remedy for life’s ills.  Vipassana means insight into the true nature of things, to see things as they really are.  It is a non-religious meditation practice that aims to eliminate mental impurities so that one can reach a state of happiness and contentment, free from the burdens of the mind that are said to create human suffering.

Although mindfulness has been practiced for thousands of years, it has gained its recent popularity in the West in large part due to the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder and former director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and his pioneering work in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.  As a medical doctor who studied Buddishm, Kabat-Zinn decided to use mindfulness and meditation practices to treat patients suffering with chronic pain.  His work and the research that followed have shown that these ancient practices can bring great improvements in both physical and psychological health, as well as changes in attitude and behavior.

Mindfulness is now commonly defined as the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment.  In this busy, fast-paced modern world, the ability to hit the pause button and place your full attention on what you are actually experiencing in your body and in your mind, as you are experiencing it, has proven not only to improve chronic health problems, but has also been linked to human happiness.

The practice of mindfulness continues to evolve and new tools are emerging to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives.  At 2bpresent, we have studied with Buddhist monks, psychologists, leaders in the fields of mindfulness meditation and positive psychology, as well as experimented with mindfulness apps and online meditation groups, to better understand how to integrate these ancient practices into our modern world.  Twenty-first century technology is being used to conduct research on the brain and the effects mindfulness practices have on our power to change our brain structure and improve its function.  There is also new and emerging research that shows the effects mindfulness practices have on children, improving emotional self-regulation, increasing focus and attention, decreasing stress and improving academic performance.  There is good reason that the mindfulness movement is gaining popularity, not just as a fad but as a promising new avenue to improved health and well-being.

In light of the soaring costs of medical care and the increasing use of prescription drugs to treat the symptoms rather than the causes of disease and disorders, mindfulness offers great potential to improved health and wellness.  It is also a key focus in our quest for happiness.  For all of these reasons, this ancient practice that dates back thousands of years is now experiencing a renaissance in our modern world as the mindfulness revolution.

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Mindful Living: An Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation

In this course, we will explore meditation and mindfulness practices that can be used everyday to help reduce stress, increase a sense of calm, clarity, and connection, and create greater contentment in our lives.  Each class will consist of a discussion of mindfulness tools and the developing research on the neuroscience of mindfulness, as well as group mindfulness practices.

“Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.”

― Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

Benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation include:

  • Increased attention, focus and concentration
  • Decreased levels of stress
  • Increased sense of calm, balance and equanimity
  • Improved mood
  • Greater ability to regulate emotions
  • Improved sleep patterns and overall sense of  wellbeing

Class Dates & Times:  Four week session begins February 26th.  Classes will  meet from 8 pm to 9:30 pm on Wednesdays, February 26, March 5, 12 and 19. Snow date will be March 26th.

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

To Register click here.

 

 

 

 

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The Art of Eating Mindfully

The Art of Eating Mindfully

by cheryl on November 7, 2013

in Healthy Living

As the holidays approach, our daylight hours shorten, and cool temperatures arrive, we find less opportunity to be outdoors and active, and more opportunity to be indoors, eating.  Here are some helpful tips to eat mindfully this holiday season —  to slow down, truly savor your food,  and enjoy some, but not too much, of the delicious fare that abounds in the coming months.

1. Are you really hungry?

There are many reasons why we grab a bite, often is it not hunger that is prompting us to eat.  For example, we use food to reward ourselves for a job well done, we snack to procrastinate or to delay doing something that we really do not want to do, we eat to relieve stress, we eat to cheer ourselves up when we are having a bad day, and we eat when we feel sleepy and want to re-energize ourselves.  It is important to take a moment before you reach for that cookie, and be aware of what you are actually feeling.  Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?”   You may need a brisk walk outside, a short nap, a hot cup of tea or a good talk with a friend, instead of a bite to eat.  Often food is not the answer to your craving, and although it may cause a temporary pleasure boost, if it isn’t hunger you are really feeling, food will not satisfy your needs.

2. Slow down

Who has time to eat a leisurely meal these days?  Eating quickly, however, can lead to overeating.  It takes the brain twenty minutes to register that the stomach is full.  If we eat quickly, we don’t give our brain time to register that we have filled our stomachs and we continue to eat while this neurotransmission is happening.  As a result,  we fill our stomachs way past full.  There are several ways to help you slow down.  One way is to use a fork and knife to eat, and put the fork down in between bites.  If you are eating a finger food, simply put the food down and take a pause in between bites.   Chew your food slowly and thoroughly, giving yourself the opportunity to savor the experience by being aware of the texture and taste in your mouth with each bite.

3. Pay attention

In today’s world, we pride ourselves in our ability to multitask.   Doing many things all at the same time, however, means that we are not doing any of those things with our full attention.  When we are eating while reading the paper, watching the news, catching up on our e-mails, or talking on the phone, we are not giving our food or our body’s signals our full attention. By paying attention to our food and the sensation of eating, we can gain a much greater appreciation of the taste, smell and texture of our food, as well as its appearance.  Taking the time to notice these things will make the experience that much more enjoyable and will become a much more satisfying experience.   As we improve the quality of our eating experience by paying attention, we lower our need to eat more because we feel satisfied with less.

4. Have a seat

We must give ourselves the opportunity to truly enjoy our food.  We can do this by sitting down to eat.  This will minimize that mindless snacking that often leads to overeating.  We should get in the habit of only eating when we are sitting down at the table.  This also allows us to give our food our full attention.  While sitting down, remember to chew your food slowly and savor each mouthful.  There is much greater satisfaction derived from our first few bites than from our last few bites, so make sure to sit and enjoy them.

5. Eat food that satisfies both your body and your mind

Everywhere we turn we find new information on what we should or should not be eating.  As a result, we may even chose to eat things that we don’t enjoy.  Satisfaction comes not just from being full, but also from enjoying the taste of what we are eating.  Without feeling satisfied, we tend to eat more.  So, enjoy a taste of what you love.  Just remember to indulge in moderation, and enjoy it guilt-free. Eating should be a joyous, pleasurable experience – so sit down, relax, take tour time and appreciate that delicious food you have in front of you.

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Sharon Salzberg returns to join 2bpresent for Lovingkindness in the Face of Adversity-November 13th

September 13, 2013

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 […]

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Be Where You Are

Be Where You Are September 2, 2013

A recent  New York Times article  and YouTube video I Forgot My Phone left me wondering, how much of life are we missing out on when we are constantly turning our attention to that little screen?  How often are we truly present where we are?  Our minds are usually taking us elsewhere — wandering back into our […]

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