Once again, the past year presented us with more than the usual number of reasons to be anxious, stressed, sad, or depressed. Which is why now more than ever we need to remember our common humanity, and seek out opportunities to come together for support and to find peace. As I like to remind everyone, mindfulness and meditation practices have been helping people cope with chaos and uncertainty for thousands of years!

On Thursday, January 10, you are invited to a free orientation to Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) in Pleasanton, from 6 – 7 pm. Rebecca Stanwyck will explain what happens in an MBCT course, introduce some simple mindfulness practices, and answer questions in an informal setting. Find out why MBCT has become the most empirically well-validated psychological treatment with a meditation basis. And get a $75 discount off the course fee for registering before 1/17/19.

The next Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy course begins January 24. MBCT is designed for the relief of recurring anxiety, depression, and/or chronic worry. This is a small group, limited to 8 adults who will meet for 8 weeks (Thursdays 6 – 8 pm, from January 24 through March 21, skipping Feb 14) in Rebecca’s Pleasanton office. We follow a set curriculum, which is scientifically validated and evidence-based, and taught in a secular way, yet grounded in ancient Buddhist philosophy. Participants will be given a workbook and 2 CDs with guided meditations. Home practice between sessions is expected. For more info or to register: http://rebeccastanwyck.com/mbct/

On Saturday, February 23, a new Mindfulness for Beginners class in San Leandro will start, with an Introductory Workshop from 10 am – 1 pm. Find out what mindfulness is, and is not. Learn how it can be used to improve focus and concentration, increase happiness, treat stress and stress-related illness, relieve anxiety and chronic pain, and prevent relapses in addiction and depression.

Then, on the next 4 Wednesday evenings (March 6 – 27, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm) learn how to apply mindfulness for the specific issues in your life. Participants will learn a variety of mindfulness and meditation practices, and are expected to do home practice between classes, using a CD with guided meditations, for while mindfulness and meditation are not difficult to do, like most things worth learning, they require consistent practice for mastery.

The introductory workshop can be taken as a stand-alone class. To register for just the workshop, or the whole 5-session class, go to http://rebeccastanwyck.com/mindfulness-classes/

The Keeping Mindful drop-in meditation group will continue to meet monthly in my Pleasanton office, on the second Tuesday. This group originally formed as an “alumni” group for people who have taken a mindfulness class with me, however any adult with an interest in mindfulness meditation is welcome – no prior experience necessary. Each class will include a 20 – 30 minute guided meditation practice (with basic instruction given for anyone new to meditation), a short presentation on a topic related to mindfulness, and group discussion about applying mindfulness to daily life. Your ideas for discussion topics are most welcome!

Dates for 2019 so far are 1/8, 2/12, 3/12, and 4/9. Time 6:30 – 7:45 pm. For more info: http://www.mindfulness-eastbay.com/group-classes/mindfulnessmeditation/

If you don’t see the class or group you’re looking for, please contact me – I may already have a list of people interested in that class, or it may inspire me to start a new one. As always, thanks for reading, and may you be safe, healthy and find peace in these uncertain times!