How are you coping in the midst of all this chaos? This year has presented us with more than the usual number of reasons to be anxious, stressed, sad, or depressed. Now more than ever we need to remember our common humanity, and seek out opportunities to come together for support and to find peace. Remember, mindfulness and meditation practices have been helping people cope with chaos for thousands of years.

The holiday season has often been a challenging time for me, as it is for many people who may not enjoy close and loving relationships with their families, or who are grieving the loss of loved ones. This year may be especially worrisome for those who are wondering if they or their loved ones might be deported, or become the victim of a hate crime simply for practicing their religion.

So here are my tips for surviving the holidays:

    1) Limit your consumption, whether of alcohol, food, or material goods;  
    2) Put your anxious or angry energy into action by donating your time or money to help others who are suffering;  
    3) Make an extra effort to be kind, to yourself as well as others;  
    4) Take time to connect with friends and loved ones, preferably face-to-face; and  
    5) Spend some time alone, in quiet contemplation.

Meditation, specficially mindfulness meditation practice, has been one of MY most reliable means of finding peace in the midst of chaos. There are two meetings left this year for the Keeping Mindful drop-in meditation group: we meet in Dublin from 6:30 to 7:45 on Wednesday evenings, 12/14 and 12/28. Please join us if you can! (Call or email Rebecca for meeting location.)

The Winter – Spring 2017 schedule of mindfulness classes and groups is coming together. Here is a list of offerings so far (the schedule is also posted on the Contact page of this website):

In January, we’ll begin an 8-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) group in my Castro Valley office. This group will meet Wednesdays from 11 am to 12:30 pm. MBCT is a highly effective, scientifically validated approach that combines cognitive therapy principles with meditative practices to help relieve recurring anxiety, depression, and chronic worry. This group is best suited to adults who are not acutely depressed. For more information, or to register, click here.

Another 8-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) group will begin on March 30 in my Pleasanton office. This group will meet from 6:15 to 7:45 pm on Thursday evenings. This year for the first time I am offering an early registration discount for my groups. So if you are interested in an MBCT group, please note its deadline for early registration, you can save $75!

On Saturday, 1/28, I will conduct an introductory workshop on mindfulness at Las Positas College in Livermore. Beginning February 7, there will be a six-week Mindfulness for Beginners class at Las Positas, Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 9 pm. This is a great way to learn the basics of mindfulness and mindfulness meditation practice. To register for either the workshop or class series, go to Las Positas College Community Ed

And on Saturday, March 11, I’ll conduct the introductory mindfulness workshop at Chabot College in Hayward, followed by a four-week Mindfulness for Beginners class on Saturdays in April. To register for either the workshop or class series, go to Chabot College Community Ed

Additional workshops, groups, and classes may be offered, so keep checking the website, or if you have a specific request, fill out the form on the Contact page of this website. Thanks for reading, and may you be healthy and find peace in these chaotic times!