Awash in Mellowness on Monday Morning

Lisa Fernandez Wins Tension Dissolving Meditation Showdown at CBN/RI Senior Center

David Stone
Prafulla, right, prepares us for mindfulness meditation.
Prafulla, right, prepares us for mindfulness meditation.
Photo by Yulisa Santana

"I need it," Roosevelt Island Senior Center Director Lisa Fernandez sighed as she settled into a chair next to me. The circular grouping we joined was made up of people eager to take advantage of Prafulla's Mindfulness Mediation Class. I'd challenged Lisa, but it became immediately apparent she had an insurmountable advantage.

As Prafulla led us through a series of warm up exercises intended to put us in a relaxed frame that would make meditation to come more beneficial, my hopes for out-meditating Lisa were dashed.

"I need it," Lisa'd said.

But I didn't.

A daily meditator for over a decade - like Marianne Williamson, I'd sooner skip my shower as my meditation - I'd already spent a good half-hour easing my neocortex into an extreme comfort zone.

Lisa had so much farther to go. I'd have to go all the way to Nirvana to compete, and I didn't even have a map. No GPS goes there.

I decided to make the best of it.

As I told Prafulla, my goal was to learn some new things that will make my future meditations richer. She didn't disappoint.

Massaging your own scalp can get you in the groove.
Massaging your own scalp can get you in the groove.
Photo by Yulisa Santana

Experts routinely advise getting "in the mood" before starting a mediation session, that is, go in calmly. Otherwise, you might spend excess time just getting a focus, getting the inevitable daily distractions out of your head.

Normally, that's no problem for me. I meditate very early, before the daily grind knows I'm there and starts messing with me.

But I've always wished I could have the same pleasurable experience later in the day. Sometimes, you really need it and that wine bottle is hours away, waiting at home.

What I picked up from a session with Prafulla is a handful of tricks that send the blues and frustrations out of sight and mind. Some were simple breathing techniques; some, physical gestures that signal your brain to lighten up.

When we finished our pleasantly productive time with Prafulla, Lisa and I were in similar mellow internal universes.

I had a head start, but Lisa caught up. And Prafulla taught a veteran - I'm tempted to say 'old dog" - new tricks.

I bet she can do it for your.

Grab your opportunity to add another peaceful space to our world. Join Prafulla and her group, any Monday at 9:30, in the Senior Center, 546 Main Street.


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