MIND, BRAIN & MEDITATION: Insights from the Nervous System — A Four-Part On-demand Online Workshop

A FOUR-PART ONLINE WORKSHOP

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Teacher: Cornelia Santschi, PhD

On-demand access: Access for each video starts at 1pm each Thursday, October 1, 8, 15, and 22 on our YouTube Channel, available 24/7. Access to all videos will end on October 29.

Length: 50 minute sessions

Platform: NCMC YouTube Channel

FEE SCALE

Individual fee: $40 for access to series

Group rate: $100 for access to series

Purchase series: $150 to own files and reuse (not for resale or distribution). NOTE: Allow two weeks from course end to receive the files.

Level: No background skills or knowledge necessary.

Summary In this series of on-demand video sessions, neuropsychologist and meditation teacher Cornelia Santschi will guide you in an exploration of the brain, mind, and nervous system to show you the potential that mindfulness and meditation can bring to reduce stress and heighten our empathic nature. Includes talks, guided meditations, practice exercises, and opportunity for questions to be answered. (Individual students or group representative can submit questions via an online form and receive a collective audio-file response from the teacher.)

SESSION TOPICS

Session 1: FOUNDATIONS – Using the Mind to Change the Brain | Oct. 1, avail. for 7 days.
Session 2: FIGHT, FLIGHT, FREEZE – Polyvagal Theory and Self-Regulation | Oct. 8, avail. for 7 days.
Session 3: AWARENESS IN THE BRAIN – The Neural Circuits of Mindfulness | Oct. 15, avail. for 7 days.
Session 4: UPPER REACHES OF HUMAN POTENTIAL – Compassion, Kindness, and Empathy | Oct. 22, avail. for 7 days.

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Teacher Bio-note
Cornelia Santschi, PhD is a graduate of the Community Dharma Leader Program through Spirit Rock and Insight Meditation Society and is now an insight meditation teacher. She has been a vipassana (insight) meditator and dedicated student of Buddhist psychology for over 15 years. She is the director of Neuropsychology at the Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery in NJ, and founder/director of Anatta World Health & Education Outreach, a grassroots non-profit that creates and supports medical and educational programs in developing countries. Cornelia, co-founder of NCMC, also serves as the Lead Insight Meditation Teacher and MBSR Coordinator with them.


A fee-based program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture.


Our New Sign is Up!

Our sign is finally put up in the front lawn of 2 Park Place that houses our Center! Some day soon we’ll be able to start in-person practice together again. Thank you to Newark Community Cycling Center for moving their sign and helping us to put up ours — certainly “sharing the road.”


Moyo Kazi QIGONG for Beginners: A Downtown Outdoor Workshop on Tuesday, October 13

VISITING TEACHER
Mfundishi Khalil Maasi

Tuesday, October 13 (Rain date Oct. 20)
3:00 to 4:30 pm
Church Back Lawn (608 Broad St.),
across the street from NCMC (2 Park Place).

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NCMC is providing this beginners workshop in Newark to introduce the community to the gentle, powerful practice of Qigong that is especially helpful in this uniquely stressful time effecting the physical and mental health of many.

Participants will be led by Khalil in these Moyo Kazi Qigong exercises and standing meditations. The goal of this practice is to heal and strengthen the body, improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, strengthen the immune system, reduce stress, and bring the practitioner to a state of mindfulness and calm.

These exercises will be simple and easy to do by participants of all ages who have basic physical mobility. These standing exercises are no impact and do not require physical interaction. Youths are welcome to attend. Beginning to intermediate level.

Suggested Donation: $5

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Social Distancing:
All guidelines will be in effect if and as required.


Teacher Bio-note
Mfundishi Khalil Maasi is the son and a senior student of legendary meditation and martial arts Grandmaster Shaha Mfundishi Maasi. He now teaches his father’s system of mindfulness and internal martial science, Moyo Kazi AKA Dikitisa Ngolo, an integrated system of Qigong and Mindfulness Meditation that he developed from over 50 years of study of various internal martial traditions. You can go to their site for more information about the practice.


A donation-based program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture in cooperation with Trinity & St. Philip’s Cathedral.


Tools for Wellness Month in August

To support your wellness plans for Wellness Month of August 2020 we put together an article Seven Dimensions of Wellness in a Nutshell. Corresponding to this we are offering a few complimentary tools to help you along your path to holistic wellness:

1. We’ve prepared a digital Wellness Month Calendar that you can either download the fillable PDF or print it and jot down your plan. An empty calendar can be intimidating, but it can also free you to thoughtfully consider your wellness plan without limitations! Truly think about the 7 Dimensions of Wellness and what beneficial changes you can implement in the month of August that you can then sustain and build on in the future. 

2. Also check out the Sample Daily Wellness Plan Calendar we prepared that might inspire you. We chose a plan to practice just one dimension of wellness a day for each of the 7 days of week. You might also prefer to plan daily, weekly, or monthly practices to develop good routines along with exploring one time practices such as shown.

3. On NCMC’s YouTube Channel  there’s free access to all our Video Teachings to use for your Wellness Month. They include beginner’s meditation, chair yoga, gentle qigong, guidance in walking meditation, mindfulness tips, and more. 

4. If you’d like to discuss anything about your wellness plan we can offer a one-time free 15 minute phone consultation through August 15th in wellness areas that we are skilled in. These include health and wellness, spirituality, mindfulness based stress reduction, stress resilience practice, loving-kindness meditation, Insight Meditation, and Medicine Meditation. Contact us at info@newarkmeditation.org.


If these tools, tips, and teachings we’ve compiled are helpful to you, would you consider making a small donation to Newark Center for Meditative Culture? We are a New Jersey 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your tax-deductible donations make it possible for us to continue delivering life-changing programs to the Greater Newark community and beyond.


The 7 Dimensions of Wellness in a Nutshell

August is Wellness Month and we’ve put together an overview of the 7 Dimensions of Wellness.

Consider designing your own wellness program for August with good planning and a goal to sustain and build on it!

We’ve also provided a fillable Wellness Month Calendar that you can print out to use and we created a month of daily suggestions to inspire you. There’s other tools described available for your use that might help too.

What are a few of the dimensions below that you might like to work on? How can you apply changes successfully on a daily or weekly basis in order to make a habit of them?


1. PHYSICAL WELLNESS

Move more and eat better.

Tips and suggestions:

• Exercise daily.
• Control your meal portions.
• Eat healthy foods/avoid processed and junk foods.
• Get adequate rest.
• Protect yourself against injuries.
• Learn to recognize early signs of illness.
• Use alcohol in moderation or not at all.
• Stop smoking and protect yourself from second-hand smoke.

Without physical health, it is more difficult to be mentally and emotionally healthy, so the two key components are to exercise and eat well. Improving physical wellness involves personal responsibility and often leads to the psychological benefits of enhanced self-esteem, self-control, determination, and a sense of purpose.

Another important element — we think very important in your wellness practice — is to use mindfulness to manage your compulsions and obsessions that drive bad habits. In fact, if you can’t necessarily add good behaviors during Wellness Month, start by mindfully trying to remove bad behaviors.


2. EMOTIONAL WELLNESS

Develop mindfulness and optimism skills.

Tips and suggestions:

• Tune-in to your thoughts and feelings.
• Cultivate an optimistic attitude.
• Seek and provide support.
• Learn time management skills.
• Learn meditation and mindfulness techniques.
• Learn stress management techniques.
• Deal with anger constructively.
• Accept and forgive yourself.

Emotional wellness is by nature a dynamic state that fluctuates along with your other six dimensions of wellness. It is important to develop a positive outlook on life and surround ourselves with positive people. Uniquely, time management is an important factor of emotional wellness, allowing time for ourselves and minimizing stress-induced situations.

Practicing mindfulness helps to really be present in the moment so you don’t jump onto the wrong emotional train. Expressing your feelings of love, gratitude, and other positive feelings can help alleviate alienation. During Wellness Month you might pick just a few negative habits to weaken, using your own daily prayers to reinforce your efforts.


3. INTELLECTUAL WELLNESS

Stimulate and inspire your brain.

Tips and suggestions:

• Take a course or workshop.
• Teach others.
• Learn or perfect a foreign language.
• Seek out people who challenge you intellectually.
• Read books and watch more educational programs.
• Attend museums, exhibits, and theater.
• Travel and explore other cultures.

The intellectual dimension encourages learning, growth, and creativity. An active and open mind leads to a life filled with curiosity, passion, and purpose. Just as our bodies need motivation and exercise, so too our minds. If we are not intellectually stimulated, life can be mundane and this can lead to depression and resentment.

Tied to our emotional wellness, it is easy to compare and judge ourselves if we don’t feel intellectually competent or aren’t comfortable with and made peace with our own capacity. To ensure our personal maximum intellectual wellness we can take advantages of available resources to find new hobbies, read, take a course — simply keep learning!


4. SOCIAL WELLNESS

Cultivate friendships and contribute to community.

Tips and suggestions:

• Cultivate healthy relationships.
• Contact old friends and make new friends.
• Get involved.
• Contribute to your community.
• Share your talents and skills.
• Communicate your thoughts, feelings and ideas.

Personal connections contribute to a long and fulfilling life — whether they are family, friends, community groups, or even global connections. When you nurture relationships you create healthy support networks, contribute to the greater good, and builds a sense of belonging.

This means practicing good communication skills and developing intimacy with others. Social wellness also includes showing respect for others as well as yourself. An active social life can be incredibly stimulating and conducive to positive changes in all seven dimensions of wellness.


5. SPIRITUAL WELLNESS

Nourish your soul and open your heart.

Tips and suggestions:

• Explore your spiritual core.
• Spend time alone to reflect.
• Meditate regularly.
• Take pauses to pay attention to your breath.
• Be inquisitive and curious.
• Try to be fully present in all you do.
• Listen with your heart and live by your principles.
• Allow yourself and those around you the freedom to be who they are.
• See opportunities for growth in the challenges life brings you.

When we develop a set of guiding beliefs and principles it gives a sense of meaning and purpose to our life. Keeping an open mind in a spirit-centered life may bring up thoughts of despair, fear, and doubt as we grow, but out of it can come joy, happiness, and wisdom.

It is important to spend quiet time each day, reflecting or meditating, or simply pausing to take a few minutes to breathe properly. Spiritual wellness includes developing a deep appreciation for the depth and expanse of life and natural forces of the universe.


6. ENVIRONMENTAL WELLNESS

Love and care for the planet.

Tips and suggestions:

• Stop your junk mail.
• Conserve water and other resources.
• Minimize chemical use.
• Reduce, reuse, recycle.
• Rethink your living space.

To be environmentally well we need to be aware of the delicate state of the earth and the effects our daily habits have on the physical world. When we help to take responsibility for the health of the planet we can bring a sense of accomplishment and well-being into our own life.

It is also important to be aware of our home environment — how the materials and objects we choose to surround us have an effect on environmental wellness. The more we get out into nature mindfully the more we will understand this. We need to remember that we are an integral part of the environment and that caring for the environment is self-care.


7. VOCATIONAL WELLNESS

Use and give your skills.

Tips and suggestions:

• Explore a variety of vocation options.
• Create a vision for your future.
• Choose a career that suits your personality, interests and talents.
• Be open to change and learn new skills.
• Balance work with life.
• Learn to budget your lifestyle with your vocation compensation.
• Use unemployment or retirement to hone your skills or develop new ones.
• Volunteer your vocational skills if you aren’t fulfilled at work.

This dimension of wellness focuses on enriching your life and that of others by sharing your special gifts, skills, and talents. Our job may not fulfill us, we may be unemployed or retired, but there are always ways to use our skills, knowledge, and passion in other meaningful ways to serve our family and society, and to enhance our self-esteem.

Vocational wellness also involves preparing, planning, and creating a positive attitude to reshape your personal goals at work. Whether through work, parenting, or volunteering, you can make a strong impact and reap the health benefits of adding purpose to your life.

Are you inspired yet? Ready to fill out your Wellness Calendar? Let’s get started together!


If these tools, tips, and teachings we’ve compiled are helpful to you, would you consider making a small donation to Newark Center for Meditative Culture? We are a New Jersey 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your tax-deductible donations make it possible for us to continue delivering life-changing programs to the Greater Newark community and beyond.

 


Planning for August Wellness Month with The 7 Dimensions of Wellness

When we consider wellness we often think primarily of physical health. But wellness is much more than that. Wellness is the multi-dimensional development and maintenance of seven aspects of life — that of the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, environmental, and vocational dimensions. Rather than being seen as separate entities, these seven aspects can be viewed as an interconnected platform upon which wellness can be nurtured and balanced.

At this moment in time we’re all taxed and challenged by a broad range of problems that can have quite a “domino” on our overall wellness, especially in regard to mental health. How do we deal with it? This can be seen as multi-dimensional, too. We can improve our wellness through our own efforts, the efforts of our families and friends, through professional support, and within different settings such as at home, work, and play.

August is Wellness Month. In preparation, we can consider all seven aspects and work on creating and strengthening good habits — while weakening bad ones. We can start by accepting our inner and outer circumstances as they are — and work to reshape our wellness and our healing, together! This can be accomplished in a good-natured, pleasant, self-respectful (not self-punishing) way.

It will be up to you to design your plan and institute your changes. We’ll help you prepare by sharing information on the Seven Dimensions of Wellness. Here is the breakdown for you:

1. Physical Wellness • Move more and eat better.
2. Emotional Wellness • Develop mindfulness and optimism skills.
3. Intellectual Wellness • Stimulate and inspire your brain.
4. Social Wellness • Cultivate friendships and contribute to community.
5. Spiritual Wellness • Nourish your soul and open your heart.
6. Environmental Wellness • Love and care for the planet.
7. Vocational Wellness • Use and give your skills.

What are a few of these seven dimensions that you’d like to work on? How can you apply changes successfully on a daily or weekly basis in order to make a habit of them? Let’s get started together!

One way to start is go to our article The 7 Dimensions of Wellness in a Nutshell for more details about the seven dimensions.


Yoga-Meditation Course: 7 Chakras — Meditation, Mantras & Movement

An online yoga-meditation course where we’ll talk about each chakra, meditate on it, and move through it. Beginner to intermediate students.

Taught by ELLA MONCUR

STARTS MONDAY, AUGUST 10TH
OPTIONAL: Attend 4, 5, or 6 Sessions

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Dates Mondays, August 10, 17, 24, 31 & September 14, 21

Time 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Platform: NCMC ZOOM

Fee Scale: $45 for 4, $50 for 5, $55 for 6

Supplies Needed Please use a yoga mat. Have water available. No need to wear yoga clothes if you don’t have. Instead wear loose or stretchy pants (not jeans).

Objective Talk about each chakra, meditate on it, and move through it.

Course Each session will open with an overview and discussion of the energy center of focus, followed by an active yoga flow specifically geared to asanas that will help to open these centers, and ending with a healing meditation using vibrational sound music specific to each chakra as well as a mantra used as the centering thought for the meditation.

Curriculum

Week 1 ROOT CHAKRA has a direct correlation to our adrenal glands. This chakra is all about our physical identity, safety and security and ability to ground.

Week 2 SACRAL CHAKRA is associated with orange and has a direct correlation to the gonads, testes and ovaries. It is all about creativity, how we navigate through our personal relationships and intimacy.

Week 3 SOLAR PLEXUS has a direct correlation to digestion, the pancreas and liver. It is about our personal power, will power, self-esteem, mental focus and sense of belonging and purpose.

Week 4 HEART CHAKRA is correlated to our immune system and systemic allergies. It is about our ability to trust, forgive, love, and patience and compassion for all living.

Week 5 THROAT CHAKRA is correlated to our thyroid, ears, sinus, allergies. It relates to self-expression, communication and ability to live and speak our truth.

Week 6 THIRD EYE & CROWN CHAKRA Our Third Eye is about connection to our intuition and guidance to live in alignment with our higher self. The Crown Chakra is the absolute knowing, connection to spirituality, integration of oneness.

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Teacher Bio-Note
Ella Moncur is a Registered Nurse, Health and Fitness Coach, Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor, and Holistic Practitioner. She is the owner and founder of Just Be Holistic Health & Wellness https://www.justbenlh.com/ and is a Guest Instructor with NCMC.


A fee-based program of Newark Center for Meditative Culture a New Jersey 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


31 New Video Teachings Ready for Your Viewing

In the past few months we’ve produced 31 videos to serve the community during social distancing. They include guided meditations, qigong, yoga, and mindfulness sessions ranging from 15 minutes to 1 hour. Please check them out on NCMC’s YouTube Channel. (Shown, a silent video clip with teacher Ib’nallah Kazi from a couple years ago.)

 


Our First Grant Received: Funding of 33 Online Sessions

Newark Center for Meditative Culture (NCMC) received our very first grant as a 501c3 non-profit organization in early April from the Victoria Foundation Fund and the Thrive Neighborhood Initiative Fund in partnership with the Greater Newark LISC. Part of the funding was allocated to assist with online meditation workshops and sessions due to the covid19 emergency. A portion was to support online workshops specifically in two neighborhoods of Newark, but viewership broadened in scope.
NCMC is grateful for the opportunity provided us by the leaders of these organizations to be able to serve the community virtually in this difficult time we are in.
The sponsorship enabled us to provide two 2-part qigong workshops, two 2-part yoga workshops, one 8-part guided meditation in spanish, two 4-part guided meditation series, and one 3-part meditation series. As well, we produced six online community self-care mindfulness workshops. These online sessions were also used to support Newark’s Be Still Monday initiative.
In total there were 31 videos (of 33 sessions produced) ranging from about 15-60 minutes each. You can see our developing video library on NCMC’s YouTube Channel.