Chris Ward, who has been practicing meditation for some 40 years, will teach the Meditation class. He will teach the Easwaran method of meditation, known also as Passage Meditation, which consists of “silent repetition of memorized inspirational passages from the world’s major religions and spiritual traditions” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eknath_Easwaran). As a young man, Eknath Easwaran, met Gandhi and was influenced by him; he founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in northern California in 1961 (Wikipedia). Because meditation has been a very important part of his life, our instructor attends the retreats at the Blue Mountain
Retreat Center in Tomales Bay.
People have been meditating for thousands of years. In some form or another meditation is part of every religion. In recent years, meditations derived from Buddhism have become a large part of the secular world; people strive to obtain calmness and a healthful lifestyle. Spirituality, which is unattached to any specific religion, exemplifies the need for a human connection to a higher intelligence. About 15 years of scientific research has shown that meditation produces significant changes in both the function and structure of the brain. Scientists are learning that meditation has an impact on biological processes essential for physical health. In the journal Neurology Now, published by the Academy of Neurology, the article “Meditation as Medicine” tells us, “Studies show that meditation can increase attention span, sharpen focus, improve memory, and dull the perception of pain.” Passage Meditation is listed among others in this article as a method used to achieve these results.
If you want to improve your focus, ease stress, and promote a healthy mind-body relationship, start to meditate. Chris Ward will teach you how.
What were the politics when Jesse Owens competed in the 1936 Olympics in
Berlin? What were the factors allowing “Eddie the Eagle,” a skiing neophyte, to participate the 1988 Calgary Winter games? Recent movies shed light on both stories, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg in Jane Adair’s Summer Olympics class. She returns to teach this class for a sixth time.
The first several meetings will be devoted to the fascinating history and political climate of the Olympics. When this year’s games begin August 5 in Rio de Janeiro, the class will enjoy some of the best Olympic events as a group. Attendees can also expect discussions with local experts including a CSULB trainer who specializes in athletes and nutrition. In past years, others “in the know” have shared their experiences. One was a security team member from the ’84 games that were held in Los Angeles.
Jane brings an extensive educational background to a topic she clearly loves. After her tenure as a sports reporter for her high school in Syracuse, New York, she attended Mt. Holyoke and later Temple University to earn her Ph.D. in sports psychology. Her doctoral dissertation addressed “flow,” or altered states of consciousness. The objective was to explore how top athletes and dancers employ mindfulness and meditation-like techniques. These elements enhance concentration at critical moments. Jane was far ahead of her time in this field. It later included contributions from the likes of the Lakers’ “Zen Master,” Phil Jackson.
When Dr. Adair relocated to Long Beach she taught full-time at Poly High. She also taught part-time at CSULB, presenting classes such as Women in Sports and Sports History. Since retiring, Jane has taken OLLI’s Shakespeare and travel classes. She has also taught a mindfulness class called Present Moment.
You are invited to “go for gold” and sign up for Summer Olympics. It promises to be an exciting educational and fun adventure!