By Caleb Howard
Scioto County Candor
Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) is holding a mindful meditation series. This series will be held every Monday at 7 p.m. now through April 2nd. This series if free to any adult with a SOMC LIFE Center membership. Non-members are also welcome at $10 per session. Sessions will be held at SOMC LIFE Center in Portsmouth.
Meditation can be defined broadly as the practice of focusing one’s mind on a particular object, thought, or activity, with the end goal typically being mental clarity and/or emotional tranquility.
Mindful Meditation is a type of meditation that trains one’s mental focus on awareness, often times to achieve some form of enlightenment, and to strengthen the mind-body relationship.
Sessions will be held by Dr. Alexander Curtis, M.D., who was born and raised in Portsmouth. Curtis reached out to SOMC to set up this series in an attempt to encourage residents of the area to incorporate the practice into their daily lives. Sessions usually consist of about 20 – 40 participants. Over the phone, Dr. Curtis stated that he completed his studies for his medical degree by taking a mindful meditation course as the University of Massachusetts’ Center of Mindfulness. Curtis maintains a daily mindfulness practice and is prepared to help you develop your own.
Though many use mindful meditation for enlightenment, there is not one designated goal to this practice. Over the phone though, Dr. Curtis stated that his goal for this series is to encourage people to maintain their own mindful meditation practice of their own.
The mindful meditation sessions will take on the form of “sits,” which will consist of approximately 20 minutes of guided meditation, followed by approximately twenty minutes of voluntary discussion to reflect on the experience. Prior to each “sit” there will be a short calisthenics warm-up to help maintain stillness throughout the session. These sessions are for anyone 18 years of age or older who is curious about the mind-body relationship, is interested in developing the ability to maintain stillness, or who desires a better sense of self-assurance.
At the beginning of sessions, Curtis says three things about the post-meditation discussions; the discussions are completely voluntary; even if you know you won’t speak, please stay during the discussions. All discussions are expected to remain confidential.
Currently, the series is half-way over, having already held four of the eight total sessions scheduled. Dr. Curtis explained that anyone who is interested is welcome to come, and that no equipment (mats, etc) is necessary. Dr. Curtis also expressed that anyone interested may join. No prior sign-up is required, just arrive at the SOMC LIFE Center a few minutes prior to 7 p.m. on the Monday of your choosing now until April 2nd.