About Us

Mindfulness Practice Center grew out of a weekly evening drop-in meditation held at the UMass Center for Mindfulness.  As they were closing their doors, the community wanted to continue our gatherings, exploring topics over weeks and sometimes months of open sharing and practice.  So we've created our own non-profit -- genuinely non-profit -- in the interest of sharing mindfulness and continuing to build our welcoming community.

Come join us some Monday evening to see what it's like, there is no obligation and our sits are completely free to the public.


MPC provides an inclusive, diverse, and supportive environment for the practice of mindfulness meditation and exploration of topics that give rise to greater awareness, compassion, and well-being.


MPC is entirely volunteer driven, giving back to the community with their personal time, care, and intention to explore life.  Here are a few of the folks contributing to the group.


Board Member :: Pam Archer

Bio Pending!


Board Member :: Robin Benoit

I have been meditating for about five years and completed the MSBR class through UMASS in the fall of 2018. I really enjoy being a part of this mindful community and getting together with others on Monday evenings to meditate and discuss different topics. By being involved in this community, I appreciate the opportunity and time set aside to work on being more present in my daily life.


Board Member :: Jeff Comeau

Bio Pending!


Board Vice Chair :: Jim Keefe

Bio pending!


Board Chair :: Ken Knoblock

With all of the conflict in the world today over religion, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in religion at Harvard University where I focused on Buddhism and took several courses related to mindfulness meditation. One course was devoted to secular mindfulness and I subsequently wrote my master’s thesis on the use of secular mindfulness in public education. I currently work at Harvard as a financial systems specialist where I developed and taught an eight week class on secular mindfulness to Harvard staff members – I believe it can save the world.


Board Member :: Beth Magner

I appreciate being on the board to work together to bring to others the gift I have received in the Monday night meditation teachings. I am passionate about empowering others and myself to make the world better place.


Board Member :: Beverly Mazza

Bev is grateful to be part of the MPC community and really enjoys learning from others as she continues to grow in her own mindfulness practice. She has completed the MBSR course at UMASS. She is a registered nurse, who incorporates mindful practices into her everyday interactions with patients, and enjoys introducing mindfulness to others.

Photo by Tony Maciag
Photo by Tony Maciag

Executive Director :: Ted Meissner

Ted Meissner created the UMass Medical School Center for Mindfulness MBSR live online program, is a Certified MBSR Teacher, and has been teaching mindfulness for over twenty years. He is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science, has been published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, Mindful, and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He mentors MBSR teachers, teaches Masterclasses for Oxford Mindfulness Centre, and is the Executive Director of Mindfulness Practice Center.


Board Member :: Robin Owens

I like to serving on the board because this group is very helpful to me and many others and I want to make sure it continues to survive and grow. I have a very broad background: I am a veteran, my education is in corporate finance, and I ended my career teaching math for 12 years to innercity high school students.


Board Treasurer :: Debashis "Deba" Sengupta

For me, embracing mindfulness and meditation has been realizing how far I have drifted along the artificial life path, away from how life is supposed to be. At that very time, finding and being a part of our Monday evening community in Shrewsbury have been a comfort for my heart and soul. Out here, sharing, giving, receiving to make all our hearts and soul healthy is a natural objective shared by all of us. I would like to strengthen this bond with my friends here.


Board Secretary :: Debbie Wiggin

I have been interested in meditation and mindfulness since my 30’s.  When I later became employed at UMass Medical School I took a few of the courses offered at the Center for Mindfulness - the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course; a course for employees to reduce stress in the workplace; and the facilitator program. Meditation and the practice of mindfulness has helped me in my career as an accountant; it has helped keep me grounded in life and relationships; and will hopefully help as I transition into retirement.


Board Member :: Carole Williamson

Carole is excited to be a part of the vibrant and supportive MPC community and loves to connect with and learn from others, on the weekly zoom sessions. She has 20+ years of corporate HR experience designing and delivering benefits to support employee health and well-being and has completed the MBSR class at UMass. Inspired by the positive impact of mindfulness practices on her own life, Carole has completed the Mindful Leader Certified Workplace Mindfulness Facilitator program and enjoys guiding meditations in the workplace.

Sharing from the group

We asked, "What does mindfulness mean to you?" Here's what some members of our community shared.

"It is a time for me to rest my mind, concentrating on breathing and slowing down, so I can sort out how I truly feel about something. It is also something kind that I do for me."

-- B.

"Meditation increases my sense of ‘aliveness’ and connection. Practicing mindfulness has directly improved my parenting, medical practice, teaching and personal resilience. Working to truly see things as they are, not more or less, is risky difficult work and I appreciate the community which has developed around mindfulness these last years."

-- Anamaria

"Before I started to attend Mindfulness sessions, I was working a very stressful job. The stress caused physical problems. I have been attending Mindfulness sessions for a while now. The physical issues have gone away. I attribute this to attending Mindfulness sessions. I am much more relaxed now."

-- Linda

"Mindfulness has helped declutter my mind and compassionately appreciate life with all its bounties. Instead of continuing in the circle of identifying and solving problems, it enables me to see life's inherent enigma and ourselves in this evolving universe."

-- Deba S.