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 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 :: 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 Chair :: Debra Kilpatrick
Having just retired after 20 years as a college professor, I came to mindfulness meditation in 2017 after attending a meditation class at the Shrewsbury Senior Center. Our guide/teacher told us about the Monday night sit being offered by the Univ. MA. Medical School Center for Mindfulness at the old WFEB. I attended one sit and was taken by a wonderfully caring community. Since my first exposure to mindfulness meditation, I have chosen to embark on a journey of self-inquiry and energy healing. Our mindfulness community is now a part of that journey and I would like to help it continue by offering my services.
Board Vice 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.
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 Member :: Nancy Saal
I first heard about mindfulness in 1994. I started working at UMass Medical School in the Department of Behavioral Medicine and I had the privilege of talking the MBSR class twice. Jon Kabat-Zinn had an office down the hall from me, I had the opportunity to learn from him and took many of his workshops. Twenty-five years later, I continue to practice mindfulness as best I can. I believe mindfulness and meditation are an anchor to well-being and I would like to be a part of this important group to help pass on the message of mindfulness.
Board Member :: 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 :: 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."
"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."
"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."
"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.