by Donna Cain
Gena Bean and her husband Rick have been coming to our sister inn, Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa, for many years now to celebrate their anniversary. They were married at the inn many years ago and have fond memories of the caring innkeepers then, Bob and Joe, who made their special day even more memorable with their caring thoughts and lovable personalities.
I have always loved Gena from the moment I met her as she has the most contagious laugh and lovable personality. I just have to look at her, and I break out laughing. That is quiet a phenomena:) Over the past few years Gena has been telling us about a life practice called Mindfulness that she is passionate about, and it is for good reason, as the medical world has taken note of the proven heath benefits when we meditate daily.
What is Mindfulness you might ask? A simple answer is to be aware of yourself and mindful of the world around you. Gena is creating several programs to spread the word and to give everyone the tools to practice personal health, mindfulness and meditation techniques (Meditation Toolbox). We were ecstatic when she asked if she could use the Captain Freeman Inn for her summer program. She has offered our guests to join in on the hour and fifteen minute class at no charge. Shown below is a summary of each class with more information on Gena’s web site- www.mindfulboston.com
The Meditation Toolbox gives you a taste of what it means to meditate and is designed for people who are new to meditation and curious as to what it is all about.
The class will give an overview of meditation and mindfulness. Explore questions such as: “What kinds of meditations are there for me to try?” “Am I doing meditation right?” “How do I establish a foundational practice?” This course is a great place for any beginner to start.
Each class will include:
A short discussion with instructions on how to meditate
A meditation practice time between 20 and 30 minutes long
A wrap-up discussion
Dates and Individual Class Descriptions
July 13 – Exploring meditations that are based in the experience of your body. Includes discussion of stress reduction compared to relaxation.
July 20 – Exploring meditations that are based in the experience of your breath. We’ll also ask the question, what do we mean by the phrase “being present”?
July 27 – Meditations that include awareness of emotion. Plus we will discuss self-care in the face of strong emotion.
Aug 3 – Being aware of your thoughts themselves, as a meditation practice. Includes discussion of mind-racing.
Aug 10 – Awareness of our behaviors, and the impulses we have for change, growth, and attaining new levels of accomplishment.
Aug 17 – Will will discuss the meditative tools that have been used by humans throughout history for enhancing wisdom, even in the face of failure.
All classes are on Wednesdays from 1pm to 2:15pm at The Captain Freeman Inn.
About the teacher
Gena Bean is the founder and director of Mindful Boston, a meditation studio and community center that promotes mindfulness education. Since 2004, she has taught stress reduction techniques through lecture, class and retreat, in service to hundreds of individuals and numerous organizations. For more information, her bio is at mindfulboston.com/gena-bean-bio and general information about the Boston-area classes that she and her team offer is at MindfulBoston.com
During Gena’s recent stay I asked if we could interview her for more information to include in this blog. Our son Nathan was present and Gena’s asked him to be a part of the questions.
Nathan asked, ” What got you started with meditation?”
Gena’s response, “The first time I meditated was in 1986, as an unhappy teenager. The adults in my life were not giving me good answers for the questions I had, so I turned to what was available at the time, including budhists, new age groups and later Kripalu in 1988, which is a wonderful health and yoga center in the Berkshires. It’s been a long journey and now 30 years later, I have a wonderful toolbox to help myself, and I want to share that with other”
Nathan said, “It’s almost like a carpenter having a wonderful toolbox to make beautiful furniture.”
Gena- “Yes, it’s like if you can’t find the perfect piece of furniture that you are looking for, and you don’t have the proper skills to build it, you could go to an experienced carpenter and ask to be his apprentice were you can gather your own toolbox to make that perfect piece of furniture that you wanted. It’s like learning how to hammer a nail. When you first start you keep missing the nail. You go home and continue to practice. If you practice hammering every day you’ll eventually be really good at the “nail thing”” 🙂 🙂 (Gena humor)
As we were talking with Gena I was “mindful” of how I recently noticed that my baked goods come out so much better when I slow down my thoughts and am present with the food. Gena just laughed and said “oh Donna, that’s another whole blog topic” Laughing aside, I really do feel that when I slow down, am in the moment, and enjoy the process of baking and cooking, everything comes out better! And I feel so much better as well.
We are so excited to have Gena with us this summer and for all the readers that are staying at Brewster by the Sea and Captain Freeman during the class times shown above, look forward to having you present- no pun intended!
Thanks Gena for sharing your laughter, smiles and life skills with us.