Silence. Not even a pin drop could disturb Tom Notarianni’s mind-centered meditation classes at Harbour’s Edge.
“Ommmm …” students around the room repeat after their spiritual teacher and mentor, Notarianni. Their minds are in complete relaxation, letting go of all negative feelings that life may have brought their way.
Meditation is a fairly new concept in America, with only eight percent of the population participating in it. But the benefits can be life-altering. According to research by Johns Hopkins University, meditation can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression and pain.
“Happiness is not a state of life; it’s a state of mind,” Notarianni said. “I’m here to teach the residents to let go of any suffering and hurt feelings. As we grow older, it’s important to concentrate on ourselves and grow with the changes in life.”
Residents say they’ve seen many positive changes in their lives since beginning the meditation classes. They can let go of anxieties and thoughts that used to bother them.
“We wanted to find new ways to help our residents through life’s challenges,” explained Harbour’s Edge Director of Human Resources Renee Forte. “We’re learning to remove bad feelings and evaluate every situation without judgment. We’re becoming more respectful of ourselves and others.”
The students practice Satsang Meditation – a form of relaxation that focuses on breathing. It consists of a teaching and interactive discussion period followed by a guided meditation practice.
The classes have become so popular that team leaders at the community took notice and launched their own mind-centered meditation classes this year.
“These sessions really help us assess life situations and then embrace all levels of feelings and emotions to manage relationships with compassion,” Renee noted.
(In the photo: Instructor Tom Notarianni and peaceful-minded residents at Harbour’s Edge following a recent meditation class.)