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Meditation retreat to de-stress
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If you’ve got too much stress in your life, consider taking a break this week.

There will be a Mindfulness Meditation Retreat on Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Wetlands Center in J.F. Gregory Park hosted by the Richmond Hill Family Counseling Center.

The retreat will feature Ruth Fishel, a therapist, meditation teacher, retreat leader and nationally known author and presenter, as she provides attendees with a variety of meditation techniques. Family Counseling Center owner and therapist Karla Hillen said the retreat is for people who have, or have never, meditated before.

"We never give ourselves enough time and we all battle with anxiety and stress and depression," Hillen said. "I know this can help people. It’s not easy but it’s simple to do. This will teach people how to live in the moment. If you’re able to do that, you can handle anything that comes your way."

Hillen said she recently read a study that found in women who meditate, there was a 66 percent decrease in stress levels. After eight weeks of meditating, Hillen said people should find they are better oriented and more organized and focused.

"We all have such chaotic lives and sleeping disorders are commonplace these days," Hillen said. "You can use meditation tools to help."

Hillen said Fishel will likely lead participants through four different types of meditation during the program.

"I met Ruth in the early 1990s and the skills she’s taught me are life skills that I’ve been able to use with my family, my work – with everyone," Hillen said. "She is an empathic and calming, giving and nurturing person. She has always said ‘teach what you want to learn’ and I wanted to bring her here to share her knowledge and techniques with the community."

Fishel said she hopes retreat attendees will come away with the ability to "find inner peace in a stressful world."

"With simple techniques such as meditation, journaling, affirmations and other spiritual exercises, people will learn and practice wonderful skills for living a peace-filled, joy-filled and love-filled life," Fishel said.

Registration for the retreat will begin at 9 a.m. The cost is $50 but Hillen said she does not want to hold anyone back if they cannot pay. Continental breakfast and an afternoon snack will be provided; people may bring a bag lunch if they wish. Call Hillen at 756-7505 or 596-2363 for more information.

Fishel has written more than 10 books and her latest, Peace in our Hearts, Peace in the World, is due out in October. She is the co-creator of Spirithaven of Cape Cod, Mass.

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