The Senior Sleuth column is published every two weeks.

"This is the column you are building!" Paraphrasing a popular TV personality, that's what I told the free meditation group at Evergreen Bank in Brookings (4andndash;5:15 p.m., every Sunday, led by Robin Sutherland). Robin's Crescent City meeting is every Saturday, 10andndash;11:15 a.m. at Beachfront Yoga, 625 2nd St. She teaches Mindfulness Meditation, Shamatha/Vipassana.

Meditation is a massive subject, enormously effective, and I'm sure many of you know a lot more about it than I do. Please let me know. Let's start a dialogue.

Years ago, I was exposed to Transcendental Meditation lessons, which were quite expensive. As I recall, the price was a bit of a turnoff. These days, meditation practice is much more widespread, accessible and helpful.

Robin believes that through my column, we can possibly spread the word and bring together teachers, practitioners, learners and anyone who is interested.

I asked Robin's group of 12 (disciples?) how they would describe the advantages of meditation. They were very certain of the benefits.

Beverly said it teaches her how to live in the world and be less judgmental. Scott said he has many commitments and he enjoys coming to class, being quiet for an hour and learning to be more compassionate with himself.

Carl said he likes the friendly group, it's free, and the only obligation to return is to himself. It has also helped him control his blood pressure. And Chris Parmentier added we are lucky to have Robin.

To give you my take on meditation, I refer to the expression, "Think outside of the box." We normally mean to handle some external problem with a new and original approach. On the other hand, with meditation, we learn to think outside of the box in which we live, including our prejudices, knee-jerk reactions, feelings of guilt or inferiority, etc.

Robin played an audio lesson explaining that as we sit quietly to meditate, breathing deeply, we should picture a container of dirty water. Gradually all the dirt settles to the bottom of the container, and our thoughts become clear like the water at the top.

Herein lies the portal to a whole new world. Give yourself permission to feel new feelings, and think new thoughts, gratitude, hope. Look into the face of God.

As Sandi Morrison of Jordan Recovery said, "You were born a perfect spirit. You still are." Honor your spirit.

Also, the whole world is energy. We are beings of energy. Align yourselves with the energy of abundance, peace, and love. Our thoughts are electric and magnetic. We create our own reality.

For further information about energy, I recommend Carol Tuttle's discussions on about the four energy types. She explains how important it is to understand what energy type/types you are.

Also is a great source of meditative music and information about activation of brainwaves and frequencies: " Words, music, our body, indeed the entire universe is nothing more than a vibration of energy. The rate this energy vibrates is called the frequency. When your brain vibrates in a certain frequency range, your awareness, your state of mind, your emotions, and your mental and physical abilities change."

Finally, go to and register for the current free 21-day meditation series, hosted by Deepak Chopra with Oprah Winfrey.

Reach Joan Miles at 464-2729 or at