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“Work. Don’t think. Relax.” – Ray Bradbury
Although Chattanooga is not exactly the city that never sleeps, the excitement and bustle of a compact urban lifestyle draws people to cities like ours, where community gatherings and social interactions are never more than a doorstep, office, coffeeshop, or farmer's market away. During the week, we work from nine to five (or, likely, more), then bring our work home with us and still manage to make time for friends, concerts, biking, hiking, canoeing and all those other activities that make cities worth the traffic, air pollution, and ceaseless noise.
So is it any wonder that we can’t seem to handle the stress of everyday life? Chattanooga’s new Center for Mindful Living, officially open as of September 3, is designed to organize and promote tactics for stress reduction, alongside simultaneous community building. The Center’s focus is on self-awareness and acceptance. Located across from Warner Park at 1212 McCallie Avenue, the Center for Mindful Living has several public places for communal mindfulness activities, which include:
The Meditation & Contemplatio Room and Garden
The Education Studio
The Community Room and Kitchen
Additionally, the building has its own adjacent free parking lot. Some parts of the building, such as the Meditation & Contemplation Room and Garden and the Library, are focused on stillness and relaxation. Various programs and workshops will be held in the Education Studio, with the goal of “experiencing peace in a changing world.”
These workshops will cover all the stress-bases of city life—Mindful Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Communications, Mindfulness Based Eating, Mind-Body Skills, as examples. Other programs include healing meditations and movement exercises, such as yoga, tai ji, and labyrinth walking. A special workshop is already planned for Nov. 2, when Rabbi Rami Shapiro, acclaimed author and columnist, will present “The Twelve Steps as a Spiritual Practice.”
Information about memberships, which provide discounts for the workshops and programs, can be found at centermindfulliving.org/member.