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Meditation workshop at Church

The second seminar at the First United Methodist Church of East Greenbush was set up by Patricia Chartrand, the mom of one of my long standing clients. Attended by 14 women as part of a periodic women’s group retreat. Three of the women attended my first seminar in March 2015. It was so nice on their part to share their experiences on how it helped them and family members. 

Summary of the Feedback

I will use this technique for my …

  • Improve my sleeping
  • Sleep, Pain
  • Insomnia, COPD attacks, Breathing
  • Getting better sleep
  • High blood pressure, Pain
  • Blood pressure
  • Grieving process, Regaining my normalcy and daily function (after the recent death of my husband)
  • Anxiety- children

My take home points…

  • Counting and breathing
  • Like the counting much
  • Counted breathing
  • Breathing one-two-three
  • Use this technique
  • To keep breathing
  • Making meditation a priority, Doing it during any moment of the day.

My evaluation of the seminar…

  • Very satisfied – 9
  • Satisfied – 5

Comments

  • I have tried this here today. It calmed me down.
  • Looking for more info. on this once I have the basics.
  • I am reminded to reclaim these teachings for my “Now” reality as a new widow.
  • Wish it was longer.
  • Thank you.
  • Great ideas. Very helpful ideas.
  • I have attended several meditation groups and found each one very good and lasting in long duration (when disciplined to do it).
  • Only drawback was inability understanding due to your accent.
  • Thanks for coming after a long night of travelling.

I recommend this seminar to (name the group)…

  • Youth group at First United Methodist Church.
  • Schodack senior center
  • Complementary Care Officer (Sharon Wheeler) at Albany Medical Center (who organizes stress reduction classes for AMCH employees.)
  • I will recommend this to others.

(1) First United Methodist Church of East Greenbush

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Seminar – Voorheesville Library

The first seminar at the Voorheesville Public Library was on February 9, 2015 from 7 to 8.30 pm (1). Attended by 11 people (9 adults and 2 teens. A folder containing my key handouts  and sample testimonials was given to each participant (2), (3). It was remarkable that so many turned up in spite of the severe snow storm throughout the day and still going on at the time of the seminar.  

Scanned images of the Feedback forms

Summary of the Feedback

I will practice this technique for my (concern) 

  • Daily stress and mind focus
  • Stress, Relaxation
  • Calm my mind, reduce stress level
  • Anxiety and develop concentration
  • Hypertension
  • Pain, Tension, Stress
  • Stress level and Migraines
  • Focusing practice
  • Better sleep, Less stress
  • Stress level
  • Anxiety, Falling asleep, Concentration

My ‘Take home’ points

  • Incorporate breathing technique into my daily routines, especially upon waking up and going to sleep.
  • I plan to use the breathing techniques, they seem very effective.
  • Start, just start the practice and take steps to meditate.
  • Different counting techniques, Can do lying down (yes!). Also it is OK to count (I was taught to be quiet, no thoughts) – so helpful.
  • Breathing, Posture, and Better focus.
  • Relax.
  • Try to use the technique in everyday activities. Use the technique before I fall asleep.
  • How to relax by controlling my breathing.
  • Will practice with my 4 year old grandson. It will help to count, this will help concentrate my mind.
  • To try it at night and in the morning as a start. Don’t worry about rules, just do it!
  • Meditation can be used anytime and anywhere, “each breath  is a life”. “You can’t change people’s actions, you can only change your reaction.”

My expectation from the seminar is fulfilled to level 

  • A+ – 1
  • A    – 8
  • B    – 2

Comments

  • Thank you – much food for thought.
  • A appreciated your philosophical perspective in reinforcing the importance of meditation and mind/body.
  • A little hard to her you with the heater running.
  • I had a very hard time hearing the presenter’s soft voice and missed some of the talk. Seems to be an excellent way to quite the mind. I am excited to try it at home.
  • My husband always tried to get me to meditate but the way you broke it down made it more understanding and simple.
  • Great tips! Am eager to try the technique.
  • I like that there are no rules.
  • I really enjoyed the presentation. I am looking forward to trying the breathing. I will consider contacting you about more classes.
  • I loved your presentation and I know I will be able to use these techniques to help me relax.

I recommend this seminar to (name the group)

  • May be my book group. If there is enough interest I will contact you.
  • Anyone. it is easy and free.
  • College students dealing with stress.
  • The teachers at my school.
  • Everyone could use these methods.

(1) Voorheesville Public Library
(2) Documents for download – All handouts
(3) Sample testimonials – 16

Related pages: Public Seminars

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Seminar – East Greenbush Library

I offered the 12th seminar at East Greenbush Community Library (1) on October 8, 2014 from 7 to 8.30 pm. Attended by total 18 adults, 14 female and 4 male. A folder containing my key handouts (2) and sample testimonials was distributed to every participant. 

It was remarkable that this many showed up for the seminar within 6 months of my last seminar in April 2014 at this library attended by 14 persons. Apparently many people are looking for such self help techniques for stress management. 

Scanned images of the Feedback Forms

Summary of the Feedback

My expectation from the seminar is fulfilled to Grade …

  • A+    9
  • A       7
  • B+     1
  • No comment – 1

I will use this technique for my (concern) 

  • Restless sleep
  • Sleeping, Getting back to sleep
  • Falling asleep at night
  • Sleep and Anxiety
  • Sleep issues, Anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Stress relief and sleep problems
  • De-stressing, Relaxation, Sleep
  • Health and sleep issues
  • To reduce stress – 3
  • Stress at work
  • Stress reduction, Focus and Spirituality
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain/Anxiety

My ‘Take home’ from the seminar ….

  • I will try to use before sleep, When I wake up at night, On waking up
  • With practice I will hopefully sleep better
  • It is a new way to get back to sleep
  • Good reference
  • I will definitely try this
  • Since I already use the staring mode with the feeling mode for going to the dentist, Dr , Etc (Lamaze), I will try the tip mode
  • It is an easy technique: doesn’t require any tool. I can use it anywhere.
  • All of this – anxious to read the folder – Thank you!
  • Focusing on breathing – 2
  • Keep your eyes open for the gold coins (3)
  • With practice various methods discussed can be used anytime, anywhere to de-stress/ Relax/ Focus. A very interesting and useful seminar – Thank you!
  • Breath and Focus on the breath
  • Very useful
  • Putting the technique into practice, so it becomes habit
  • The more you use the breathing, the more relaxed & Stress-free you will feel

I recommend this seminar to (name the group)

  • Seniors – Sleep issues
  • Everybody
  • Husband
  • ISIS
  • Family and Friends
  • Granddaughter

(1) East Greenbush Community Library
(2) Documents for download – All handouts
(3) Walking on gold coins – A story from Indian mythology

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Related pages
Public Seminars

* Seminar at East Greenbush Library

I offered the 11th seminar at East Greenbush Community Library (1) on April 16, 2014 from 7 to 8.30 pm. Attended by total 14 adults, 12 female and 2 male. A set of my key handouts (2) was distributed to every participant.

Scanned images of Feedback forms

Summary of the Feedback

I knew about this seminar from 

  • Library newsletter – 4
  • Library website – 2
  • Sign in the library – 2
  • Friend – 2
  • My sister
  • Dr. Padma Sripada’s office
  • Prior seminar by same speaker years ago at Curves (East Greenbush – which has closed a couple of years back)

My expectation from the seminar is fulfilled to Grade …

  • A+    8
  • A       3
  • B+     1
  • No comment

I will use this technique for my (concern) 

  • Better sleep, Relaxation, Health, Reduce stress
  • Sleep – 2
  • Helping me sleep better
  • Stress, Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Stress release, Improve anger
  • Stress, Grief, Pain, Insomnia, Worry and Relaxation
  • Anxiety, Worry and Stress
  • Anxiety
  • To quiet my mind
  • To concentrate
  • Relaxation

My ‘Take home’ from the seminar ….

  • Practice and stick with it
  • How to sleep faster
  • Calmness, Acceptance
  • I really enjoyed the class, I hope this will help turn off my monkey mind when I try to sleep!
  • Very important breathing technique that I didn’t know
  • “Practice”
  • Breathe
  • Hope for less stress and anxiety, peace and serenity in our lives (husband and myself)
  • I am making a commitment to do this in the morning and night
  • Take time to practice the technique
  • I hope these techniques will help me sleep better
  • Live in the present, not in the past or future
  • Easy technique that I will try on obesity. Hope it works.

I recommend this seminar to (name the group)

  • Sister
  • Teen groups
  • Anyone young or old
  • You should teach this in every school
  • To my friends and family
  • My sisters

(1) East Greenbush Community Library
(2) Documents for download – All handouts

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Public Seminars

@ Seminar at the East Greenbush Library

I offered the 9th seminar at East Greenbush Community Library (1) on October 22, 2013 from 7 to 8.30 pm. Attended by total 20 adults, 18 female and 2 male. A set of my key handouts (2) was distributed to every participant.

Scanned images of the Feedback forms

Summary of the Feedback

I knew about this seminar from 

  • Library newsletter – 10
  • Library website – 3
  • Sign in the library – 2
  • Facebook/ Library home page
  • The Advertiser newspaper
  • The Hindu Center
  • My daughter
  • Friend

This seminar is …

  • I loved it – 1
  • Very useful – 14
  • Useful – 5

I will use this technique for my (concern) 

  • Pain, Sleep
  • Sleep
  • Fibromyalgia  and insomnia
  • To sleep + Relax
  • Sleep
  • Stress & Lack of sleep
  • Falling and staying asleep
  • Insomnia and stress
  • Relaxation, Sleep inducement
  • Restful sleep and alertness
  • Back pain and stress
  • Stress, migraines and back pain
  • Work stress
  • Migraines, stress and muscle stiffness
  • Stress
  • Back pain
  • Mindfulness
  • Mind clarification
  • Relaxation

Comments about the seminar 

  • It was very helpful, handouts are wonderful, atmosphere was calm even though we were sitting in a library
  • Handouts are very helpful, easy to refresh/ remember
  • Wonderful, excellent instructor, great handouts. Please do another follow up session.
  • Great, so easy something I can do so easily
  • Very friendly and informative and easy to understand
  • Presenter was often difficult to understand but was  good at demonstrating the techniques
  • It was very beneficial. Things like breathing appear simple but they are not.
  • Good, entertaining and useful
  • A very helpful was to relax, increase sleep etc.
  • Thank you.I am looking forward to trying these techniques.
  • Very interesting
  • I enjoyed it
  • Very relaxing
  • Thank you – Will try daily
  • Very good seminar, the hour went quickly and the content fit well in that time frame.
  • Very good
  • The information I have had before in things I read but have not been practicing
  • Interesting, worthwhile
  • Calming, relaxing, meditation techniques usually warn about falling asleep

(1) East Greenbush Community Library
(2) Documents for download – All handouts

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Public Seminars

* I lost 30 pounds in last 9 months and gained many other benefits

Feedback from one of my clients who attended 16 of my classes over last one year.

” I have been seeing C.S.(Suryanarayana Chennapragada) for all my health problems, since last one year. So far, I have seen the benefits such as:

  • I lost 30lbs. since last September (in nine months).
  • I have been eating a lot more healthy food than ever before, with a no red meat, a lot of fruits and vegetables.
  • My self-esteem has gotten much better and my marriage benefited from the counseling C.S. has given me.
  • I suffer from mixed connective tissue disease (Lupus) due to which I have a lot of problems when the weather changes. Due the diet changes I have made, I seem to have less pain in my muscles than I did before, on rainy days.
  • Practicing the breathing technique has enabled me to calm myself down whenever I get stressed out. I deal with problems better now than before.

I started seeing C.S. originally to quit smoking but had to tackle all these problems first before I could take on that problem. I plan to also try and quit smoking in the next year as one of my goals with C.S.

I would recommend counseling with C.S., to anyone, with weight, stress or health problems.”

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Related pages
How can I focus on breathing?
Books on nutrition

* Seminar at the ‘Hope Club’ Jan 26, 2012

This was the third seminar at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Club (1). 4 persons participated. All were software engineers from India. The seminar was for one hour. The summary of their feedback is below.

The seminar was …..

  • Excellent – 4

I will use this technique to relieve my (concern)………….

  • Anxiety, Stress, Muscular pain
  • Sleep
  • Stress, Sleep  disturbances
  • Stress, Anxiety some times

Comments/ Suggestions about the class (if any)……….

  • I also want to attend follow up classes to learn Yoga, Meditation techniques, Postures to release my stress, Muscular pains.
  • This is my second class. I enjoyed very much. Somehow I feel so concentrated while doing my counting breaths technique.
  • This class is very useful at this stage to me as I suffered from continuous thoughts in mind during night that caused a disturbed mind.
  • This class was so useful, I felt happy as learning this technique would be useful for keeping my mind in concentration.

Related posts
Feedback from one of the participants of this seminar “Feeling more concentration”

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* Seminar at the Rensselaer Library

This was the second seminar done on Dec 29, 2011 at this library . Three women were present, two of them were in 16 to 20 range. One was in her forties. Their feedback at the end of the seminar is summarized below.

The seminar was …

  • Excellent –  3

I will use this technique to relieve my (concern)

  • Sleeping difficulties/ Pain from recent car accident/ Stress/ Anxiety – 1
  • Anxiety – 1

Comments/ Suggestions (if any)

  • I learned a lot on how to relax

***
E-mail message from the Library

“Everyone loved your program!  Thank you! I learned that you were going to leave hand-outs for us, but somehow they disappeared.  Can you bring bring some at your convenience?”

Jane Chirgwin
Director

* A lifeless plant gets a grand new life

There were a row of  plants about 8 feet high, by the side of the road leading to my office in the big paperboard mill I worked.  The purpose of these plants was to show off their dense green leaves and plenty of the yellow flowers, giving relief to the eyes from the drab concrete buildings and roads.

The plants looked absolutely drab most of the year with woody stems and hardly any fresh leaves. In the flowering season, beautiful yellow flowers would be seen but as soon as that short season was over, the plants were an eye sore rather than a relief. This was in spite of regularly watering them. Watching them many times a day, on my way to and from my office room was a pain for me.

As an experiment, I told my people in the civil maintenance department who maintained these plants, to prune only one of these plants drastically, leaving just a foot of the trunk from the ground. This was done promptly. I was worried whether I destroyed the plant and created a bigger eye sore. I watched them eagerly every day, for the results of the experiment.

After about 2 weeks, small green shoots were coming out of the trunk. I was relieved that at least the plant was not dead. Every day the number of vigorously growing shoots increased dramatically. In a few weeks there were hundreds of fast growing shoots. In about 3 months, hundreds of shoots with fresh green tender leaves had grown 3 feet high. This born-again plant was a feast for the eyes.

We repeated the process with all the other plants with similar happy results. This dramatic and unexpected transformation of an otherwise totally lifeless plants set me thinking …

Those plants were looking lifeless and as good as dead. I was in half mind to uproot them and plant new ones in their place. They looked as though they had no energy to grow new branches and leaves. But then what happened after the drastic pruning?

A giant reservoir of energy was unleashed when the plant was pruned drastically. That energy was so huge and readily available that it quickly initiated hundreds of new shoots and could sustain their vigorous growth to several feet. The plant did not need any extra inputs for it’s rebirth – no extra water, fertilizer, insecticide or attention. It had all it’s requirements in abundance.

Could this phenomena be true for individuals, teams or whole organizations?  Can the drastic stoppage of the routine, ritualistic, dull and meaningless daily routines unleash the giant dormant powers in them? Could it be that their lifeless performance is due to blocking of their powerful energies by life killing doubts, fears and meaningless activities? Can getting rid of these energy blocks unleash the hidden energies? Would that give birth to lively new thoughts, plans and activities, like those seen in the born-again plants? This great transformation may emerge without any additional rewards. The transformation itself would be a fantastic reward.

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Parent page: Articles on ‘Improving self and achieving goals’

* ‘Focusing on breathing’ helping three generations

Here is a wonderful feedback from a woman narrating how this simple technique is helping her, her daughter and her mom, all three generations

“Well I guess I should start out by saying that I am a 31 year old single mother that needed a little assistance with some unneeded stress in my life. Being a mother of two has been a wonderful, trying experience. I work full time and had a part time job to make ends meet. I was first introduced to the breathing (1) by my co-worker C S (Suryanarayana Chennapragada). I’m a very open minded person so I was willing to try anything to reduce the production of any grey hairs. On top of me being a full time mom and employee, I also had other added issues that needed to be attended too.  I have arthritis in my lower back which causes me a lot of pain.  I started the breathing mainly for this reason.  I would start breathing at night before I would fall asleep.   I noticed it didn’t take me more than 5 mins to pass out. I was able to clear my head and focus on sleeping instead of the 15 million different things I had to accomplish the next day or week. As I continued to do the breathing and speaking with C S, I was able to then use the breathing other times for many different things. I use it for when I’m stressed out and going through difficult situations.  I can see a difference with my attitude and how I carry myself and just how I feel. It’s been very uplifting for me so far………so I decided to share with my children and with my mother.

I have two children who are 12 and 8 years of age. The breathing didn’t go over so well with my 12 year old due to the fact that she isn’t that open minded and set in her ways. Now my 8 year old definitely needed the breathing. She was having problems in school with friends and her attitude along with taking instruction from her elders.  I started the breathing with her before she would fall sleep. She first found it to be a game that would buy her a little quality time with mom plus allowed her to stay up longer. After about a month of doing it together she would take it upon herself to do it alone. I could see the change in her attitude when she woke up and with her attitude in school. It was nice for a change, to receive positive reports from her teachers, instead of the usual negative ones. As time went on, I would catch her midway into the breathing and she must have fallen asleep before she got done counting the breaths.  I’d catch her with her finger stuck at a segment. She is also doing much better now with her relationship with her sister. They haven’t stopped fighting totally but the arguing has calmed down a lot.  She just is much more pleasant and fun to be around. The progress still continues……

On to my mother. My mother has many different health issues. Some that she has brought upon herself and the others she has developed.  For many years of living in the same house, she just always seemed to be very tense and unhappy. Plus she is a heavy smoker that smokes 4 packs of cigarettes a day.  I told my mother about the breathing and I also mailed her some flyers. She didn’t really believe that it would have an effect on her.  She put it off for a while until one day that she had to face a tough issue head on. She would call me up on a daily basis to inform me that she tried the breathing and she felt like a new person when she got up in the morning. From then on, she was doing it on her own. She realized that she could also use it with her daily lifestyle as well. This made a world of a difference. My mother always had a short fuse. My father has even given me his input. He called me thanking me for sharing this technique with my mother because she was so much nicer and easier to get along with now.  When we do spend time with my parents, I noticed it myself. She isn’t so quick to jump to conclusions and start yelling.  She still hasn’t tried to change her smoking habits but this is a bridge that I’m still trying to cross with her.  She at least listens to me talk about stopping smoking and how the breathing would help but she isn’t quite ready for that big step yet. I will continue to encourage the breathing for my family and friends. I figure if it worked for me then it can work for anyone………”

(1) How can I focus on breathing?

Related pages
Training children in ‘Focusing on breathing’
How to quit smoking by ‘Focusing on breathing’

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Please send your comments through the ‘ABOUT – Contract’ page.