Join us for our Weekly Meditation at the library!
Since 2015, in cooperation with local teachers, we have offered a led meditation twice a week at the following times:
Mondays @ 6:00 – 6:45 PM
Wednesdays @ 12:15 – 1 PM
Check our Events Calendar for cancellations or room changes.
See our January-April Schedule to see who's leading each sit. Please note that this schedule is subject to change.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of meditation can I expect?
+ This program is a collaboration between the library and local practitioners. The format of the meditation will change based on the teacher. See descriptions below.
Do I need to have prior experience? Do I need to register?
+ No. These sessions will be drop-in, and appropriate for all levels of experience. Our volunteers have introduced many new people to the practice of meditation.
Should I eat before I come?
+ We recommend not eating a large or heavy meal just before meditation.
Do I need special clothing?
+ Comfortable, non-restrictive clothing is best. You will be sitting or walking for up to 45 minutes.
Will I be meditating on a cushion or in a chair?
+ The library offers both chairs and cushions. Please feel free to use ours, or bring your own if you're more comfortable! If you have a question about posture, please ask any of our volunteer teachers.
About the Volunteer Teachers
The Portsmouth Buddhist Center, located on Pleasant Street, offers introductory and regular meditation and Buddhism classes by donation. As ordained members of the Triratna Buddhist Order, teachers from the center, including Dh. Candradasa and Dh. Shraddhavani have been practicing and teaching meditation for decades. They will teach two ancient practices: the mindfulness of breathing, and the cultivation of loving-kindness. Both practices are utilized to develop concentration, tranquility and positive emotion.
Avi Magidoff belongs to the 43rd generation of the LinJi Meditation School, and has been a student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh for more than two decades. He practices acupuncture in Portsmouth, teaching mindfulness, meditation and acupuncture in North America, Europe and Asia. Avi says: “In each session we practice sitting meditation as well as walking meditation for calming the mind as well as developing, concentrating and observing our habitual patterns so as to gain insight and free ourselves of those patterns. We shall then extend the space created within ourselves to daily life through telephone meditation, eating meditation, etc.”
Cathy Okhuysen will lead contemporary and traditional chants from different traditions as a way to center and focus before and during meditation. Cathy has offered contemplative singing in a variety of public spaces, sacred places and retreats settings.
Suzanne Woodland is an attorney who has had an established meditation practice for over 20 years. She has led meditation at her workplace, and at the Aryaloka Buddhist Center in Newmarket and the Portsmouth Buddhist Center. The last several years she has been practicing and sharing the meditation techniques offered by the Dharma Ocean community. Her emphasis is on the body as the object of mindful attention, tender awareness. You will be invited to arrive in and explore the breathing body and what arises in that process of being present. Through the gateway of the body work, other meditation practices are unfolded.
Jerry Mayfield teaches Sahaja Yoga, a unique method of meditation developed by H.H. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi and based on an experience called Self Realization that can occur within each human being. Through this process an inner transformation takes place by which one becomes balanced and integrated mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Sahaja Yoga does not require physical exercise and no previous experience is necessary. For twenty years Jerry has shared Sahaja Yoga in universities, prisons, drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities, community centers and street fairs. He regularly leads classes in Maine for Adult Education and also teaches at the York Public Library.
Ellen Kingsbury is a nurse practitioner in psychiatry/mental health at Whole Life Health Care in Portsmouth. She provides psychotherapy for individuals, adolescents, and groups. She encourages the use of daily journal-keeping and meditation practice as tools for wellness. Ellen has completed the Transcendental Meditation program and the Kabat-Zinn mindfulness meditation program. She is a firm believer in the mind/body benefits of a regular meditation practice, and makes meditation a daily practice in her own life.
Maia Rizzi will lead a visualization to create healing energy, calming you and focusing the subconscious mind to connect with the body. Maia is a Clinical Hypnotherapist whose work focuses on combining Hypnosis with energy work and integrative core counseling. She is certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners as well as National Guild of Hypnotists. She has practiced this work for over twenty years, in the United States, the Caribbean, and Asia. She is opening a private hypnotherapy practice in the Portsmouth/York area.