Tribune Print Share Text

Mindfulness and meditation

Weekly class promotes calm and relaxation

Created date

February 19th, 2018
Barbara Hise uses this bowl-shaped bell to begin and end the meditation class she teaches at Tallgrass Creek.

Barbara Hise uses this bell to begin and end the meditation class.

Barbara Hise decided to teach a meditation class at Tallgrass Creek before she even moved there.

“I was visiting Tallgrass Creek prior to my move and overheard some residents say they wished someone would teach a meditation class,” says Barbara, a recently retired psychologist. “I piped right up and said I would.”

Ebb and flow

Barbara, a firm believer in the benefits of meditating, moved to Tallgrass Creek several months later. After she was settled, she held an informational meeting for interested neighbors.

“Some had meditated for years and some had never meditated, but there was plenty of interest,” says Barbara.

She started a weekly, half-hour class called Mindfulness and Meditation that requires sitting comfortably in a quiet place while focusing on breathing in and out, thus encouraging the mind not to wander.

About 20 residents participate in the sessions, which begin when Barbara strikes the bowl-shaped meditation bell three times.

“We ‘invite’ the meditation bell to sound,” says Barbara. “It’s the traditional way of beginning and ending meditation sessions.”

Class ends with a metta meditation that directs well wishes inward toward oneself and outward to all other living beings.

Class participants are enthusiastic about the sense of calm, peace, and gratitude they receive from meditating. Research also shows meditation is beneficial for those with chronic pain, special needs, illness, and depression.   

Psychology and meditation

Barbara’s interest has taken her to meditation retreats around the country where she continues learning about the ancient Eastern practice. She recently attended a three-week retreat at a practicing monastery in southern California.

Barbara says meditating was helpful during her 27 years as a practicing psychologist.

“My practice included everything you can imagine, and I loved it all,” says Barbara, who got her doctoral degree at age 53. “My clients were ages 9 to 75, and meditating helped me focus and better connect as their counselor.”

In addition to her interest in meditation, Barbara has a very active life. She and her late husband Harlan were childhood sweethearts and Disney enthusiasts, and they took each of their nine grandchildren to Disneyland.

She loves living at Tallgrass Creek with her dog Mickey and can’t believe how much easier life is.

“A great day was when I deleted the numbers on my phone for the plumber, electrician, roofer, carpenter, and cable,” laughs Barbara.

Barbara enjoys being able to “just leave with no worries” when she travels. But when she returns, the meditation class welcomes her back enthusiastically.

“Barbara has so much knowledge about different forms of meditation,” says Mary Brown. “I’m grateful she started the class.”