Mindfulness Meditation Workshop is a gift of self-care. Could be the perfect gift for yourself, or someone you love.

SUBMITTED PHOTO  - Surja Tjahaja will lead a day-long Mindfulness Meditation workshop Feb. 9 at the West Linn Adult Community Center. Cost is $30 for West Linn residents.

Looking for a unique gift for busy people in your life, or a gift of self-care for yourself?

Sign up for the Mindfulness Meditation Retreat offered through West Linn Parks and Recreation Feb. 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the West Linn Adult Community Center. Led by Surja Tjahaja, the retreat offers participants an opportunity to break from daily routines and deepen your meditation practice while staying close to home. The retreat includes guided meditation practice plus instruction of how to apply mindfulness meditation methods, one-on-one guidance and then closes with an inspirational talk.

Tjahaja is especially interested in how meditation promotes neuroplasticity of the brain and healing. A graduate of the Chaplaincy Program at the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies in California, he has served as a volunteer chaplain at Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in San Francisco. He currently teaches weekly meditation classes open to people of all ages and health conditions through the parks departments of Lake Oswego and West Linn.

This is an opportunity to deepen your mindfulness practice and open up the intuitive side of your mind. During meditation three conditions are developed that promote the effective use of brain plasticity to induce positive neural changes:

Concentration: Paying undivided attention to the breath provides the necessary medium for plasticity to take effect in the mind so that beneficial neural changes can occur.

Mind training: In neuroscience the axiom is "neurons that fire together wire together." Consciously directing the mind to the breath when it wanders away during meditation effects changes in the brain, making it more conducive to be directed instead of merely reacting unconsciously.

Rewards: Reaping the benefits of joy, bliss, and peaceful feelings in meditation is the necessary positive reinforcement needed to secrete hormones that biochemically seal the desired changes to become effective.

This retreat is open to those ages 15 years and older. Bring a lunch and snacks. The cost is only $30 for West Linn residents ($35 for non-residents). The retreat is held at the Adult Community Center at 1180 Rosemont Road, West Linn. Pre-registration is required; register online at reference class number 1066 by phone at 503-557-4700.

Look for the complete catalog of winter and spring West Linn Parks and Recreation activities later this month. You can view all classes online beginning Dec. 20.

See you Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Ugly

Holiday Sweater Dash and annual Holiday Parade. For full event details visit

Terri Jones is a Recreation Coordinator II for West Linn Parks and Recreation.

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