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The Hampshire Regional YMCA is offering a free extended Mindfulness Meditation session to help relieve holiday stress Sunday, 6 to 8 p.m.

The class will include an introduction on the mindfulness practice of meditation. Participants will experience sitting meditation and walking meditation, followed by a shared reading. Both members and nonmembers are invited to attend. The event is free, with an optional $10 donation at the door to benefit the Hampshire Regional YMCA’s annual campaign.

“During a time when schedules are frantic and to do lists are growing, we wanted to offer the community a place where they could stop, and be present in the moment with compassion and understanding.” says David Marks, CEO of the Hampshire Regional YMCA, who will also lead the meditation session.

No pre-registration required. For more information call David Marks at 413-584-7026.


Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton offers Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction classes beginning in January.

The program is designed to help participants change their relationship to stressful thoughts and events, using three meditation techniques that train the mind to return to the present moment.

Orientation sessions are Jan. 9, 9 to 11 a.m., or Jan. 16, 9 to 11 a.m. Classes will be held Wednesdays, Jan. 23 through March 13, 9 to 11:30 a.m. The program fee is $400; space is limited. Ruth Folchman facilitates the sessions. To qualify, attend one free orientation session and bring a nonrefundable deposit of $40 made payable to Cooley Dickinson Hospital. For more information, visit www.valleystressreduction.com or call 582-2400.


A Massachusetts General Hospital genetics counselor is available Dec. 19 and 20 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital to meet with community members who may have a genetic pre-disposition to certain types of cancer.

A referral from a primary care physician is required. If you have questions about the program, call the CDH Cancer Care Program at 582-2028.

You may consider genetic counseling if you have already had cancer and are concerned about the risk of additional cancers for yourself and other family members, such as children and siblings; a close family member has had cancer and you want to determine if your risk is elevated, or if you have another medical condition that may increase your risk for cancer.

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