Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jay Kauffman presents Program on Meditation - Mike Kramer comes for Dinner

Jay Kauffman, 61, has been meditating for 42 years. He began while attending Boston University and as his wife Nancy said, became addicted.

Jay admits that he could not live if he didn't meditate. "It's the center of my life."

He usually does it first thing in the morning before work and when he comes home. He may even meditate in his office at work, where he's a manager.

He gets along with everyone at work. He's not the kind of boss, said Nancy, where you'd wish they'd call out sick.

This is the result of meditation.

He meditates three hours per day. It's helped him to see that everyone is equal - you're my sister or you're my brother.

As a group - and there were about 20 or us, tho I didn't count - we did two meditations. One for 5 minutes. One for 7. Some people reported that their "monkey minds" were off and running. Others found their minds remained still.

We focused on our 'third eye,' 

From the Internet - The third eye (also known as the inner eye) is a mystical and esoteric concept referring to a speculative invisible eye which provides perception beyond ordinary sight.

How does a person reach this state?


When learning to meditate, be consistent. Start off at perhaps 5 minutes per day and practice at the same time of day..... whenever convenient for you.

It takes 21 days - three weeks - to reach the first level of making it a habit.

At 40 weeks it becomes entrenched.

There's even a book written about habits, said Jay.

"How Mini-Habits Can Change Your Life," writes Stephen Guise.

Habits, Guise wrote, form about 45% of your total behavior, according to a Duke University study. Not only that, but they are behaviors that you repeat frequently, which compounds their significance in your life. Habits are your foundation, and if this foundation is weak, you won’t be happy with the way you live.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of "Blink," writes that people become great at something when they've practiced for 21,000 hours.

How on earth did he figure that out?

  The Bad Plus

A person can be as peaceful on the inside as they are when they're vacationing.

The concept is simple, said Jay. But again we need to practice.

This is an exercise for your soul - "the real you."

We're more than a body and a mind. The more you meditate the more you learn who you are, on the inside.

Jyoti meditation is what we practiced. Jyoti is Indian for "light." We had one woman, Pam, from India, who knew dat.

Pam Bhatia also practices Buddhism. She and her Buddhist friends meet at one another's homes and chant. They chant to help people they know.

After Jay began meditating in college, his concentration improved and so did his grades.  He got himself a spiritual advisor who gave him a mantra, a word he repeats while meditating.

Claims have been made that meditation lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol. Carly Brown from our Writers' Group said she meditates to lose weight. And it works.

This is not a blurry picture. Carly is shucking off two pounds during the seminar.

Helen Kirschner, who runs our Daytime Meeting at the Giant, said Meditation helps her self-compassion and being kind to herself. She and Jay both emphasized there's no right or wrong way to meditate.

Close your eyes and focus. Remain in the here and now.

Cultivate the ability to to keep the mind in the present. "Worry" only puts us in a bad way. Helen said she had learned to "put out the welcome-mat for the future" if these thoughts come through.

In time, said Jay, our meditative thoughts go from subconscious to conscious.

We spend a lot of time imagining the future. He made a good point when he asked, How many people have accurately forecast the future?

It's always different than you expect.

For example, I thought our presentation would take place in the Thunderbolt Room. Instead we were in the huge room - The Willow Grove Room.

Probably the most famous spiritual individuals are The Top Three

We're waiting for the rest of the audience to show up.

Diana asked, "How dyou know your meditation has been successful?"

Jay answered, "Are you more patient? Are you more successful? More joyful?"

We're all a work in progress.

Different parts of our brains change after we meditate. Joy and happiness now come from within rathan without.

Think of a lake that's clean

We wanna experience the bottom of the lake, the interior of our soul

Jay's wife Nancy is a school bus driver.

He asked for our reactions, which were a big OY VEH!

This is not Nancy's experience. She looks f/w to driving the bus and the kids love her.

Meditation was vital to establish a good relationship with the kids.

Meditation helps a person live with pain.

Jay had sciatica - OUCH! - but came through it by meditating. I came through it by having surgery with Dr Guy Lee of Abington hospital.

Meditation is also helpful for managing Grief.

So what is your mantra?

Jay advised a fellow Jew to use "Shalom!" or "Thank you God for being so gracious."

This Jew uses "Peace Love and Gratitude" which I learned on June 13 at the Abington Free Library, which is where I got the idea of asking Jay to speak to us.

That presenter, Jim Rose, will return to the library in November. Undoubtedly it's one of their most popular programs.

Wife Nancy said that things fall into place, "an initial gift" when you meditate, like the Red Sea parting.

  Here's the gift we gave Jay and Nancy. I'd never seen mums this color. 


Down into the Coffee Shop - the bottom of the Lake - we went after the seminar.

We talked and talked.

And ate and ate.

 Here's laffin Carly. Diana commented on her b'ful necklace.
 A pensive Helen. Can she be meditating? Lovely Janice loved the meditation.

See my bean dish? This is the food I chose to eat afterward. Helen also got this from the Giant food court. Scrumptious.
 Donna of the beautiful nails is one of our prolific poets at the Writers' Group.
Diana shared her potato chips with jalapenas. Oooh! My aching throat.

C'est moi. So hard to know what to wear. Hot outside.

 Hannah Bae, one of two Giant pharmacist's, stopped by to grab a cuppa coffee. I told her about the flu and pneumonia vaccine she gave me on Monday.

My arms were so sore I could barely use them. Not your fault, I hastened to say. Hannah has three little kids, six, five, and two.

Such a beautiful day you wanted to remain outdoors.

Scott n I went on a relaxing walk at Pennypack Trust



Scott's friend Mike Kramer came over since his wife Donna was at Abington High School serving 80 hot dogs at the Band Competition, held there every year.

Made a delicious salad with kale and spinach. Mike had never eaten kale before, but is now a convert. Mike loves to cook and told us about a chicken recipe he makes with fresh lemon and fresh orange juice.

Scott and Mike have known each other since they were six years old.

Both worked as auto mechanics where they were treated like crap. Scott got a great job as a mechanic at SEPTA.

Mike stuck around as a car mechanic - he's very gifted - but as a result he's got a severely disabled back.

He'll undergo his eighth operation on October 15.

This time, his master surgeon will be

  Gene Salkind, MD, who trained many other neurological surgeons, including my Guy Lee.

Our main meal was Scallops and veggies on a bed of Brown Rice, smothered in Lemon Juice.

When I cook, I listen to audio tapes on the Sony behind me. Just finished

My first Louise Erdrich. I'd give it a C-plus.

In the car I'm listening to

I'm only on Disk Two of Twelve and will stick it out, but it's amazingly boring so far.

Channel Twelve finally had a good movie on tonite, but we were engaged in The Art of Conversation. Scott said it's a great movie so I'll check it outa the libe.

  We were all young once, even Clint Eastwood - "Rowdy" in Rawhide.



  1. You captured the essence of everything so well, Ruth that it's like Pam said, it's like she was there! You have some very special gifts that are quickly apparent to probably not the most observant person, not the least of which you obviously care deeply about people and listen/remember. Thank you so much for making this happen! I hope everyone comes away wanting to make meditation a part of their daily lives and instead of thinking "who has time" begins to find many things their time is spent on pale in comparison to the rewards of meditation :-)

  2. People make the world go round! And there ain't nothing we can do against time.... except use it wisely. And have a good joyful peaceful life. Would luv to have you and Jay back some time Thanks for an awesome program. Namaste!