Category Archives: Workshop

Spiritual Discernment, Peace Gathering, and Meditation Classes

At Sunrise Meditation and Counseling, we provide counseling services, meditation classes, and Spiritual Discernment services.  Whereas counseling is primarily focused on healthy thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, Spiritual Discernment addresses questions of deeper meaning.  Questions like what is my place in the Universe?  Am I alone?  Is there a God?  What does God want me to do with my life? Is God on my side, against me, or does God even care?  What will happen to me and my loved ones after we die?  Is healing possible for me and my loved ones?

lotus-1205631_1280Like in counseling, good Spiritual Discernment helps people to find their own answers in a supportive, safe, non-judging environment.  We all bring different thoughts and feelings to the table regarding God, Spirituality, and the Universe.  The ideas we bring are based on our religious backgrounds, our cultural backgrounds, and our personal experiences with our families and friends. Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Atheist, something completely different, or some mix of several faiths, we all have unique takes on what it means to be human on this planet and in this Universe.  For people of faith, there is often a still, small voice, a calling, a higher power, or an intuition that helps guide us through life and the big and small questions that come with life.

My personal beliefs are Christian, and it’s my experience that the Spirit speaks through many avenues if we have ears, eyes, hearts, and the courage to listen.  The Spirit also speaks through all traditions and cultures.  No belief or idea is “too weird” or “unorthodox” to share in a Spiritual Discernment session.

The one guideline I share regarding the presence of the Spirit in life or in a decision is to lookdove-41260__180 for the fruits of the Spirit.  Love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control are the fruits of the Spirit as described in the Christian tradition, and I believe this applies universally.

To celebrate Spirituality in a safe group environment, Sunrise Meditation and Counseling will again begin a weekly Peace Gathering starting Thursday September 7th, after Labor Day weekend.  The gathering will begin at 6:00 pm and last less than an hour.  The format will include a time of gathering, a time of sharing brief inspirational thoughts and readings, a time of contemplative silence, and a time for closure.  There will be no cost for attending, but donations will be accepted.

logolargerWe will also begin another round of Christian Tantric Meditation workshops beginning Saturday September 9th from 10:00-11:30AM.  This is a four class program that introduces several meditation techniques, including breath centered mind stabilization, self emptying, Divine Communion as a form of guru yoga, and Compassion outreach meditation.  If you are interested but unable to attend four weekends in a row, we are flexible, our classes often take 6 to 8 weeks to complete based on the schedules of the participants.  Now is the time to manage stress, let go of some of the luggage that holds you back, and connect with your true potential.

Our workshops cost 25.00 each, and a 20.00 discount is available for registering and paying for all 4 classes in advance.

For more information or to register for a Workshop or an Individual Therapeutic or Spiritual Discernment Session, visit our Contact and Registration page  or call 678-358-8775.

Meditation Class Reminder

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Christian Tantric Meditation classes provide tools for connecting with our Creative and Spiritual roots, and developing compassion for self and others.  Our next set of four Christian Tantric Meditation classes will begin on Saturday, May 13th from 10:00 to 11:30 AM EST.  We will be providing classes at our studio in Sautee near Helen Georgia, in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains.

Classes cost $20.00, and space is limited so sign up today.  Call 678-358-8775, email me at dave@sunrisemeditation.org, or register at http://sunrisemeditation.org/contact-us/.

Culivating Creativity

People usually contact a counselor to address specific issues, including anxiety, depression, addiction, or relationship issues.  When challenges like these inhabit the life of a person, they tend to use up a person’s energy, leaving no time nor energy for creativity.

cropped-20141025_163721_1.jpgIn the 1940’s, a man named Abraham Maslow developed a concept called the Hierarchy of Needs.  Maslow’s hierarchy can be broken down into three categories:  Survival, Love, and Creativity.  Maslow said that when people have survival issues to deal with, they are not going to apply energy to pursuing love nor being creative.  Survival needs include food, shelter, and feeling safe.

While this model may not apply to every person, it does seem to apply to most people.  The counseling related issues mentioned above are survival issues to the people who are afflicted, and as a result relationships become strained and all creative energy is applied to the pursuit of survival.

Unbounded creativity on the other hand, requires nurturing.  An ongoing sense of freedom, 1338259321security in relationships, and security in personal safety contribute to a person’s ability to  pursue creative gifts.  Everyone has unique creative gifts, be they artistic, physically expressive (like sports and dancing), people related, mechanical inclination, gardening, or something else.  The variety of creative gifts people are blessed with are endless.

While the initial goal of counseling is to get relief from specific issues and symptoms, the underlying goal is usually the restoration of the joy and freedom of creative expression and sharing.  At Sunrise Meditation and Counseling, we believe that we were all created to be healthy, creative, loving, and joyful people.  Using Mindfulness Oriented Meditation and Therapeutic tools, we help people to accept, let go of, and grow beyond the experiences and issues that hold us back in life.  Our goal is to help people discover and cultivate the gifts that we are blessed with, in both individual therapy and in Meditation Workshops.

20141026_085602_1Christian Tantric Meditation classes provide tools for connecting with our Creative and Spiritual roots, and developing compassion for self and others.  Our next set of four Christian Tantric Meditation classes will begin on Saturday, May 13th from 10:00 to 11:30 AM EST.  We will be providing classes at our studio in Sautee near Helen Georgia, in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains.

Classes cost $20.00, and space is limited so sign up today.  Call 678-358-8775, email me at dave@sunrisemeditation.org, or register at http://sunrisemeditation.org/contact-us/.

Meeting Emotional and Spiritual Challenges

dove-41260__180Many things are happening in the United States and around the world right now.  Politically, there is tension between competing ideologies that represent hope for some people and discouragement for others.  Spiritually, the time of Passover approaches for people of the Jewish faith, and for Christians the season of Lent is upon us.  Later in the Spring, Ramadan will be celebrated by people of the Muslim faith.  All of these observances provide a time of connecting with our Spiritual roots, reflection, and preparation for challenges ahead.

And in the midst of all this preparation, the entire northern hemisphere waits in hopeful anticipation of Spring.  In the southern United States, the beginnings of flower buds on trees, shrubs, and emerging from the ground are seen everywhere.

This is a powerful time of year, no matter what perspective it is experienced from.  A time to 20150219_065337prepare for and face challenges both known and unknown, and a time to anticipate better things to come.  In the here and now, life carries on day to day, each day bringing with it unique challenges.

Challenges can be physical, emotional, and Spiritual in nature.  Most often, viewed holistically, elements of all three perspectives are found in challenges.  Some challenges motivate us, others may hold us back from being the successful, joyful, creative, and connected with people.

For many people, challenges present themselves as questions.  Where am I going?  What should I be doing with my life?  How can I help my family, how can I help others?  Where is the Spirit guiding me?  How should I be preparing myself for what comes ahead?

In this time of challenges and preparation, self care is of utmost importance.  Physical, emotional, and Spiritual health provide the strength and resilience required for meeting challenges and enjoying a creative, successful, joyful, and fulfilled life.

Meditation and Mindfulness are tools that can help.  Our Christian Tantric Meditation classes meditationprovide tools for increasing Mindfulness, dealing with challenges, for connecting with our Spiritual roots, and developing compassion for self and others.  The Meditative process of letting go of the things that hold us back in life creates space for us to experience the calling of the Spirit, the beauty of the emerging Spring, and the love and joy in our relationships.

Our next set of four Christian Tantric Meditation classes will begin this Saturday, March 4th from 10:00 to 11:30 AM EST.  We will be providing classes at our studio in Sautee near Helen Georgia, in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains.

We will be offering online Christian Tantric Meditation classes beginning next Tuesday, March 7th from 7:00 to 8:30 PM EST.  An online connection through a browser is required for these classes, materials and a link will be emailed prior to the classes.

Classes cost $20.00, and space is limited so sign up today.  Call 678-358-8775, email me at dave@sunrisemeditation.org, or register at http://sunrisemeditation.org/contact-us/.

Meditation and Recovery Workshops Announcement

Meditation Workshops:

Sunrise Meditation and Counseling, located in Sautee Georgia in the North Georgia Mountains, is happy to announce that we will be providing a series of four Christian Tantric Meditation classes begin Saturday March 4th 2017, from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM.  Our location is in Sautee Georgia which is near Helen Georgia, about an hour from Gwinnett and about 1.5 hours from Metro Atlanta.

Our workshops cost 25.00 each, and a 20.00 discount is available for registering and paying for all 4 classes in advance.

For more information or to register for a Workshop or an Individual Therapeutic or Spiritual Discernment Session, visit our Contact and Registration page  or call 678-358-8775.

Our Meditation Workshops are helpful for Managing Stress, Releasing Barriers to Growth, Increasing Spirituality, and increasing Compassion for self and others.  We teach techniques that have been in practice for thousands of years, presented in a manner consistent with Judeo-Christian Scripture and Practice, with proven therapeutic benefits. 

Recovery Workshops:

Sunrise Meditation and Counseling, located in Sautee Georgia in the North Georgia Mountains, is happy to announce that we will be providing a series of eight weekly addiction recovery classes starting Thursday February 2 2017 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.  The curricula of the classes will include education regarding addiction and recovery, emotions management, codependency, and long term recovery strategies.  People in recovery, families of people in recovery, and people seeking knowledge regarding the challenges involved in recovery are welcome.

Classes will cost 25.00 per person per week.  A $40.00 discount will be available for advanced registration and payment for all 8 classes.  Upon completion of the classes, a certificate of completion will be provided.

These classes are intended for people actively involved in recovery and people affected by addiction, including family members.

Our Recovery Workshops include Education and Tools for establishing and maintaining physical, emotional, and Spiritual health. We provide tools for increasing Self Awareness, promoting Emotional Stability, encouraging Healthy Relationships, and building personal long term recovery strategies.  All recovery workshops include mindfulness oriented meditation instruction.

For more information or to register for a Workshop or an Individual Therapeutic or Spiritual Discernment Session, visit our Contact and Registration page  or call 678-358-8775.

Managing Stress with Meditation

Stress.  At work stress may come when demands are made that conflict with the availability of time and resources.  At home stress may come when family members behave in ways that cause distress for themselves or others.  Stress also comes when financial demands outweigh financial resources.  There are many sources of stress in our lives, but they all have something in common: the need or desire to change people or circumstances that seem beyond our control.

solar-eclipse-151211_960_720How can we manage stress?  We may have some power to change our circumstances over time, but for the most part we cannot change the people who cause stress in our lives.  Sometimes we actually have the resources to change our circumstances, but feelings of being overwhelmed and powerless interfere with our ability to recognize our strengths and resources.

We may have heard that “meditation can help” but who has the time for that?  And we may have tried “sitting in silence” on our own and found it boring and frustrating.

When practiced effectively, meditation can help clear a path through the challenges of people, circumstance, and the feeling of helplessness.  Once our path is cleared of obstacles, we can more clearly see the strengths and resources that are available to us.

At Sunrise Meditation and Counseling we are blessed and happy to help people learn tools earth%20sunrise2needed for managing stress.  Our four part meditation series teaches skills for mind stabilization, letting go of stressful barriers to happiness and growth, increasing Spirituality, and exercising healthy compassion for others.

Our next set of four Meditation classes are being offered in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains beginning the weekend after Labor Day, Saturday September 10th.   Based on the book Christian Tantric Meditation Guide, we share techniques that have been in practice for thousands of years, presented in a manner consistent with Judeo-Christian Scripture and Practice.

20150530_081019This is an opportunity to experience Christian Tantric Meditation in a low cost short series of classes on four consecutive Saturdays.  The traditional Wellness based Christian Tantric Meditation protocol will be offered from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM.  And we will again be offering these Meditation classes from Recovery oriented perspective from 9:00 AM-10:30 AM.  Our location is in Sautee Georgia which is near Helen Georgia, about an hour from Gwinnett and about 1.5 hours from Metro Atlanta.

If you are worried that you may not be able to attend all four classes, no problem.  We can make up missed classes in later private or group sessions.  Walk in registrations are welcome, or visit our Workshops page and sign up on line, or call 678-358-8775.  Our rates are very reasonable, 20.00 per class.

Why does Change Feel so Strange?

There is one thought and feeling that is common to everyone who begins to make healthy changes in their lives.   And that is the thought and feeling that “this is not me, this is not who I am.”

This is true whether the changes involve meditation, exercise, diet, codependence related “assertive living”, or recovery.

ButterflyFor example, we go to a yoga class and find ourselves surrounded by people who are experienced and seem to know what they are doing.  We may feel clumsy and strange, like we “don’t fit in.”

Changes we make to take care of ourselves also inevitable involve feelings of guilt.  These feelings are often reinforced by our loved ones.  Early in the morning or later in the evening we move to a quiet place for meditation or pull out a yoga mat, and we practice.  Our family gives us that look like “what the hell are you doing?”  They complain about how their lives are disrupted and how we are no longer “available,” even if we are only taking 20 minutes out of the usual routine.

In recovery, someone from the old crowd calls and says “let’s get a beer”, or a spouse soul-623424_640pulls out a bottle of wine and offers a glass.  If we reply “no thank you”, suddenly we are “better than they are” and “no longer trusted”.

Within ourselves we ask “What the hell am I doing?  This isn’t me!  I should be enjoying a joint on the back deck,” or “vegging out in front of the TV,” or “sleeping until the last possible second and rushing through the shower and off to work.”

This is the nature of change.  It feels strange.  Other people are better at whatever we are attempting to do.  And the people in our relationships really want stability, they are uncomfortable with change.  Especially in recovery, people we know and love are very wary of change, as they know from experience changes can mean drama or relapse or even worse.

How do we get past this?  Mindfulness teaches us to live one moment at a time.  To accept our temporary discomfort, recognize and accept that these feeling in ourselves and our loved ones are “normal”, and carry on, one step, one moment, one day at a time.

20140704_181100_1We also must be kind to ourselves.  At first, change may happen in starts, stops, and stutters.  Yesterday wasn’t so great, but today I am here, I am doing this, and I feel good about it.

Eventually, we wake up one day and realize that the changes we were attempting to make in our lives are no longer changes.  They are a part of who we are, our day to day lives.  We are no longer uncomfortable with meditation or yoga or going to meetings, in fact we are more uncomfortable with neglecting ourselves.  And we feel relieved when we can get back to our self-care routines.

Change, growth, stepping out and rising to a challenge, all starts with a first step.

At Sunrise Meditation and Counseling we are blessed and happy to be available to help people with that first step towards healthier living.  We will again be offering a series of four Christian Tantric Meditation classes in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains beginning the weekend after Labor Day, Saturday September 10th.   This is an opportunity to experience all four phases of the Christian Tantric Meditation protocol in a low cost short series of classes on four consecutive Saturdays.  The traditional Wellness based Christian Tantric Meditation protocol will be offered from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM.  And we will again be offering these Meditation classes from Recovery oriented perspective from 9:00 AM-10:30 AM.  Our location is in Sautee Georgia which is near Helen Georgia, about an hour from Gwinnett and about 1.5 hours from Metro Atlanta.

Visit our Workshops page and sign up on line, or call 678-358-8775.  Our rates are very reasonable, 20.00 for a class.

Christian Tantric Wellness and Recovery Meditation Classes

Greetings,

We are happy to remind everyone that we will be offering a series of four Christian Tantric Meditation classes in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains beginning Saturday July 9th.   This is a rare opportunity to experience all four phases of the Christian Tantric Meditation protocol in a low cost short series of classes on four consecutive Saturdays.  The traditional Wellness based Christian Tantric Meditation protocol will be offered from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM.  And for the first time we will be offering these Meditation classes from Recovery oriented perspective from 9:00 AM-10:30 AM.  Our location is in Sautee Georgia which is near Helen Georgia, about an hour from Gwinnett and about 1.5 hours from Metro Atlanta.

FireworksBoth traditional Tantric Meditation techniques and Christian Contemplative perspectives are explored in the classes.  Our wellness meditation classes teach skills for dealing with stress and increasing enjoyment of life and personal freedom through letting go of negative thoughts and emotions.    Classes also explore increasing Spirituality and exercising Compassion with healthy boundaries for self and others.  People who are new to meditation and people who are experienced with meditation find our classes helpful.

People who attend our recovery oriented meditation classes learn about the disease aspects of youth-570881_1280addiction, and tools for building self awareness in recovery.  Classes will also explore emotions management, healthy relationships, and long term recovery strategies.  Note that these classes are intended for people and family members actively engaged in recovery.

Walk in registrations are welcome, or visit our Workshops page and sign up on line, or call 678-358-8775.  Our rates are very reasonable, 20.00 for a class.

April 2016 Meditation Class Reminder

Greetings,

We are happy to remind everyone that our next set of introductory meditation classes in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains will be held Saturday April 30th.  Our location is in Sautee Georgia which is near Helen Georgia, about an hour from Gwinnett and about 1.5 hours from Metro Atlanta.

logolargerPeople who attend our classes learn skills for dealing with stress and increasing enjoyment of life and personal freedom through letting go of negative thoughts and emotions.  More advanced classes explore increasing Spirituality through Divine Communion practice, and exercising Compassion with healthy boundaries for self and others.  People who are new to meditation and people who are experienced with meditation find our classes helpful.

Our Saturday morning class from 10:00-11:30 teaches basic meditation skills including breath centered mind stabilization and mindfulness.  Our afternoon class from 1:00-2:30 explores more advanced skills designed to Open our Consciousness.  Our classes generally include about 20-30 minutes of instruction and discussion, and 20-30 minutes of meditation skill practice.

Walk in registrations are welcome, or visit our Workshops page and sign up on line, or call 678-358-8775.  Our rates are very reasonable, 25.00 for a class or 40.00 for signing up for two classes or bringing a friend.

Meditation for Healthy Mind, Body, and Spirit

“So, Tammy, I hear that you have taken up meditation. Why would you do such a thing? It seems like a big waste of time to me.”

“Well Carla, work and life were getting stressful, I was drinking more than I wanted to, and I was gaining weight.”

“Gaining weight? You took up meditation to lose weight? How does that work?”

meditation-1087851_640“Meditation helps me to become more aware of myself, from my own stress and emotions, to the way I react to stress. Eating and drinking were my ways of dealing with stress, and I didn’t even know it.”

“Now that you mention it, it does look like you’ve lost weight. Are you working out?”

“Well, yes, since I’ve become more aware of myself, I’ve also started taking better care of myself. I’m walking more and taking time to get to the gym a couple times a week.”

“How are Mark and the kids? Weren’t you and Mark having some difficulties?”

“We’re all doing well. I can’t say that my meditation has changed Mark in any way, but I have become more patient and I try to be kinder when we talk about stressful things. We’re both enjoying being together more.”

“Well that’s great, I’m happy for you.”

“Hey Jerry, How’s it going?”

“Good, good, Sam, how about yourself?”

“I’d doing OK.”

“You look good, to be honest I usually avoid saying hello because I never know what mood you’re going to be in. Do still have that world famous temper?”

“Actually, I took up meditation a few months ago, and my temper has been a lot less of a problem lately.”

“Really? How come?”

Well, I’m more aware of myself, so I can catch myself before anger becomes an issue. I can even soul-623424_640change my state of mind to see the other person’s point of view when I need to. It really helps when I’m working with difficult customers.”

“I’ll bet it helps at home too.”

“You know it. Martha and I are getting along a lot better lately.”

“Well I’m glad to hear it.”

These are just a couple of the kinds of stories you may hear from people who practice Christian Tantric Meditation. Becoming self aware, letting go of burdens and resentments and fears, and being open to patience, love, and hope can go a long way in adjusting a person’s attitude.

Every action starts with a motivation. Hunger, loneliness, anger, joy and hopefulness, these are all motivators. These feelings turn into thoughts, plans for action to either resolve negative feelings or keep positive feelings going.

After thinking through options for acting on our feelings, we respond with action. We go to the refrigerator, we call a friend, we shout at someone, or we may decide to just take a walk or read a book. Our actions all start with motivations.

It stands to reason that if our underlying feelings are positive and hopeful, our actions will be positive and hopeful also. We will take better care of ourselves, we will be kinder and more patient with others, our relationships will be more satisfying. Challenges can and will continue to happen, but we will be more resilient, able to handle things while maintaining a sense of hope and balance in our lives.

physiotherapy-595529_640Especially at the start of the year, we tend to make resolutions. Our resolutions may include joining a gym or quitting smoking or drinking, or being more social or taking better care of ourselves in general. As a society, we tend to be action oriented, so we make resolutions to adjust our behaviors.

For some, adjusting behaviors can have a positive effect on feelings and attitudes, and action oriented resolutions can help cultivate long term healing and growth in a person’s thoughts and feelings.

For many people, however, taking action isn’t enough. Changes in attitude, in underlying thoughts and feelings are needed. This is where meditation can help.

Meditation is a mental exercise. Just as it takes time to build up physical strength and endurance, it also takes time to build up habitually healthy thoughts and feelings.

We are now opening registration for our next set of introductory meditation classes in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains.  Our next  set of classes will be held Saturday January 23rd.  Our location is in Sautee Georgia which is near Helen Georgia, about an hour from Gwinnett and about 1.5 hours from Metro Atlanta.

People who attend our classes learn skills for dealing with stress and increasing enjoyment of cropped-Sunrise-From-Newfound-Gap-Great-Smoky-Mountains-North-Carolina-606x454.jpglife and personal freedom through letting go of negative thoughts and emotions.  More advanced classes explore increasing Spirituality through Divine Communion practice, and exercising Compassion with healthy boundaries for self and others.  People who are new to meditation and people who are experienced with meditation find our classes helpful.

Our Saturday morning class from 10:30-11:30 teaches basic meditation skills including breath centered mind stabilization and mindfulness.  Our afternoon class from 1:00-2:00 explores more advanced skills designed to Open our Consciousness.  Our classes generally include about 20-30 minutes of instruction and discussion, and 20-30 minutes of meditation skill practice.

Registration is open from 10:00 to 10:30 AM, or visit our Workshops page and sign up on line, or call 678-358-8775.  Our rates are very reasonable, 25.00 for a class or 40.00 for signing up for two classes or bringing a friend.

See you there!