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Kathie Gansemer concentrates on her breath first.

Slow, steady breaths.

Then, perhaps, she recites an inspirational quote or a poem to set the mood. One of her favorites is from the 13th-century Persian poet, Rumi. It encourages the reader to welcome even the most disturbing thoughts and emotions as a potential means to clear the way for an unexpected delight.

Then, focus.

How can mindfulness techniques help improve mental and physical health, especially as we head into the pandemic winter? Writing for "Scientific American" last week, Melinda Wenner Moyer presented tips from disaster psychology that she says can help people cope during times of crisis. Among them are mindfulness and finding new ways to connect with family and friends.

This hour, our guests explore different ways to find happiness and incorporate mindfulness during the pandemic winter. They also discuss the connection between physical and mental health. Our guests:

According to an American Psychiatric Association poll, 39 percent of Americans said they were more anxious in 2018 than they were the previous year. Mindfulness training has emerged as a popular method to address anxiety and stress – both at work and at home.

This hour, we discuss one approach to mindfulness – Buddhist meditation – with two teachers. They share meditation techniques and talk about why they think this approach to mindfulness can be effective in responding to life’s challenges. In studio:

Meditation and mindfulness are all the rage - okay, that's perhaps the wrong expression. Meditation and mindfulness are very popular these days. Magazine covers, celebrity endorsers, and more western New York locations to practice. What are the benefits? How do the various approaches differ? Our guests:

  • Bodhin Kjolhede, Cecily Fuhr, and Rick Smith, Rochester Zen Center
  • Lou and Marilyn Guadagnino, Living Stress Free, Inc.