Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and YMCA will sponsor meditation series

A collaboration between the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and the YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard will bring an eight-week series of meditation classes to the hospital. The first class of the series, “Meditation and the Art of Happiness,” lead by Elliott Dacher MD, will begin Wednesday, September 25, at 6 pm, and will run for eight consecutive Wednesdays.

Dr. Dacher, a practicing physician for 20 years and author of meditation and holistic health books such as “Aware, Awake, Alive,” now dedicates himself to teaching and studying traditional meditation.

In a press release, Dr. Dacher said that more than 300 Vineyarders, including several hospital staffers, have participated in this program since it began seven years ago. The course includes step-by-step meditation skills, as well as class discussion and instruction on the role of meditation in history, culture, and religion.

The press release says students who complete the course often report such benefits as increased patience, compassion, and humor, as well as less anxiety.

In addition to the Wednesday series, the YMCA will host several Saturday morning community drop-in sessions presented by Dr. Dacher. These too will focus on meditation and group discussions. The first session, “Calm Inside – Complex Outside” is Saturday, September 21, from 9:30 to 11:30 am. “Overcoming Fear and Other Complex Emotion” will run at the same time on Saturday, November 16. Finally, a session on “The Art of Listening” will conclude the series on Saturday, December 14. These Saturday sessions are free and open to all.

Pre-registration is required for the Wednesday classes. Tuition for the eight-week session is $150, $130 for YMCA members, and $95 for hospital employees. The course text, Dr. Dacher’s “Aware, Awake, Alive,” is available for $20, or may be found elsewhere. For more information, contact Elizabeth Willette, or call 508-957-9476. Information on the Saturday drop-in sessions is available at 508-696-7171, or