Next meeting: Thursday Dec 8th at 1.15pm in Kirton and Falkenham Village Hall.
The meeting will consist of a fish’n’chip lunch followed by Christmas Celebrations.
Please bring a baby photo of yourself to be used in a guessing game.
Trading Stall: miscellaneous

The Arts and Crafts Fair at the church hall was a great success and our cake stall made £72.50. We didn’t have much left over at the end and what did remain wasn’t wasted. As out trip this year to Newmarket Ladies’ Day went down so well it was suggested we have another next year, perhaps in company with the Kirton ‘Blokes’ if they are agreeable. In 2017 the National AGM will be held in Liverpool, a city well worth visiting these days, and Kirton and Falkenham will be supplying a delegate who will represent Levington, Nacton and Bucklesham WIs as well as ourselves. Besides the delegate, anyone else can go along but they must be prepared to pay the price of travel and accommodation; the delegate goes free. As announced above our meeting next month will start early at 1.15pm as we are going to partake of a fish’n’chip lunch before we get down to the Christmas high jinks. Another meal is also on the cards for 16th February 2017 when it has been suggested we go to the Ferryboat Inn at Felixstowe Ferry.

Our president Iris Hitchen is retiring this year and Ann Colvill has been good enough to offer to take over. She said she didn’t want to see our WI in the predicament of having to close for lack of a president. Bravo to her! Iris was given a floral bouquet for her birthday and, as she and her husband Terry are keen theatre goers, we presented her with theatre tokens to show our appreciation of all her hard work over the last few years. We also splashed out on a bottle of wine for Terry as he has done his bit to keep Kirton and Falkenham WI afloat during her presidency.

This month’s speaker was Felicity Kaplan who came to talk to us about Transcendental Meditation. T.M., for anyone who doesn’t know, is a technique for avoiding distracting thoughts and promoting a state of relaxed awareness. The late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi derived it from the ancient Vedic tradition of India, bringing it to the West in the 1960s. Those old enough to remember will probably recall that the Beatles were converts and that in 1968 they travelled to Rishikesh in northern India to attend an advanced course at the Maharishi’s ashram. This visit coincided with one of their most productive periods and their involvement with T.M. may have contributed to it.

Thirty five years ago Felicity was coming to terms with her career as a teacher and was finding the experience rather stressful. She needed something to still her self doubt and anxiety and, at the time, found that transcendental meditation filled the bill. It is claimed that when practising this technique mental activity subsides until one reaches a state of restful alertness. There are various ways of meditating but T.M. involves repeating a mantra which is usually a word with no particular meaning supplied by a teacher. In our everyday mental state only about 10% of our potential is being used and T.M. helps to increase that. EEG research has show that after meditating the brain shows more orderly patterns and more coherence. Felicity told us that practitioners see the brain as an ocean of deep water. Thoughts normally start at the bottom, rise up like a bubble, and we only become aware of them when they reach the surface. In contrast T.M. induced brain activity travels in the opposite direction: we gain the ability to reach below while holding still on the surface.

What are the benefits? Those that practice the art often claim to be generally calmer in their approach to life and simply happier. Perhaps the most convincing recommendation comes from a little girl who said with all sincerity, “Mummy is much nicer after she meditates.” (!)
V E Bines


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