25 November

The Mansion: A Sweet Thanksgiving Day Meditation

by Jon Katz

Maria and I went to the Mansion this morning to visit with the residents who can’t be with their families this weekend. The Mansion has emptied out pretty much, but it was one of the sweetest meditation classes I’ve had yet.

Claudia, Peggie and Deb came. The three are good friends, they sat on a sofa together and held hands.

Claudia and Peggie are regulars, and this was Deb’s first class. The size of the class made it more intimate, we talked openly and intimately. Claudia and Peggie meditate daily now, and Deb said she loved doing it today.

“We need a way to calm down when things get tense,” said Peggie. Deb said she felt much better about being away from her family on a holiday when she meditated today. “This is the only time I get to hear myself think,” said Claudia.


We did a silent meditation. Zinnia greeted every one and then lay down on my feet and went to sleep. She makes every comfortable first, then lies down and is quiet. She is a wonderful therapy dog. She is a comforting presence.

The residents were very happy to see us. Holidays can be lonely there, what matters, I know, is showing up. They just sometimes need to know somebody is out there who thinks of them on a holiday, sometimes the families can’t make it.

Maria was with me and she read from a picture book about cats.

All three of my meditators talked about the pain of giving up their cats when the moved into the Mansion. “It was the hardest thing I ever had to do,” Peggie said. I suggested meditating on what we have lost and what it we have gained.

Then, the five of us talked for 10 or 15 minutes. Claudia said the meditation class was very important for her, Peggie nodded. We’ll see about Deb, she seemed very at ease in the class.

They all tried to think of the best they left behind, it was an emotional subject for them. “It killed me to leave my cat,” said Peggy.

The holidays are an emotional time for the Mansion residents, they appreciate all the visits they can get. I’m stepping up my visits with Zinnia and Maria is going add some art classes to the activity schedule on the wall. All three said they missed them.

The more we meditate together, the more I see how useful it can be to the residents of assisted care.

The residents also love Maria and her art classes, and she loves to talk with them. We both promised to visit often during the holiday season. And we mean it.

These three are great pals. The love between them is striking and uplifting.


  1. sharing yourselves and your love with these lovely people today is what *being thankful* is all about. What a beautiful gift of love and comfort you have brought them. Blessings to you and Maria on this day
    Susan M

  2. Thank you for all you do for the residents,it means alot …I wish I could of been there today with them but they are in my prayers and thoughts….

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