Meditation, My Friend

Meditation Image - JoyHave you heard? Mitchell Hoffsteader has finally found a cure for his self-diagnosed ‘Restless Brain Syndrome’! Betsy Thomson worked with her puppet Mitchell Hoffsteader and wrote a book Meditation My Friend. In the book you learn about Mitchell’s past and his path to becoming friends with Meditation. Through his journey, he decided he had “Restless Brain Syndrome” and felt hopeless; he had trouble managing his symptoms until he was introduced to meditation. The book is for children and beginners of all ages who want to learn about meditation.

Author of Meditation My Friend and creator pf Mitchell Hoffsteader (the puppet), Betsy Thomson is a “New Yorker” as she calls herself after living there for 20-25 years. Even though she currently resides in Pennsylvania, she often thinks of moving back to her home in NY. She often travels back and forth between PA and NY, where she works teaching and also with different organizations including “Serving Those Who Serve” (STWS). Betsy explained to me that STWS’s mission is serving those effected by 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, and the BP Oil Spill, as well as armed forces personnel and veterans.

Betsy is very diverse in her interests that range from being a composer, singer, songwriter, working with multimedia, being a children’s book author and many more “Arts” as she calls them. She said to me, “I am a hands on person”. She loves to get involved with different types of work and nonprofits to fill her time. She credits meditation for wanting to help people. Betsy informed me that meditation is training the brain; our brains take to grasping and rejecting things on a regular basis. For example, in the book Meditation My Friend, Mitchell Hoffsteader (the main character) explains how once a school kid sat in ‘HIS’ chair; the chair wasn’t actually his – it was just the chair he sat in everyday during school lunch. After Mitchell learned Meditation, he realized that the kid who sat in the chair did nothing wrong because it wasn’t really his chair. I think we can all relate to feeling upset when our favorite place to sit has been taken.

Meditation is the practice of being mindful or aware of yourself and your thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions. Before interviewing Betsy, she asked me to sit and meditate with her, so I could have the experience to explain. First, Betsy had me close my eyes, and be aware and feel my body as it was; I was sitting with one leg propped up under the other, so that was the first thing I noticed. Then, she had me shift my focus to my breath; specifically, the feeling in my middle section as my lungs expanded. I felt my chest rise and fall, and I focused on that. Next, she had me focus on the breaths entering and exiting my nostrils; I was then aware of the tickle inside my nose. Betsy advised me if I had trouble focusing, it was okay, just to calmly notate that my thoughts has roamed off and bring them back to my breathing. Meditation for me was relaxing physically; however, mentally it was a battle at first!

Betsy Meditation Pic #2

I recommend reading Meditation My Friend by Mitchell Hoffsteader and Betsy Thomson to learn more about Meditation. I actually loved the back story with Mitchell! I am truly a Mitchell Hoffsteader fan, and in the book you will learn about his past. What you won’t learn from the book is that Mitchell Hoffsteader is actually a character created by Betsy in 1979. The first Mitchell puppet was made from a rain coat liner while Betsy was home from college where she was studying Theater. Since being created, Mitchell has been all over the world including Europe, and he plans to travel more!

To learn more about Betsy Thomson and Mitchell Hoffsteader or the book Meditation My Friend visit



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