Teresa Tate Callen Helps Students in Newport News VA Overcome Stress

Teresa Tate Callen

One of Alabama's finest seems to have outdone herself, yet again. Entrepreneur-turned-social-worker Teresa Tate Callen has been spreading smiles in her hometown and helping people overcome stress. After stealing the spotlight last summer with her unique weight loss program designed for soccer moms, Teresa's back in the news; this time it's for offering free courses on Vipassana meditation to all students from high school to graduate school in the Greater Jefferson County area. Teresa has identified these students as the demographic most vulnerable to high levels of stress and anxiety. "This fast paced world brings about a lot of challenges that the previous generations haven't really been very exposed to," she said.

"Today, students go through unbelievable amounts of stress in their everyday life – at school, at home, in social situations, everywhere. The number of students diagnosed with anxiety issues is at an all time high in our country. What makes it worse is the fact that we as a society seem to have failed to teach them the right way to cope with it, and to overcome it. Suicide rates have reached an all-time high in this demographic; violence and abuse of drugs and alcohol is very highly prevalent, both often as means of temporary refuge from reality.

"Survey estimates suggest that at least 35 percent of the people in this age group suffer from clinical depression, often undiagnosed and untreated. Every third parent in America is trigger happy and doesn't blink twice before okaying prescription pills as the first choice route of 'treatment' for their kids. It doesn't have to be this way. Those drugs are destroying our children, and all we need is a little education, a little patience and some awareness!"

Teresa Tate Callen believes the solution to this problem has to involve a strategy to ensure these students all learn how to become self-sufficient, self-aware and self-reliant. "I teach a 10-day long course on Vipassana meditation to help students deal with stress. It is a traditional Buddhist technique of meditation that has long been used to rid the mind of the suffering caused due to distress and pain. The course incorporates Buddhist teachings about life, happiness, suffering and pain; it also provides a system to train the mind in order to prevent it from wandering all over the place. This helps develop focus and concentration; that brings peace and happiness.

"Buddha discovered that the root causes of suffering are attachment, desire, ignorance, and ego. Through meditation, we seek to let the students themselves draw an insight into the true nature of their own reality. These breakthrough insights reveal how we do not need to manipulate the external world since our real happiness is not derived from it. So, no matter how quickly and constantly the world we live in changes, once we have identified and removed these root causes, we will attain an unprecedented level of mental peace and clarity. Anxiety and stress will no longer reign supreme, and will cease to exist. For 10 days, you stay away from the external world in a monastic manner of living, no phones, no internet. You do not even utter a single word to anyone. This silence it provides is the ultimate mental cleanser."

Emmanuel Ventouris, a student at a Newport News VA Public School who participated in Teresa's course was full of praise for it: "It's given me a different perspective on life and everything. I'm so much calmer and relaxed. I took this course because I just graduated High School and I was really stressed out about what college would be like. I had all sorts of people come and tell me this and that and how it's going to be a momentous change of life, I'd struggle to keep up. Just all negativity that kept feeding on itself in my mind since I couldn't stop thinking about it.

"The meditation worked miracles, and it's something I plan to keep practicing my whole life. I've realized how the power of my happiness lies in my own hands and how I'll suffer if I give that power to external sources, other people or things. My materialistic desires have all dropped so drastically. I no longer want the latest iPhone or a new dress every time for a social occasion. It's like I've been exposed to a whole new level of beauty, the kind nature has created. I've started enjoying silence more; it doesn't make me uncomfortable anymore. I've become more grateful and count my blessings. I'm at total peace internally and I can't thank Teresa Tate Callen enough! I think this program has a tremendous scope. It can be used to help kids who are bullied, those who bully themselves, any troubled soul basically!" That is quite a winning endorsement for Callen. This country, and in fact the world needs more people like her who can make a real difference in the lives of others.

Source: Teresa Tate Callen