mrs. neal's not-so-conventional MEDITATION [CLASS] for TEENS...

...the book and the recorded meditation


You cannot teach a man anything;
you can only help him to find it within himself.

– Galileo, scientist / astronomer


I refer to my students as “my kids” because I find myself becoming somewhat protective of them, much like a mother.

I don’t concern myself with the critics of my program (there have been a few), nor anyone’s opinion of my work.  I only concern myself with my students.

I realize that I will not be able to reach all the kids who attend my classes, but I know with certainty that I am reaching the ones I am supposed to reach.  And, I know I get through to a lot of them — they don’t hesitate to let me know.

— ♦ —

A Few Students’ Comments

Over the years, I have received many comments from my students and other people — whether in class, by e-mail, or when I run into them at a store or on the street.

These students’ comments — in their words — are the ones that matter the most to me, and include:


“Dear Mrs. Neal, Thank you for coming out to (juvenile detention center) on your own time. I like when you come because meditation helps me sleep at night. I like when you come out because meditation helps me get my mind off of stuff.”

– (Juvenile Male)


“Mrs. Neal, I pray for you every day. You have helped me get through being locked up here at (juvenile detention center).”

– (Juvenile Male)


“You never gave up on me, but everyone else did. This has helped me deal with a lot of stuff in my life.”

– (Juvenile Male)


“You are the only person I know who makes God sound cool and made me want to know how to pray. Thanks for teaching me how easy it is.”

– (Juvenile Male)


“I like what you teach us at (juvenile detention center) and have practiced meditation every day. I got the CD when I left and play it for my baby, it helps her sleep too.”

– (Juvenile Male)


“The kids enjoyed this class and didn’t even realize how much they were learning about themselves. Very powerful class, wonderful delivery from Nancy, and oh so very beneficial to these kids.”

– Youth Counselor, 2009


“What a cool way to get a message across, and actually learn something I can use in lots of areas of my life. I really liked the games and ‘tests’ and felt really good after the exercise. I will remember to get my CD this time when I leave.”

– (Juvenile Male)


“She teaches teens positive techniques to cope with and respond to their negative feelings. Some of the boys practice her techniques outside of (her) class.”

– Jessica, resident adviser, youth center


“I can’t say enough about how impressed I am with Nancy’s session of relaxation and meditation. At first I was pretty skeptical and suspicious about the idea because I have never experienced anything like it before. But I must admit that it felt great to clear my mind and feel the stress relief, her voice is both soothing and comforting. I literally felt my mind and thoughts become vividly clear as I sank into her amazing meditation technique. I also felt the muscles in my body relax and I felt a sort of lightness to me like weights were taken off my shoulders. Nancy has great purpose and energy which is contagious.”

– Student, Peace Officer Academy Student, 2008


“Great Stuff!”

– Student, Peace Officer Academy Student, 2009


“The kids really enjoyed it and they still talk about it”

– Counselor at Local Intermediate School,
Annual “Spirit Day” Event


“I thought this was going to be so lame. Then I got out of (juvenile detention center) and realized how much I could use what you taught me. I promise I am not going to forget to get my CD this time. And I won’t be back here.”

– (Juvenile Female)


“Those meditation exercises you taught me helped me deal with my addiction problems. I was able to stay away from (drugs) because I thought of other stuff to do instead of doing the (drugs). It helped me to because I just relaxed when I was getting upset or angry and thought about what you told me in class.”

– (Juvenile Male)


“I think it’s really cool that this isn’t about any religion, or anti-religion, or judgmental, but it kinda makes me think about my own spirituality.”

– (Juvenile Male)


“I like how your voice is so comforting and you help us to relax. Thank you for praying for us every day like you said. I will pray for you every day, too.”

– (Juvenile Male)


“Mrs. Neal! I took a breath! It worked! I didn’t start a fight!”

– (Juvenile Female)

— ♦ —

Here are a couple of letters that have touched my heart. This first one is from the sister of a juvenile who was incarcerated:

“...I would like to take the time to give a sincere thank you.

“I was on the internet looking for some tools and resources to enhance my brother’s experience at the (Juvenile Rehab Center) in (city). My thought was that if I could educate myself on what the juveniles go through, that perhaps I could be a positive role model for my brother, not just someone that he could receive letters and the occasional less-than-an-hour visit from once a week.

“I wanted to do some research on things that I could write him about to help him through this time in his life. I came across a newspaper article about meditation that you offer to the juveniles.

“I just wanted to say thanks for all that you do, and all that you put into the juveniles. It really does mean a lot and I’m sure to them it’s a blessing ... maybe in disguise to some of them, but I believe it’s truly a blessing.

“I really believe that you’re making an impact and I will definitely be writing my brother about your meditation tactics and hopefully from them, he can manage to find a moment of peace while going through his journey.

“Again, I just wanted to say thank you ... please don’t stop believing in today’s youth. I know first-hand how much they really need someone to just love and believe in them. I’m sure my brother and others alike would love to have you as a positive influence in their lives.

Thanks again!”

— ♦ —

Now, last, but not least, one of my all-time favorite comments from a former student. Nicole was one of the students who participated in one of my first meditation classes.

I am particularly proud of Nicole, with whom I still keep in touch. She has worked hard to achieve her dreams, and is now helping others to achieve theirs.


“In 1995, I was only seventeen years old and filled with all of the usual teenage stress. I wasn’t exactly sure where I fit in, I didn’t know what I wanted to wear, and I had not yet figured out what I was going to do with myself when I grew up. I was attending the (vocational school) enrolled in the Graphic Arts program. I dreamed of becoming an art teacher after high school. Of course I was filled with the excitement of my dreams, along with the anxiety of being a teenage girl that hadn’t quite figured herself out yet. I suffered from extreme anxiety wondering where and how I fit in, and wondering if I even needed to anyways.

“Then one day we had a substitute teacher in our lab. Her name was Mrs. Nancy Neal. She was the coolest adult I had ever met. She actually looked at me when she was speaking to me and she really cared about what I was interested in and why. She taught us guided meditation one day in class, and I went home and practiced on my own that very same day. I continued to do this on a regular basis. I even did it in the classroom or anywhere that I was and needed to relax. This relaxation I learned from Mrs. Neal was one of the first steps to my realization of what I wanted to spend my life doing.

“I learned from her the importance of caring for and respecting myself no matter what everyone else was saying or doing in my life. She touched the life of myself and so many of my friends when no other adults wanted anything to do with us. My friends and I weren’t put on this earth to be like everyone else and she recognized and encouraged that.

I owe her many thanks for helping me develop into an independent thinker and not be afraid to follow what sounds correct for me to live by, even if it made no sense to anyone else.

“I am currently the owner of The Earth’s Center in downtown Tipp City. I am a Holistic Health Practitioner and Holistic Life Coach. I help people learn how to relax and focus on what is important in their lives and how they can get where they want to be.

“I do not know how many lives Mrs. Neal has reached the way she has reached mine. I do know that my fourteen year old nephew loves her and she is one of few that can reach in and bring him out.

“Thank you Mrs. Neal for spending your life blessing the lives of others. What you are doing is making a difference.”

Nicole Mikel Swani,
Former Owner, The Earth’s Center, Tipp City, Ohio
Currently, Singapore Seahorse, Yellow Springs, et al.

— ♦ —


I am grateful that the newspaper articles about my program always have been positive and that my appearance on a local radio show was such a well-received experience. (These are all posted here:

— ♦ —

The one thing that keeps me going more than anything else is running into a student who tells me that I made a difference in their life. There is nothing that matches that feeling — the blessing — I get when I encounter a student who gives me a hug and thanks me for helping them.





I have chosen to be happy
because it is good for my health.

– Voltaire, author