Our Story

Pause co-founders Ryan Kenny and Rena Satre Meloy

When we serendipitously met in Nicaragua in 2013, our lives were swept up in joy, disbelief, and the most vibrant love we'd ever felt. Sure, the warm beaches, brilliant blue water, and endless sunshine played a role....but beneath all of the laughter and waves was our shared passion for meditation. We'd both been practicing for years, and our compasses were set for a lifelong exploration of living with presence and intention. Little did we know this path would guide us to each other and align us in this vocation of teaching meditation within our own community and with communities across the world.

 

As we grew roots together in Portland, we recognized the growing need for a secular studio where meditation and mindfulness instruction was accessible for everyone, regardless of their spiritual leanings or experience. In 2014, Portland's first secular meditation studio – HUSH – opened in the Pearl and we joined its emerging community. When its doors closed suddenly a year later, we felt compelled to keep the community alive, so we launched Pause. We didn't have a studio at the time, so we hosted pop-up sessions in neighborhood parks throughout the summer of 2015. When the weather turned soggy, we began hosting classes at J. Pepin Art Gallery and Roots of Resilience studio, and spent the first two years schlepping giant duffel bags full of cushions to and from locations – worth it! We would not be where we are today without the kind hearts and huge support from the gallery and studio owners (thank you Jennifer Pepin, Stacey Royce, and Adnan Kadir.). 

 

In the summer of 2017, we landed at our current home base – a beautiful downtown studio that we share with the 220 Studio yoga collective. Here, we teach science-based meditation and mindfulness practices through weekly drop-in classes and courses. We also offer workplace mindfulness trainings, retreats, and mindful leadership consulting for both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. 

We are profoundly inspired to make space each day to pause, and we feel equally inspired to support our community in this endeavor. A community of people with shared purpose is potent, and there's a reason these traditions have survived for thousands of years in community settings. Individual practice is essential, but the glue that holds it all together is community. We need each other to learn and grow, and to keep ourselves motivated when the going (and growing) gets tough.

 

As business and life partners, we are continually humbled by the impact meditation has on our own lives, and the lives of everyone it touches. We're so grateful for all those involved in bringing mindfulness into our modern world – teachers, practitioners, neuroscientists, spiritual leaders, community organizers, and all of the individuals willing to try it out for themselves. This is an extremely challenging time, and also a hopeful one. We find great promise in this new wave of mindful exploration, and we are deeply honored to be a part of it.

 

We look forward to sharing this journey with you.

In love and gratitude,

Pause News + Events
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Level 1: Focus + Calm

4 WEEK MINDFULNESS COURSE

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Check out Portland Monthly's article featuring Pause in the January Fitness and Wellness issue

Watch NBC's Portland Today Show

 interview with Pause co-founder

Ryan Kenny

Mindful Tools for Modern Life

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