Ronnie McBrayer, a local pastor, columnist and author, will speak on “Learn to Be Still” at the Feb. 2 meeting of the Emerald Coast Meditation Society. The ECMS will meet at 6:30 p.m. at Christ the King Episcopal Church, at 480 N. Co. Hwy. 393, Santa Rosa Beach, one-half mile north of Hwy. 98. The meeting, open free to the public, begins with 30 minutes of silent meditation. His talk, McBrayer says, is based on an ancient Jewish psalm, which “undercuts everything about how the world works and the typical path people take to find a little happiness.” “Usually we attempt to ‘fix what is wrong with our surroundings,” says McBrayer. “Or we try to manage the chaos to get it under control. If we can impose our management plan on others or our problems, then the peaceful and happy life is ours. But that's a prescription for the exact opposite--unhappiness, misery and anxiety. “Scientists say that the beautiful, sugar-white beaches of the Florida Panhandle are the result of erosion from the Appalachian Mountains.” Says McBrayer. “A sand dune that we enjoy today, we are told, was once a mountain top in Georgia, but over time that mountain washed all the way down to the sea.” There’s no better description for himself, he adds. Before making his home near the beaches of Walton County more than a decade ago, McBrayer was a life-long Georgian, born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Today, “having washed down to the sea,” he is the author of multiple books and publications, a gifted musician, a local pastor, and a nationally read columnist. McBrayer maintains a contagious faith, a cheerful schoolboy wit, and an applauded storytelling style that invites his readers and listeners to discover new ways to experience personal freedom and grace. With his wife, Cindy--a talented artist--and his three sons, Ronnie might be a long way from home, but he is never far from his roots. McBrayer holds undergraduate degrees in Christian education and theology with a doctorate in ministry. Additionally, he is certified in Critical Incident Stress Management and has conducted graduate studies in health/medical ethics. His sons are aged 18, 17 and 13. The ECMS is an ecumenical group open free to anyone. It meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month, September through June. The evening will end around 8 p.m. Anyone who would like meditation instruction should come at 6:15 p.m. Questions? Contact Nancy James, firstname.lastname@example.org.