Mediation offers the chance to de-stress and relax, focusing energy internally.
“We see the world as fragmented,” meditation leader Rory Skelly said. “Meditation is a quiet place where you try to allow all that to settle a bit.” According to Skelly, our brains are hardwired to multi-task and focus on multiple things happening externally. Meditation allows us to become aware of what’s within ourselves.
Participants are encouraged to accept both emotional and physical feelings as they arise and acknowledge them without judgment.
I practiced Mindfulness Meditation where the primary goal is to achieve awareness of oneself and one’s physical and mental presence.
After the 45-minute silent session, I felt lighter and had a noticeably calmer attitude. Two fellow participants in the session said they felt the same results.
Skelly often refers to Pema Choron, a Buddhist nun from Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia who said, “Sitting meditation gives us a way to move closer to our thoughts and emotions and to get in touch with our bodies.”
After one experience I can understand this philosophy; it’s now something that I hope to incorporate into my regular routine.
Although I enjoyed meditation, sitting for 40 minutes without talking or moving may not be the right experience for everyone. Although Skelly and his students both suggest starting with a group class, because meditating with other people is motivating, it’s not necessary. You don’t need a meditation leader or a yoga studio to take a deep breath and re-evaluate your mind and body.
Skelly offered three important tips to try when practicing meditation at home:
To meditate, it’s recommended to pay attention to one function of your body, such as the movement of your breath, an emotional thought, or a physical ailment.
Skelly said mindful meditation allows you to be curious about where your thoughts lead. If your thoughts stray, acknowledge the new thought without elaborating on it.
To refocus your attention, do so gently. You should never criticize yourself; calmly bring your attention back to what you had decided to focus on in that session.
Skelly leads a silent meditation class every Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Feel Good Yoga Studio on Princess Street. It’s free of charge and is open to everyone.
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